Tag Archives: Photography

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Recently I dug the old cameras out and managed to get some out of date 35mm from a friend (thanks to Ian Davis from LPPG).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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Grey December Day


Today is an awful grey affair, cold, wet and muddy. I took GBoy to the park to try his new bike and in the hour or so we were out I was barely inspired to take the camera out of the bag.
But in the spirit of endeavour I first tried some fleeting dogs, none satisfactory and then settled on tree shapes. These two are tweaked in Snapseed, a little contrast boosted and remind me of illustrative woodcuts, maybe for a Poe story.



I had to dig this up and add it on. Thinking about Poe I remembered this. The excellent Christopher Walken reads ‘The Raven. This is from a 1997 project called ‘Closed on account of Rabies‘. Read more about it here and then listen to Iggy Pop reading ‘Tell Tale Heart‘ Its so not Christmassy!


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#Sandergram @LeicesterMuseum

As part of my ‘day job’ I have been able to offer support to Leicester Museum & Leicester College for the period of the August Sander exhibition and the associated educational/social engagement project #sandergram.

Sander was a forerunner in the social photography idiom, creating iconic images of the social structure in the mid war period of the twentieth century. The current exhibition of photographs at the New Walk Museum in Leicester is required viewing for students of photography, street photography and social journalism. Many of the pictures on show have been reprinted from glass plate negatives by Sanders grandson and have a rare and striking authenticity.

The #sandergram project provides an engagement channel for photographers to contribute their own images to a Flickr stream which will form part an educational program organised through Leicester College. Selected images will be exhibited in March 2013 at the Leicester Peoples Photographic Gallery.

Sanders main body of work used a very pure form of image with the subjects being ‘eye to lens’, full length portraits in their normal environment. The exhibition illustrates every level of German society with pictures of great artistic merit and conformational clarity.

I submitted the image above through Flickr and I would encourage any photographers who see this to contribute. The project will be more successful if they receive more submissions from local, national & international photographers.

If you have a Flickr account search #sandergram and add to their feed. Alternatively you can submit by Twitter. Send your picture to @leicestermuseum and include the hastgag #sandergram. Include the name of your picture in the message. You can visit their website here at www.sandergram.org and view the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/leicestermuseums

Please join in and send your submissions so that they can create a create a representative window on the people of the world. Look at Sanders images first and remember its the subject that is key.

In the mean time, here are some more of my recent portraits including DBoy5.11 & BabyJ2.07. I particularly like the the last one.

For more about August Sander and to view an archive of works visit the Art Sy page here

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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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