GG Peney, London 2014
Lifelong Audio, London 2014
Noname, London 2015
Noname + the MPC, London 2015
Jimmy James + "Setting Sun", London 2013
GG Peney & Karl Sage, London 2014
Confucius MC, Forest Hill, London 2014
Skams Twice, Forest Hill, London 2014
Stig & Fuji + Bonafide
Kashmere and Jehst + Dolph Lundgren
Various photographs from between 2013 - 2015.
..the dark infectious lith printing process
..with old brown + pyro
lith is an infectious process, the bromide paper is over-exposed under the white light so the invisible image on the paper is a essentially a black block. The shadows are governed by agitation in the developer.. as the paper is agitated the blacks begin to 'come through', but as they do the process speeds up and the blacks begin to show and solidify at a faster and faster rate in relation to the gradation of the various mid-tones.
- Distilled Water 750 ml
- Sodioum Metabisulfite 10 g
- Pyrocatechin 50 g
- Phenidone* 2 g
- Potassium Bromide 1 g
- Distilled water to make 1000 ml
- Distilled Water 700 ml
- Potassium Carbonate 750 g
- Distilled water to make 1000 ml
Stock Solution A
Stock Solution B
Advocates of pyro claim the benefits of pyrocatechol film developers lie in the chemicals ability to increase highlight separation, sharpness and acutance. I mixed working solutions of 1:1:250, 1 part stock solution A to 1 part stock solution B to 250ml of water, so for every 35mm film roll I would mix 500ml of working solution to give enough to completely submerge the film. The working solutions were more diluted than working solutions I had previously used with other chemicals such as Rodinal where in most cases I was mixing 1:9. I was also increasing development time to between 45 and 60 minutes with no agitation, to allow only time to develop the film rather than time plus agitation.
Lith being an infection process of development/ printing (the spreading of silver development beyond the exact image boundaries), I was interested to see if the pyro balanced in certain ways the infectious development process of lith.
Pyro tanning of the negatives gelatin acts as a variable contrast filter which helps to reduce printing contrast. I was interested to see if this quality of pyro complimented my preference for high contrast lith.
Adding selenium toner into the process gives an orange colouration to the image through it's reaction to the bromide in the Foma paper. It also adds a grey tone into the highlights that compliments that orange colouration.
It was really an experiment into trying to balance aspects of my photographic chemical process and methodology through trying to visualize the subjective outcome by understanding to a greater degree how the objective elements such as the chemicals interacted.
... darkrooms and processing are what informed me the most about photography..the science of the process became the art
..I like printing contact sheets. I would shoot rolls of film as a sequence of images, with the idea of printing a contact sheet where the sequences from the roll of film were a narrative and the contact was that visualized moving still image...light is energy that is a propagation of oscillations between an electrical field and a magnetic field..it is interesting to consider the idea of how electromagnetic radiation as energy not matter can be transferred through the medium of the photographic process to create an image of that original captured energy..light.. to consider the difference between electromagnetic waves and mechanical waves in process. I remember reading about the production methods of Teo Macero during the 1970s. The albums Pangaea and Dark Magus were recorded live in one take the ability to visualize through process and medium seem to unify a scientific and creative methodology.
.. no sequencing mode on my Contax T2...the feeling of each frame being shot from the eye rather than through a set mechanical function of the programming of the camera.. sequencing modes on the camera allow for faster reactions and smoother transitions from frame to frame but I like the feeling of slowing the process down..
...they are a measurement of a consideration where in a moment I can feel that this pose or that expression will transition from what is on the previous frame and at the same time offer inspiration to visualize what is going to be on the next., it's like the narrative constructs itself with the act of photographing.
..it's interesting to recollect and consider the image in my mind attached to the moment that the light was captured through the lens. When I look at one of my photographs it's that image looking through the viewfinder I remember, perhaps because it is that moment that transitions from the real time moments leading up to the shutter release what followed..
Contact sheets form part of the photographic printing process, they are a way to see the images as negative sized thumbnails to select an image to print.. but the contact for me became the visualized image, with rebates and film branding all adding to the image as a whole.. the methodology of how the film was shot as a whole sequential narrative, frame to frame rather than as single, compartmentalized images is part of the visualized contact print, where the shooting methodology is part of the printing and vice versa...
...it's interesting how many people who I have spoken to regarding the benefits of digital process over analogue have claimed that digital is better because 'if you don't like the image then you can delete it', visualization allows you to 'delete' the image before you've taken it.. perhaps that function on digital cameras can allow for visualization to become retrospective, if there can be such a thing?. I have always embraced the fact that digital and analogue processes offer scope when combined to evolve my own process, there was for me however a beauty to analogue process like contact printing that became monotonous when doing something similar digitally like scanning negs to thumbnails.
..Digital processes however seemed to free the analogue process, it's something that combines with digital processes to form a new way of working..
..you can see a revival of analogue process presented on social media platforms like instagram with hash tags like #filmisnotdead,.. I like to think that the use of film and the analogue process is finding a new methodology within the digital processes and ways of presentation on platforms like Instagram...
..a hand printed contact sheet of the Beastie Boys shot by Mick Hutson for the cover shot of Maximum Magazine. Frame 7 is missing because it was the actual image sent to the publishers. The image itself was reversed for the benefit of the layout.
I spent 2 years working with Mick and was assistant photographer on shoots for Mojo and Metal Hammer magazine. He asked me to archive about 30 boxes of negs and transparencies covering about 25 years into 2 filing cabinets in band and alphabetical order. He offered the contact to me for doing this archiving. To think that somewhere in the archives of that magazines publishing there is the missing frame from my contact sheet, like a missing piece of a jigsaw puzzle, floating around somewhere, where the incomplete contact sheet continues to tell a more interesting story than if the missing frame were to be returned to it's place as 'frame 7'.
The End of Print + Process
The End of Print by David Carson and Process by A Tomato Project are 2 books that inspired me to write about my processing and thoughts about photography. I remember the work of David Carson in Transworld and Raygun magazine in the 1990's, his use of colour and photographic images in layouts. I think the discussions in The End of Print about how digital process and the advent of the internet, bearing in mind the book was first edition in 1995, was at the time interestingly speculative, no one could really envisage accurately how quickly or in what way digital media would change things, now that book seems in a way prophetic.
A question of process and adaptation, I would say that one of the most notable benefits of the internet is the ability it gives for individuals to form their own networks and systems.. no longer is the power held in the established channels.. it endorses the notion to be self made through awareness and conscious activity..you've just got to be willing to take the time to learn the language..
...digital photography changed much for photographers..it has enabled the idea of photography to be a more accessible and universal practice..not just in how photographs are captured but also in how they are shared and presented
..I became interested in learning how to write HTML and CSS because of the notion that as language structures they represent a universal language..
I began using Notepad++,. I learned basics of the structures and built a site using Dreamweaver and static HTML and CSS.. which I have rebuilt 2 or 3 times, eventually using CMS and Wordpress.. see41 is where I have got to with that process of learning not just the language of HTML and CSS but also the systems of publication, SEO and analytics...it's part of the darkroom and chemical processes, a continuation in the captured electromagnetic radiations journey.