“When I look at my old pictures, all I can see is what I used to be but am no longer. I think: What I can see is what I am not.”
Aleksandar Hemon, The Lazarus Project
Digital Alterations to Analogue Reminiscing … Looking back I still have engaging memories of those days would I dream to own a camera for my personal use. Little did I realize it would take me a year or more of a boring salaried job and other odd ventures for the money before I would travel and finally in 1988 buy a camera from Dubai? Then time would fly once again… As I worked for a potpourri of normal to bizarre clients, assignments, publications what madness it was at times, and the icing on the cake was this over-enthusiastic young woman in a third world Muslim country with seemingly impossible dreams. I just wanted to be a fine art photographer. Little did I know that my imposing tutor for this line of work would be the silly little mistakes made and countless lessons learned…? Taken as a whole what wonderful times they were… and still are. (Allhumduillah).
Most of the black and white photography in this section was done on KODAK PROFESSIONAL T-MAX 100 Film and an occasional Ilford of various assortments. My favorite paper to print was always the ILFORD MULTIGRADE IV RC DELUXE satin surface. The alternative photography processes I experimented with were a few and but my final selection for the technique to use for the images shot in South Africa in the late nineties, was the cyanotype and the van dyke processes. For the colour photography I mostly used FUJICHROME Velvia 50. Fuji famously advertised the film as a “ Professional, high-image quality, daylight-type colour reversal film with superb granularity, and world-class levels of image colour saturation and vibrancy. Precise modulation, vivid colour reproduction and excellent image quality make this the outstanding film for nature, fashion, products, interiors, and artwork photography”. The part about vivid colour that had me hooked from the moment I first tried it, when it was first launched in 1990. This film was a part of my camera bag till 2005 after that year, buying and getting the film processed had become a hassle. Hence for me finally the digital age had arrived a new camera was on the horizon and any kind of regret would have been silly and a waste of time.
… no amount of technology will turn a mediocre photographer into a great one. Nor, in conceptual terms, will it transform a bad idea into a good one. For that you would still need to possess a rare set of creative gifts that are still to do with seeing, with deep looking …Photography, like print media and music, is certainly at a turning point, as the current art market most dramatically shows. But it was also at a turning point during the early- to mid-1960s… Whatever upheavals it has witnessed, photography has endured. It continues to do so, even as we drown in a sea of uploaded images whose sheer quantity mediates against their meaning. Photography, in more ways than one, thrives on a crisis. The instant endures.