Rising from the ashes

I've recently been getting back into the art of photography after a very long hiatus. So much has changed since I roamed the streets with a Pentax K1000 dangling from my wrist. Finally, after putting it off for far too long, I bit the bullet and bought into the wonderful world of digital. In the process of re-immersing myself in photography, I came across some inspirational podcasts including This Week in Photo. These guys are a lot of fun to listen to and they really got me back into thinking about photography. It's amazing to me how many contemporary photographers are out there who never shot film and look at it as something of a novelty.

When labs became rare and film processing grew prohibitively expensive, I basically stopped making pictures. It has only been within the past five years that quality and affordability of DSLRs has improved enough to become compelling to me. Now that I've made the switch, I feel revitalized and liberated, but I still miss being able to practice photography without having to worry about keeping batteries charged or sitting in front of a computer. I also miss the de facto existence of a physical image—although that's more of a motivational problem now than a technical one.

One of the very first, experimental digital images I shot way back in the year 2000 or so. This camera had a whopping 0.26 megapixels (interpolated)!

Unlike many who are now feeling nostalgic for film, I was never happy to see light leaks, color casts, spots, grain, etc. I used film not because I felt that it had some kind of inherent artistic integrity, but because film was all we had back then. I considered the artifacts of film to be just as annoying as the artifacts of digital (which are, thankfully, fewer). I did not enjoy soaking my hands in chemical baths, or alternating between pitch blackness and daylight-balanced lights all night long. Film was the high-technology then. Now, the technology is CCD and CMOS sensors. Perhaps in 20 years time it will be a holographic matrix of quantum dots, and I'm sure people then will be feeling just as nostalgic about the funky, quirky CCD cameras of today as I do about my old Atari ST.

What I miss most of all, though, are all the photographs I never took during those dark years... I hope to never let that happen again.

As I continue my renewed exploration of photography, I'll be posting images here on this blog as well as to my gallery at Nevermind Him

tags: