Given that this is the first day I’ve posted to this blog, I’m probably being quite optimistic asking questions of my readership. But that’s what I’m going to do. (If you happen to be my readership, please expand by telling all your photofriends how scintillating it is.)
I was recently on a panel at Critical Animals in Newcastle discussing the meaning of photographic representation in this digital age. My focus was on the toy camera aesthetic, which is what I preferentially work in. Very briefly, I postulated that the toy camera image may be many things, but one of them is an apparently quite marketable emphasis on nostalgia. One way of looking at the meaning of photography is focusing on the way it “links” us to a subject, place or person that is always in the past. From the moment the film is exposed, we’re locked out. The light leaks and vignettes of toy cameras lock us out further, putting a visible barrier between us and the event. I think the texturing that many people engage in does the same thing.
I don’t texture.
I do let the light get at my rolls of film though. And use dodgy processing and leave the dust and fingerprints on when I scan.
So OK, I guess I do texture.
Today, I took my kids to Kinka Beach, an amazing place where the tide goes out for kilometer or two. This was the first place I lived as an independent adult. I wasn’t there for long, but it meant a lot. I love the place, but there’s something poignant about visiting it.
I like the photo above, which is called Kinka: low tide. What I like about it is the texture, the contrast, the starkness and openness. It doesn’t have the emotional pull that someone else’s photo of Kinka would have (and has had) on me. I think it is because I’m caught up in the crafting of the photography, and this gets in the way of my receiving the “never again” message at the heart of photography (well, one way of looking at it.)
So, as an exercise, I thought I’d texture.
(If you’re interested, I’ll mention the technique at the end)
So what do you think? Does the result below evoke more of a feeling of nostalgia or passed time? I’m really interested in hearing your comments.
The recipe for the above: