Sunday, 13 July 2008


I look through the album looking at the photos in my collection. It has been painstakingly built up over years, the images pressed lightly against th gum of the page, protected by a thin film of plastic, and carefully catalogued into the correct sections. Some of them are whole while others are missing corners, or have holes cut into them to remove key elements; a particular pattern of wood or stone, a person's head, the paw of a cat. Many of the photos I have taken and developed with my own hands but others I've sought out and purchased, occasionaly at great expense, in order to extend my collection.

They have to be real photos, developed from the original negative, or polaroids work well. Maybe even better, with little inhibition caused by the repetition of the original event. Digital does not really work at all. Some think that this is because of the resolution of the camera and some still try to use the latest cameras in an effort to experiment and free themselves from the purity, and difficulties, of film. I do not believe this can be done. The capture of a digital image is too transitory, the mechanism for absorbing the image is diluted by all the other images that have passed through it. Maybe the first photo a digital camera takes has power but after that there is nothing left. No essence, no magic.

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