Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The old man

Originally uploaded by BobSingleton

This blog has been silent for too long. It had been my intention use the blog to encourage myself to continue taking photographs and pursuing documentary projects.

Unfortunately the need to earn a living got in the way and the time constraints of restarting full-time work meant that until now the camera has largely stayed in the bag. However this post is intended to mark a renaissance. I'm still busy at work but it is now becoming light in the evenings and therefore for the summer at least it should be possible to combine employment and photography.

So if there is to be a renaissance I need a plan and to try again to stick to it. From now on I will post at least once a week. And try to include new photos even if they have to be those nasty pixelly things

In a perverse way I find that the immediacy of digital photography and press button printing leaves me detached from the image. Perhaps my small brain needs to move slowly and therefore my photography for pleasure is more film orientated, and I like to use old manual cameras so that something of me ends up in the frame. I know it has been said that the art of photography is choosing where to stand and when to press the button but there has to be more to it than that, hasen't there?.

The photograph above was taken on Coniston Old Man and is part of my ongoing project to find a satisfying way of making monochrome prints.

For now the printing side is in abeyance due to time constraints but I still hope to produce the prints using handmade materials and as before am concentrating on albumen, gum bichromate and tempera.

I am beginning the search to find a subject for the project. During my degree course I spent a lot of time studying Walker Evans and since we are supposedly entering the greatest depression since the 30s the thought of documenting its effects on northern life is appealing.

However the project which has been bubbling around my brain ever since I returned to photography involves the local landscape in particular Pendle hill and the religious conflicts that seemed to have surrounded it for ever. The two things can run in tandem but it is the Pendle project that I would most like to succeed.

Technical details. Hassleblad 500cm 50mm lens Tmax 400 45mins semi stand in 1:1:250 pyrocat. Full frame neg scan