Hove seafront


It’s funny how fin de siècle (20th Century), analogue was dying, becoming more noble. Vinyl records shops were shutting down like dying flowers and film was starting to be superseded by slightly crappy digital cameras. I was running one of the first digital bureau, avidly converting analogue film and slides to CD. Scanning to make digitally magic giant-sized posters, T-shirts, mousemat and mugs. The better cameras were all really expensive, in the £2,000+ mark and still not really a patch on a £100 manual 35mm. A medium format film could sh*t on anything digital available at this time.

I was lucky to be using both professionally. Silver vs Digital was a huge debate when I did my LCP PostGrad in 2005 (this blog post is written in the future). I was already way beyond that dull and limiting argument. I did write about it however on that course. A photographic ‘expert’ was present at the final show and was extolling the virtues of film being superior. I asked him to look through my portfolio and tell me which was film and which was digital. He flicked through, “Clearly film… obviously digital… “, etc. He reached the end of the portfolio, a small crowd was now stood around us. “It’s all digital”, I said. His face went white and the crowd faded away in embarrassment for him.

My real annoyance was that this so-called photographic expert had failed to look at the actual content of my pictures. Maybe they weren’t good enough. I did vow, however to make images that ignored the Silver vs Digital debate and were wholly involved in content, people, animals, subject… stuff happening.

I hope I am still doing that and getting better at it.

This photo was taken in 2001, I think in January. It is cross-processed slide film. This, if you don’t know the technique, gives weird colours and certain random, uncontrollable effects to the image. Funny to think that with the pure perfection of digital, we all still want to slap these ‘vintage’ effects onto our images in our iPhones and Instagram images.


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