Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Photographic Journey.

Looking back on an amateur and professional photographic career spanning some fifty years, it is interesting to pause for a little and contemplate the changes which have taken place - both from a technical and an aesthetic perspective.

In 1963, as a bright eyed and bushy tailed sixteen year old camera club junior member, I was introduced to the magic of black and white processing. The old veterans of the day shared their secrets with enthusiasm and a generosity of spirit that is sometimes sadly lacking in today's world.

The state of the art materials of the day were, by today's standards, rather basic. Fixed grade papers - home brewed hard and soft working developers - negative and print bleaching and intensification and a myriad of other techniques had to be mastered in order to produce images of substance and beauty.

During the last fifteen years or so the incredible strides made in photographic technology have been phenomenal, to say the least. Yes digital capture has come of age!

Powerful computers and imaging software allow contemporary photographers to match and surpass the work of the pioneers with ever increasing speed, repeatability and ease.

Yet it is the very nature of this instant medium which has sparked a desire to return to the roots of photography. Interest in the historical processes, and black and white in particular, has grown exponentially over the last decade or so. In ever greater numbers, photographers are being drawn to the slow and contemplative approach which so typifies "old fashioned" analogue photography.

I am one of them!

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