Featuring photographs developed in his kitchen.
q: What do you like about photography?
a: This question stumped me for the longest time. I have memories of taking pictures when I was nine years old, so photography has been in my life at least 25 years now. All this time I never considered why I liked it!
I guess what I liked about it changed over time. As a child my parents would take photographs on days out and on holidays, so when I went on my own holiday (a school trip to the Netherlands) I took my parents’ camera (which I dropped into a “canal” in a model village near Amsterdam!)
Then I became fascinated in “the technical aspects” of photography. For 20 years or so! I took a lot of boring pictures.
Now I hope I am emerging from this. Right now, I like what I think of as “interesting” photographs. Photographs with more than one layer, and photographs with a secret joke. And photos which are just memories. (I have barely any memory photographs from my “soulless desert”) My wife is pregnant with our first child. Suddenly I need to be good at taking interesting photographs so my memories are good when I’m old.
q: You develop your own photographs. What’s the advantage of this?
a: It started off from frustration. I would send my stuff off for processing and scanning, but I’d get so angry and dejected when the (automatic) scanner would crop bits off the pictures or scan them twisted or pick some inappropriate exposure or something. I wanted to make it so that if something went wrong one time I could fix it the next.
I found a more compelling reason a few months later. I get confused when images are in the computer. I can’t feel them. I’m a software engineer, previously an electrical engineer, so I totally know my way around digital cameras and computers… intellectually. But I just can’t feel them. I don’t understand how a digital camera can take blurred pictures. I mean, I know if I have the shutter open too long and blah blah blah, but it’s all just words. The boxes don’t connect in my head. With film and light and paper, it’s like eating a biscuit, it just happens.
I’m not saying that film is “better” than digital or whatever. A lot of people make amazing work that way, and I don’t make the distinction when I look at other peoples’ work. The disconnect is in me.
q: Do you like yogurt?
a: Yes. My favourite would probably be Greek yogurt, plain so I can put my own stuff in there.
q: Any new music to recommend?
a: C.W.Stoneking was my favourite discovery of last year. I also discovered Alabama 3… not new, but good!
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