Thursday, December 15, 2016

D I G I T A L ? ! ? !

The past few months I've been debating with myself about whether or not I should begin to include digital photography in A Fistful of Brass. Shocked? Believe me, a year ago I would have scoffed at the very idea. I used to hate digital; to me it wasn't real photography (or at least real ART photography). However, during my first semester here in graduate art school at UNO, I began to see how using digital technologies could enhance my artistic vision. I started to scan and edit my negatives in Photoshop and Lightroom. I learned how to use my school's massive Epson printer and made my own inkjet prints for the first time. At my final critique of the semester, I even showed a series of prints I shot completely digitally on my Nikon Df.

I still believe printing in the darkroom from a negative takes more skill, and is much more satisfying when you are able to create a successful photograph. But I'll be totally honest when I say it's almost always a complete pain in the ass. The hours of failed attempts at producing satisfactory grey tones and contrast. The chemical stains on my clothes and fixer stank on my fingers. The endless dust, scratches, and water-marks on my negatives. IT ALL DRIVES ME FUCKING INSANE!

Sorry. I apologize for that outburst.

I don't plan on giving up on film. Not by a long shot. As crazy as it makes me sometimes, film photography is my passion. However, I have begun and will continue to make serious digital work. After many sleepless nights, I have also decided to display these digital photographs here, on A Fistful of Brass (hence the subtle subtitle change in the banner above). I love how with digital I can just focus on creating the image, and not have to worry about all the technical nightmares that come with shooting film. Digital photography is also a hell of a lot cheaper than film; once you buy the camera, it's essentially free until you decide to make a print. At any rate, in a strange way, it's brought me back to the basics of photography.

The basics of photography, light and time, are what I focused on for my new body of digital work. I have a lot more to say about it, but I'll save that for later. I feel like I've rambled on enough for one post. All I'll say for now is that it's a beginning of a new ongoing series. All of these images below were created with my Nikon Df and 50mm f/1.4 D lens. The physical prints for my critique were 18"x12". I plan on continuing to shoot this series digitally, but I have also shot a few rolls of medium format that I plan on making darkroom prints from in the near future. Thanks for reading!