Life in the slow lane. A case for analogue photography.

Photography does not create eternity, as art does; it embalms time, rescuing it simply from its proper corruption.” – André Bazin

I have been shooting digital ‘instant’ images for the past ten years.  I love the fact that I can get instant visual feedback from the images, and that I can shoot many shots and not worry about the cost. Best of all, I don’t need a dark room to develop my photos.  So why would I want to go back to analogue technology? This has nothing to do with a nostalgic notion of ‘a real photographer shoots with film’ or the  idea that analogue photos have a different, more organic feel to them.  I disagree with both of these points. 

What I do like about film based photography is the rhythm of how I take the photos.  It is slower and often more deliberate.  As I don’t get a chance to delete shots that I don’t like, I taker longer to compose and frame my images.  Of course, I could do the same with digital but I tend to shoot faster and more often with my digital camera.   My old SLR and Rangefinder are also manual cameras, and this helps me to slow down.

This week I bought a box of cheap 35 mm film and loaded up all of my old cameras as I am going to explore a slower pace of photography.  
I will still see the world at 1/125 sec, but I will take longer to get there.


Back to China

On my last visit to China I was struck by the scale of urban destruction, called development, that was taking place in large cities.  Last year Shanghai was readying itself for the World Expo and in an effort to present a modern image, many of the old neighbourhoods were in the process of being pulled down.  I’ll be back in China next month and will continue my photo series on the changing face of urban China. 


Trees are poems that earth writes upon the sky …

The United Nations has declared 2011 the International Year of Forests to raise awareness and strenghthen the suistainable management of all types of forests for the benefit of current and future generations.  Some key facts are: 

 Forests cover 31 percent of total global land area.   
 Forests store more than 1 trillion tons of carbon.  
 Over 1.6 billion people’s livelihoods depend on forests. 
 Trade in forest products was estimated at $327 billion in 2004. 
 Forests are home to 80 percent of terrestrial biodiversity. 
 30 percent of forests are used for production of wood and non-wood products. 
 Forests are home to 300 million people around the world. 
 Deforestation accounts for 12 to 20 percent of the global greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming. 

For me, trees have long been a visual and emotional inspiration for my photography, this series of images explores the relationship between the natural and constructed world.

Trees are poems that earth writes upon the sky,
We fell them down and turn them into paper,
That we may record our emptiness.
 Kahlil Gibran