NOTES ON ANALOGUE PHOTOGRAPHY
In the age of digital photography, analogue works are rare. Indeed, why bother with this labour-intensive process when it seems so much simpler and more promising to produce photographs using digital assistants, high-resolution cameras and the huge opportunities afforded by digital image production?
My own work began at a time when digital photography did not exist, and I have retained my earlier analogue work method to this day. A characteristic of analogue photography is the sustained tension that comes from the uncertainty of the outcome after the shutter release, and the fact that the photographed image only becomes visible later on once it has been developed in the darkroom, where it slowly emerges out of the darkness, as it were. At the same time the analogue image has an authenticity the likes of which I can no longer find in digital photography, which is, after all, all about producing any number of images mechanically. The analogue image production I prefer allows me to control the image results through my choice of paper and developer. The works featured in this book are unique photographic images: once exposed, they can no longer be manipulated in any way.
With the resources of digital photography many of these works could not have been produced in the first place or, if they had, the outcome would have been quite different. In digital photography, negatives in particular no longer exist in the original sense of the word; in its analogue form they are unique.
The aspects of chance and experimentation are other possibilities analogue photography can offer. Working with chemical processes to produce analogue images occasionally gives rise to non-calculated results, like the ‘living works’ depicted here, which continue to evolve over time.
For the person viewing photographic works, it may be irrelevant whether they were produced by digital or analogue means. But for me, exploring the possibilities of analogue photography remains as thrilling as ever.