Still Life Studies - The Process:


These photographs start life as a piece of standard, b&w multigrade photographic paper. This is exposed in the camera unit accordingly and is then developed in a darkroom using basic chemicals. Using this negative I contact print the final photograph. There is no editing of the negative or final photograph other than cropping and control of lighting and exposure time. No shading, dodging, touching in, drawing on the reverse or any other manipulation techniques are used. No photoshop. There is no digitisation other than that necessary to record and upload online. The image immediately loses it's true natural light quality when digitised. An average exposure time may be one of 24 hrs when using a 0.1mm lens.

If any of my images came out too sharp I think I would be disappointed!


I endeavour to ‘capture’ the emotionless, minimal essence of the object. Enabling the light, time, space, depth and the enclosed atmosphere immediately surrounding the object to create a simple negative image absorbed into the paper. This negative is then used to create a positive photograph. Movement is also important which may not be immediately apparent in a ’still’ life but must necessarily occur even in miniscule amounts over such long exposure times. Also carefully avoiding any obvious background or external shadowing (proving to be technically quite difficult) which would restrain the object to a time and place. There is a lot of trial and error! There is no interpretation of the object on my part, unlike an artist’s sculpture, painting or drawing or a writer’s description. Objects without context. I merely ‘choose’ the thing, prepare it (as little as possible), photograph it and present it. I wish to have no input other than this. I often feel that the artist’s purpose or perhaps duty is to simply point things out. Even the most banal has an inherent, unforgiving beauty.

 

A boat without water.