analog Tag

Watching the popular photography market in the late film era was rather like watching the bubbles in a bottle of fizzy drink - one that had been left on a warm window sill. What started out as lively effervescence slowed down, bubbles became fewer, and smaller, and eventually were no more - the lemonade was finally flat. The fact that the Russians try to sell flat lemonade from the Leningradskoye Optiko-Mekhanicheskoye Obyedinene for the next two decades is neither here nor there. Digital won when Kodak and Agfa packed their carpet bags and ran for the train. This saddened me for a long time until I finally accepted that I do much more and do it much more happily with my choice of digital equipment. Like a lot of older photographers I had grown up with the film cameras and learned to love them. In the end I decided I could still love them but with fond memory rather than creaking passion. Thus I can look at the examples we see on the CE shelves - or in Michael's camera museum in...

I met a professional photographer in the shop one week doing a very sensible thing - renting a piece of equipment that was needed for a paying shoot. He didn't own it and would have no need of it the rest of the year - but this one occasion it would let him exercise his considerable lighting and shooting skills. And he didn't need to whack out a bundle to get it and then look at it on the shelf for another year - he could return it to CE and pocket the savings. Wise. Well, we chewed the rag a while and I asked him to explain something I had seen some years ago associated with his studio. I had come across a startling sight - wheelie garbage bins full of negatives and transparencies that were apparently from his studio. Wheelie as in ready for the council to take them away...

And for those who follow Game Of Darkrooms, you'll know what this means; cold bathrooms, cold laundries, and cold darkrooms. Harder to keep processing solutions to recommended temperatures - slower processing times. Cold, stiff fingers. Family members banging on the bathroom/darkroom door demanding to use the facilities for something other than photography. Well, you'll have to sort out your family yourself - a Port-A-Loo in the back yard is a possibility - but Adox have a solution that will help in the darkroom; Neutol ECO paper developer. Adox have turned the corner of the analog revival and are making new premises for themselves while pumping out their versions aof classic films and solutions. They make the Adonol that replaces the old Agfa Rodinol and now there is Neutool ECO back on the Camera Electronic shelf. Neutol and Neutol WA were always very good matches for many varied monochrome papers when they came out of Leverkusen. Now the Neutol ECO promises to be even more useful due to several factors: a. It is hydroquinone-free. It has no HAZMAT label problems and can be used by students...

How you do anything has a great deal to do with the supplies you have available. Analog photography is no exception - and these days unfortunately the machinery and raw materials are getting scarcer. At this point I'd like to point out that at one time there was no such thing as analog photography - prior to 1826. Between that and 1975 there was only photography. Subsequently there has been digital as well. Which gives you pause...

When to pursue analog photography is a question that really is a way of asking what advantages it has over digital work - and when should one access them. The idea of advantge may not have occurred to some younger photographers. Consider: a. The digital camera is free of the need for film and tied slavishly to the need for electricity. This means the kind of attention to batteries and chargers that young men used to devote to young women and beer. You might be able to hop on a plane without worrying about X-rays spoiling your film, but try hopping on without three chargers and a bag of cords. One chain off, one chain on. b. The analog camera may be a lot less automatic than your normal digital. This might be frightening, but consder how much quieter and less obtrusive the best of the analog machines can be compared to whizz-beep-buzz of your digital trying to autofous on a grey cat in the fog. c. The analog camera limits the number of times you can repeat a pointless shot. At the...

Remember that I promised you six destinations? Well, the first is Whatford. What is analog photography? What was it before, and what is it today? Basically, it's recording an image using chemical means, rather than electronic ones. It was tried over two centuries ago by chemists and experimenters with no means of permanently fixing their image once a lens had shown it. A novel trick, it became a reality when a French gentleman used Bitumen of Judea and oil of lavender to take a picture of some rooftops. And then further French, English, German, and American gentlemen invented faster, better ways to do this...