Looking back to look forward

It seems at every critique I am asked a handful of the same questions.

It feels to me, that because I choose to use ‘past’ technology and work with analog processes I am always asked to explain why. Why photograph in this way instead of digital.

I never have a good answer during critique so I have been working at unpacking this question.

Firstly, this question annoys me, as I don’t see painters, for example, asked why they didn’t use photoshop? But such is life.

Secondly, when I do shoot digital I am usually just disappointed. There is a disconnect for me as all the information photographed is broken into millions of numbers. To me it is no longer a real life experience.

Furthermore,  I realise that it not just an older form of photography that i’m hanging on to, I love picking up a pen and pencil, I would rather read a book and visit a library than get one of those ipad looking things, maybe a tindle or a kindle I think they are called. I still send letters to my friends via the post and i’m useless at replying to text messages as I like to believe that a phone is not a pager and we are allowed to have a life past instant replies. Analog photography is born of a physical world and has a means to create a story. My work often gets referred to as documentary style, which in many ways it is, but I think it aligns closer with story telling. A story between light and emulsion at a certain place and time. I point a finger at an object that can go unnoticed and presenting it 2D. My works may still be passed by but it brings me to my third point, slowing life down. So often when you see a friend in the street and you ask them what have they been up too, 9 out 10 the response is ‘i’m so busy’. I’m just as guilty of saying this. But with analog photography it gives me a chance to breath. In this every increasing connected and high pace world if I can just slow one person down when they see my work I would consider my work a success.

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2 thoughts on “Looking back to look forward

  1. Well said Mish. I know what you mean about ‘that’ question, the one where you get asked why you photograph analog. As a painter it’s true I’ve never been asked why I don’t use photoshop but what I do get asked is why I paint (implication=when it’s such an old fashioned sort of thing and there are all these better/avant-garde/modern mediums). Asking me why I paint is like asking someone why they sculpt, film, perform or install. It’s a fair enough question so I have to ask myself why, when I answer this, do I feel I have to justify rather than explain my reasons…

    Liked by 1 person

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