Tag Archives: IPhone

Backwards from Analog


Like maybe a billion other people with iPhones & mobile camera devices I spend a lot of time taking pictures with very clever cameras that will shoot reliably in all kinds of conditions and then go about degrading them with an armoury of apps and filters. It’s a huge industry and I contribute to the coffers buying 69p / $0.99 apps for my iPhone & iPad, I must have 30+ now and will happily try more.


I used to take lots of pictures and after doing ‘A’ level photography I went on to use photo process on my Degree course. My first camera was a Zenith, I then got a Minolta XGM which traveled all over europe and through out the mediterranean. When that fell into disrepair I got a Minolta X-370s. That eventually developed some light leaks and from there I went digital.


Recently I dug the old cameras out and managed to get some out of date 35mm from a friend (thanks to Ian Davis from LPPG). The aim really is to use the analog equipment to take the kind of pictures that create using apps and then use the apps to bring them back to visible.

The first roll of film was a Jessops own brand ISO200 print film. As the XGM wont seem to wind on consistently I used the X-370s camera body with the XGM’s fixed 50mm lens. Its a slightly dirty lens but does great depth of field.


I took the film to be washed today and managed to get Boot’s to dev, print and copy to CD the pictures without doing any processing corrections. The result was a very pink set of images, many under or over exposed and purposefully double exposed by shooting a few frames and then winding the film back. The pictures where shot at Conkers Discovery Centre on a very cold dull grey day. Overall I’m pleased with the result’s. Whilst I have, like the addict I am, edited these in Snapseed, this has been done to reveal the images, rather than to disguise them in hipsta chic (not that I have anything against Hipsta Chic!).


I have another 10 films including some B/W stock, some going back to 1998. Analog work like this, maybe because of the cost, does make you a little cautious about snapping away. I also couldn’t stop my self from taking a picture and then looking at the flat black back of the camera waiting to see the image I just shot. New habits die harder than old ones it seems.



Today I asked a colleague in the ‘day job’ to scan the negatives I have. I have to confess when I first saw the machine prints yesterday I was disappointed, once I saw the digital copies I was encouraged. After I’d finished playing with those I was really quite content. But now, after getting some perfect scans from the originals I’m over joyed. Here are three strips that have everything in them that I hoped the project would produce.

The random application of double exposure.
The natural degradation you get from aged substrate & equipment
The artefacts of analog including strip marks, dust & scratches.

I find something real in these, having a greater physical permanence and naturalness. Any post processing from the scans is minimal. A quick section crop like a scissor snip, and the cursory colour balance for a screen view.

As above. Over joyed.




Open each in full and scan through the surfaces of the picture. These are things I would like to print up at a 1m tall. I take a painterly approach to these things, they are like sketches, pencil on paper. Stand by your line, make it with confidence and it will glow.

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Occasionally an app comes along that resonates. In the distant history of my life I had real skills in printmaking. From lithography, screen printing, collography to woodblock I could use drawing and manual labour to make pictures on paper. In the realm of etching I was well versed in aquatint, mezzotints, soft & hard grounds, intaglio and dry point.
I studied Picasso, Bonnard, Goya, Miro & Durer to aspire to iconic illustrative technique.

There’s now an app for that….

Its not real, it’s doesn’t rely on skill but it looks great. I may never use another app again, until well into next week. These are a few of my etched up pics.


This is from our little Nativity, nativing under our tree…


@f1fanwmm looking slightly mysterious….


Our tree hanging Santa on a dollarific frame….


…and finally my little eye, a recent attempt at a self portrait in front of the last real painting I tried to complete.


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Tanworth In Arden – Nick Drake’s Grave

A couple of weeks ago I saw a Twitter link to a book review. It was for ‘Pink Moon: A story about Nick Drake’, a biography of Nick Drake. First published in 1980 and written by Danish author & poet¬†Gorm Henrik Rasmussen it’s a good read for anyone interested in Nick and his life and music. Whilst reading it I listened again to his albums which contain so many personal and illustrative songs which the author of ‘Pink Moon’ places so well in the short cycle of Nick’s life.

Whilst the information was already hanging around in the back of my mind, I was reminded that Nicks early life and final months were spent in Tanworth in Arden, a small village in Warwickshire between Solihull & Stratford. As I spend some time in the area (in being only 30 minutes from my parents house) I decided to pass through and take a few photographs. I’m not really one for pilgrimages but Nick’s short life and the tragedy of his lack of success during his life have a real resonance.

Since the publication of ‘Pink Moon’ Nicks parents have passed away so that the grave in grounds of St Mary Magellan Parish Church are now a family grave. Whilst there are small signs of tributes from fans there is above all discretion.

Photography needs light but unfortunatly last Friday was a grey and rain soaked day. The down pour abated for the hour or so I spent in Tanworth so I took quite a few pictures. So many in fact that rather than just posting a small selection I have made a short film using a guitar track from one of Nick’s late demo’s for Black Eyed Dog.¬†Whilst they could be better they have an atmosphere that only that day could provide.All the other images here are post processed using a variety of apps, all on iPhone & iPad.


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App Mash Up

Inspired by a gent called Rubicorno I’m going to try some app mash up images. This first one use two Hipstamatic shots, Image Blender, Dynamic Light and Pic Grunge. There are an infinite number of combinations so it’s endless fun.







Update. 15/02/12

Here’s another mash up. An old beeswax mask maquette that sadly never got cast as a bronze, and a galaxy far far away. It makes me want to hum the Star Trek theme.


Heres another, lets call this ‘Light Lady bows to the crowd before devouring a passing child (after Lou Reed)’. This is a Hipsta print from light night with Dynamic Light & Modern Grunge.

And yet another. This is ‘The Worm Haunting of Basket Ball Court B (Sunnydale)’ Peel you reference out of that. This is Hipsta, Modern Grunge, King Camera.

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