Run The Other Way
I saw a link on Facebook yesterday, posted by Jan Ellis, about the massive increase in the number of photographs being taken in the last few years. This is of course due to the cell phone cameras and other P/S digital consumer cameras. But it does make me wonder about the mind-numbing effect of seeing that many images, all around me. And also the effect that it has on society at large. For me, as a photographer for over thirty years, it sends a chill up my spine, and makes me want to run the other way. Below is a key graph from the article, and here is the URL for the complete story.
I start thinking about alternative approaches to image-making at times like this. People like Adam Fuss, Richard Learoyd, Abelardo Morell, the wet-plate practitioners, and John Chiara’s camera built on a utility trailer, Chris McCaw’s 30×40 inch view camera on location, or maybe the craziest of all — Dennis Manarchy’s mammoth view camera that rides in a trailer.
I don’t know all the details, but the fascinating thing about Learoyd’s work is that there is no camera involved. It’s basically a pinhole camera, with him in one room, and the model in the other, and he tapes “positive paper” to the wall. No camera, no negative — the paper is sent straight to the lab, and every image is a 1/1 original. Same thing with much of Adam Fuss’ work; most of his are photograms — no camera involved. Same is true for Morell’s work — he rents a hotel room across the street from a famous scene, and then blacks out the room, and then turns the hotel room into a giant pinhole camera! Stunning work from all these men mentioned.