"Why film?" you might ask... 

There are a number of reasons, in no particular order:

• The image is real •

When I click the shutter button, I love knowing that I have just created a physical likeness of the scene in front of me on the film surface, with no need for fancy electronic gadgets to make it visible to the human eye (just a darkroom bulb and some chemicals). Computer technology, on the other hand, develops so rapidly that there is no guarantee that the 1's and 0's created by today's digital cameras will have any relevance 100 years from now. And as a long time computer geek, I've seen too many photo collections lost into the ether, never to return. 

• Anticipation •

I've never been the type to secretly open my Christmas gifts early and then carefully tape them back shut. I like surprises. It can be anywhere from days to months before I have shot enough film to take it in for processing, and by that time I've often forgotten what I shot. Sur-pri-ise!!!

• Focus, Focus, Focus •

Not in the literal sense - some of my favorite shots are not exactly razor sharp - but with film I must really want to shoot something before I click the shutter button. With digital it's just too easy to fire away at will, and I spend enough time on the computer as it is; the last thing I want to do is edit a bejillion digital photos.

• Double Exposures are Fun! •

Sure, you can do it with some digital cameras, but only one at a time. And yeah, you can fake it with Photoshop, but it's... well, fake. And I love that I can sell a photo and include the negative as proof that it's a one of kind work of art. The sheer providence of some of the shots that have been given to me by the Heavens has never ceased to amaze me. See the Mattson 2 series or the Johnny Fay roller coaster shots for example; I had no idea what was already on the roll on the second pass through the camera - let alone that the images would jive like they did. Faking it in Photoshop just isn't the same.

• I love old things •

And all things mechanical. You just can't beat the sound of an old 35mm camera, especially if there's a monster motor drive attached. Many of my cameras were in need of repair when I got them, and I love fixing them. And when they need more attention than I can deliver, I love supporting local businesses who can fix them for me, just like people used to support me by letting me fix their Lambrettas.

• I'm not into metadata, but I am into privacy •

In our crazy modern world where your every move is tracked whenever you use a cell phone, computer, or toaster, I love that my old cameras don't store geo location, time stamps, have facial recognition, wi-fi, etc. Call me a crazy paranoid tin foil hat wearing conspiracy theorist, I don't care. If I want any such data attached to my photos, I'll do it myself, thanks! It's having a choice that matters.

• Cameras and surfing grew up together •

Since most of my photography is centered around the world of surfing, I get a certain satisfaction in using equipment from the golden age of camera development that happened to coincide with the golden age of surfing.

Anyhow, thanks for looking at my work, and I hope you enjoy viewing it as much as I did creating it!



the cameras

Sunday, 12 October 2014