Why I shoot film and not instagram!

This post is not only a response to Olly Lang over at: http://oggsie.com/blog/13502036/digital-curation but something I have been thinking about since the influx of mobile photography and instagram.

Olly is a great photographer who is the co-founder of the Australian Mobile photography group, together with Misho Baranovic, who are strong advocates for Mobile Photography and sharing. Olly has written an interesting article that I agree with on pretty much every point. It is exciting in this digital age with the ability  to reach a larger audience than ever. I just want to expand on this point and share some of my thoughts.

“3. Digital creation has advanced enough that the reach of digitalised art is only bound by the limitations of digital curation (and the resulting consumption).”
I think this is the major problem I personally have. There are huge limitations in the consumption of this new media. I really don’t want people looking at my images on a 3.5in screen. Some people are ok with it but everyone has their own ideas or voice to share. Output is important and adds to the concept of the project. Looking at your work as it evolves and noticing ideas and concepts is also important but we need to make sure that the instant gratification of seeing “likes” on images do not skew the future decisions for the project as it can often lead to a popularity contest.

For example, people ask me why I shoot film and I explain that for this particular project, film adds to the concept. I believe that people who migrate and settle in Australia, no matter how hard they try to hold onto their culture, within 2 or 3 generations it will be completely gone except for some devoted few whose goal it is to keep the culture alive. Sound familiar? Just like film. I do have issues with globalisation and the loss of culture but I won’t get into that now… So it is important for me to photograph this in film, not only because I love the process but to add to the eventual feeling of the finished product, playing on ideas of nostalgia and clinging onto the past.

I’ve never been into popular culture so I guess it’s not about appealing to the masses but striving to create a body of work that I find important, something which defines me so my grandkids can pick up a photobook of mine and get an insight into who I was. I’m nowhere near that goal but something I have started working on. For me, it is very important to work in projects, in particular long term projects. I don’t think we can make blanket statements either. We are all photographers who take photos of what we find interesting. Now I guess it depends on what you want to get out of photography but I truly believe that if we want to capture an intelligent audience who respects and understands our work, it needs to be personal or have some idea or concept behind the work that means something to you. Rewarding the viewer for looking deeper into your work discovering something about not only the photographer and the subject matter but also discovering something about themselves! I find mobile viewing is very limited in its display of projects as a whole but it will get there.

Ironically I just typed all this and updated the blog from my phone.

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