“This is my first article for the Revela-T blog. My intention with this series of articles is to humbly disseminate knowledge and make constructive criticism about the universe of analog photography (hereinafter chemical).
My focus is on relationships and the development of techniques for chemical photography in our contemporary environment.”
I refuse to read any more written by supporters and detractors of the chemical or digital photography extolling its virtues, especially, crushing the enemy line. I give up. I do not bear it anymore. Really, do not follow that way, it is really boring.
If I have learned something in recent months is that anger, that peculiar human emotion that blocks us, swarming around the photographic universe wreaking havoc in this art, hobby or profession that just contains among its virtues, the power to channelize.
The human being as a social one needs a group membership to be reaffirmed. But the fact of not sleeping at night because your neighbor has just a Hasselblad and is happy, while you invest large amounts of time and money on deciding on a lens for your digital camera that will make you the alpha male (or female) for the next three months, which is the time needed to become outdated, it is not right. And being a silverback of those who leave the caverns crying out to heaven Lord, send a plague of locusts! That is not photography! Well, I think it is not. So it’s enough already.
In the silence that reigns after this absurd battle, and leaving humor aside, one wonders what the heck is doing here with his film rolls, his cameras of the past century, and his chemical formulas of early photography. And above all, why?. Why do things the way we do them?.
In our present, the use of chemical photography is closely linked to the thoroughness in the process. We have tools at our disposal that allow us the immediacy that we may need at any given time. However, we carry on using chemical techniques as our way of developing a project or our vision. Because the tempo is important. For as in any task that you spend your time, you deposit a large part of you in that work.
Obviously, dedication and tempo are not unique qualities of chemical photography. But there is something that distinguishes it from other alternatives, and is the object concept. In a century where speed and virtuality are two of the key signs of identity, we discover the lacks that make us disagree with high technology and its establishment. What we dislike of digital photography and makes us enter eternal and sterile discussions. Thousands of images pass through our retina every day. Great resources and efforts to retain in our memory for a few seconds. And we will see most of that production through a screen. Few people in the world of digital photography print their photos and keep them unless they have a commercial interest or to expose them. Bravo for them.
Much of what we missed in the new technologies are not the silver halides. It is the tangible object as a record. The personality and work that relates to the viewer and establishes a dialogue with him from matter to matter.
Image: © DaveLawler