This photograph took some effort. The church is almost abandoned, lying about five miles west of Rugby, North Dakota. The problem was that the altar and its furniture was not quite square, so I moved the furniture to find symmetry around the figure of Jesus. Whereas I find asymmetry often pleasing, something that is supposed to be symmetrical but is a shade out gnaws at me at little.
Last year I went to North Dakota USA, courtesy of Tillman Crane, to photograph abandoned farms. I had seen some wonderful photographs on the internet in all styles: digital and colour film, photo-gravure, straight monochrome prints, and of course Tillman’s own beautiful platinum/palladium prints. I first heard about Tillman through chatting with André Goulancourt at the Inversnaid Photographic Centre in Scotland in about 1998, now sadly closed. So it was great to actually meet him after all this time.
This blog is about my efforts at learning film photography and silver halide/alternative printing.
Two steps forward, then one step back. Or is it one step forward, then two steps back?
For me, film photography and darkroom skills are two sides of the same coin, inseparable. Taking a picture fashions the options that you have in the darkroom. Printing a photograph tells you how you could have done better when taking that photograph. I could not do one without the other.
In fact, my time in the darkroom drives my black and white film photography. I would not consider digital photography or even film photography where I could not print my own pictures. They would not be mine.