Negatives of Analogue Photography..


Olivia Newton-John sung about it in the 80’s.. let’s get physical.

Analogue is physical, and with any physical discipline, it takes energy to do.

It’s been a short distance over three years since I have been riding the analogue bandwagon seriously. Posting one image a day from outings on my instagram account @backwater_beat has at times been difficult, but for those who know me, I commit hard to projects and am relentless at the pursuit of my endeavours.

Analogue photography isn’t simply about dumping images onto a computer, mashing out a preset or two and posting online to the accolades of a few. There’s the contemplative approach that requires physical manipulation of dials and levers, organic manipulations of the grey matter kind to determine exposure, and measured chemical concoctions to magically reveal images held in stasis on silver halide strips of tape.

Mistakes happen. Grey matter becomes befuddled. Chemicals mixed have been used out of order causing images to be stripped of all information. (thankfully only once). Camera backs are prematurely opened to expose film to the glorious light. (unfortunately more than once). Film has been exposed at the wrong ISO and not developed accordingly. Dust, smudges, old chemicals, curling film, cat, accidentally cutting negatives through a frame..

..and then there’s the discussion of digitising the images.

The process is physical, from beginning to end. Regardless of the energy expended, it further fuels more energy to continue the process creating a satisfaction that I can’t seem to replicate in the same way through digital photography. Don’t misunderstand me, the image is the message regardless of the medium used, digital or analogue. However the process of how the image came into existence adds a deeper meaning to its story for me as its author.

It’s a joyful and curious fascination that analogue photography never gets old. Despite the negatives, the results are always positive.


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