People ask why I shoot film, when digital is so much easier. First of all, who said the easiest art is the best art? Then we wouldn’t have sculpture (too difficult), oil paintings (too hard to clean the brushes), or other myriad art forms. But the main reason is I am a photographer who makes pictures–I’m in the picture business–you know, those real, tangible, hand-holdable and frame-able things called photographs.
And the thing is, if I shoot digital, I don’t have a negative, I have data. Files on hard drives. How am I supposed to print the photograph without a negative to slide into my enlarger? That’s the question I respond with to their question about shooting digitally. I need a negative to take it to the darkroom and make the print.
That doesn’t preclude me from scanning them and having them to share online. It gives me the ability to have both. Here are some from a recent few rolls of Ilford HP5 just processed.
These are photographs I want to keep and by making a print, I will have a lasting memory of these times with these family members and friends. Plus places I’ve visited. They’ll exist in frames or an album and for me, photography is about time travel back to earlier times, not sharing in real time, on a phone, where I am now.
Photography is a memory-making art form and the picture is of utmost importance. It’s a past tense thing.
“I’m in the picture business.”