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Photos taken the traditional way, using black and white film. Using film frees me from the automation that is implicit in the digital process, forcing me to take control of image creation and to work within and around the limitations implicit in the medium. In most cases I handle the developing and scanning of the negatives myself, so any faults or flaws are my own, as are any successes. I feel a much closer personal connection with photos created in this way than with those I shoot digitally, where my main contribution has been in composition, while the exposure and to some extent the appearance of the photo draws on the computer skills of the camera's manufacturers. I feel that working with film is akin to the craftsmanship of an earlier age, while digital offers the impersonal efficiency of the 21st Century. The older I get, the more I appreciate the clunky and contemplative approach to the instant gratification and automated precision of digital. Each of these photos was a mystery to me for the hours, days or sometimes weeks that passed between my taking it and the development of the negative. My confidence in its success was as great or as limited as my confidence in my ability to set the correct exposure, load the developing tank correctly and carry out the process of developing and fixing correctly. There is a lot that can go wrong with film. And sometimes it does go wrong and a desirable image is damaged or lost. For me, that is part of the magic. Another part is the incredible quality that film can deliver - particularly medium or large format film. I did not intend most of my Fine Art America portfolio to be shot on film - black and white or colour - it just happened. And it happened because the images that I found most pleasing happened to be those that had taken most effort to create. I hope you will find them pleasing, too.
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