Posted on January 29, 2014
First of all, I’ve had a few comments about the new format and layout of this blog, it seems that people miss the old Gridspace theme because “It looked less like a blog and more like a website”…but that’s what this is – a blog, a dumping-ground for my photographic meanderings and thoughts. I do have a dedicated portfolio website in the pipeline, so if you just want to look at photographs without my ramblings, it’ll be up and running in the next couple of months, I promise. You can also follow me on Facebook
I’m not really publishing much in the way of ‘serious’ portraiture at the moment because I’m saving it all for my exhibition at the end of March this year. It’s a dangerous game though, I have portraits sat in a Lightroom folder, titled EXHIBITION, and I keep looking at them, editing them, tinkering with them…I need to just leave them alone, because I know exactly what’s going to happen – come March 20th I’ll be sick of the sight of those photos. Every last one of them. Another issue I have is that I’m quite single-minded, if I’m not shooting portraits for my show, ‘serious portraits’, then I’m not really shooting anything else, unless it’s completely different. This alternative creative outlet comes in the form of instant film. I love instant film like the french love cheese.
Say what you like, try to convince me with £500 software or 79p iPhone apps – you can not fake the look of instant film. All images here were made using a Fuji Instax 200 wide camera. I’ll shoot some more Impossible Project 600 just as soon as I’ve sold my kidney to pay for the film…
Posted on January 21, 2014
I’m a naturally impatient person, so from the outset I always imagined that digital photography would be my ideal medium, but that hasn’t really been the case. For the last few years digital photography has been an itch that I’ve never quite been able to scratch, there’s always lacked the sense of total satisfaction that I only ever get when I shoot film. At the moment I’m very itchy, and there’s only one thing that can get up the back of my t-shirt with both hands and sharpened finger nails – instant film!
I’ve been shooting Fuji Instax film , on and off, for a few years now, I love the cold blueish tones and creamy highlights, but mention instant film to anyone and the first thing they’ll think of is Polaroid, almost a generic name for any kind of instant film. Polaroid stopped making film a few years back, but the factory was taken-over by a company called The Impossible Project. I never tried any of IP’s early emulations of Polaroid film, I’d read all kinds of horror stories about it, about how difficult it was to use and its instability, so I was never willing to part with my cash…but IP’s latest incarnation of Polaroid 600 color film is different, and I love it.
To be honest, I wasn’t really one of those die-hard fans of the original Polaroid film, I always found it a bit dark and ‘wishy-washy’, maybe it was just poor technique? IP’s version is everything I wanted Polaroid 600 to be – punchy colours and weird hues, sharp, but not too sharp. Development time is between 30 and 60 minutes, so still not actually ‘instant’, but worth the wait!
The one down side is the price – every time I press the shutter it costs me £2.25…but I want to keep pressing the shutter.
All square images were made using a Polaroid 600AF camera (circa 1999) and The Impossible Project Color 600 instant film. All rectangular images were made using a Fuji Instax 210 camera and Instax Wide film.
Posted on December 17, 2013
Posted on November 22, 2013
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Posted on November 16, 2013
This week I photographed JC Callister for my upcoming project that will document estranged fathers. I used JC as a bit of an experiment to decide what camera format I’d be shooting the series on, these are the results. I’m very single-minded when it comes to shooting a project, once I’ve started I have to stick to the same camera, the same lens, and where possible, the same film.
The shots here were made using (top to bottom) Fuji X-Pro1/35mm, Pentax 67/90mm/Kodak Portra 400 film and Canon G15 digital compact. I converted the digital images to mono using VSCO software. I like all three formats, but at the moment I’m leaning more toward the last shoot, which I think best conveys the mood of this project…but I love shooting on film too.
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Posted on July 31, 2013
I live on an island, the Isle of Man, perched in the middle of the Irish Sea. If there’s something we have a lot of here, it’s water; it falls from the sky, regularly, and we’re surrounded by it, I’m never more than a 20 minute drive away from the sea.
I’ve always loved water, I learned to swim when I was 18 months old and since than I’ve spent most of my life in it, underneath it and on it. I kayak, snorkel, swim and use the Isle of Man as a giant photographic studio, 365 days a year…
Posted on July 24, 2013
I’ve been shooting with an old Leica R6 slr film camera for the last few weeks, it’s a camera I always drooled over and dreamed of owning, years ago, but could never afford. I picked the R6 up, along with the standard, and razor-sharp 50mm Summicron, for the price of a mid-range digital compact. I’m starting to realise why I got it so cheap – it has a bit of a light leak and the metering is as about as reliable as the weather in Scotland. Fixing the problems would probably cost more than what I paid for camera, and having said all that, I actually quite like the unpredictability of it all, so I’m going to leave it as it is. I just won’t use it for any important/professional jobs…
Colour film is Fuji Pro 400H and black & white is Kodak Tri-X 400. Both films rated at whatever speed the camera decides at any one given moment. Film developed and scanned at Labyrinth in London.
Posted on July 18, 2013
I’m not sure if it’s the unexpected hot weather on the Isle of Man, but I’ve had a lot of offers from people, male and female, to model nude. I’m not complaining.
This is artist and photographer, Hazel Walsh. I made these images over the space of a couple of hours using a mix of digital and film (Holga 6×6 and 6×12, a Leica R6 and a cheap Nikon compact 35mm).
Hazel is leaving the Isle of Man in a couple of days to start a new life in Berlin.
Posted on June 28, 2013
Digital will never replace film, so let’s not get into that. However, I’m always on the look-out for software that can make digital files less sterile looking and…digital. I think I may have found it with VSCO FILM, it’s superb. I haven’t really done much research on the software, as long as it works, I’m happy, but the developers apparently scanned actual film emulsions to get a real grain look. I think it works. Very well.
All the images here were made using a Fuji X-Pro1 digital camera. For anyone using this software, the key to getting good images is to under expose by 1 stop, even more in scenes with a lot of highlight area.