In this age of everything digital, why bother with the hassles of film photography especially with large clunky cameras fitted with 100-year-old lenses? Or with simple cameras with less-than-perfect optics? Or with pinhole cameras with no lens at all? A fair question to which there are many possible responses. The most general perhaps is that the production of images the 'old-fashioned way' involves an artist's eye, a craftsman's hand, a wizard's alchemy, and the whims of Lady Fortuna. And patience, lots of patience that trains one to slow down to look, to think, and to act with a deliberation that reacquaints one's mind with one's body. The result marries art and science tinged with the magical in ways that digital wizardy (of which I am also a fan) often falls short.
All of the images at Figal Foto were crafted from large format (4x5 sheet), medium format (120 rollfilm of various dimensions), and 35mm film exposed to light anywhere through a variety of vintage cameras, old lenses, and homemade pinholes. Most are black and white taken with old-style and modern emulsions, which I process at home with a range of classic, contemporary, and self-concocted developers. Many are experiments in trying to recreate photographic conditions of a by-gone era. The color images are processed by a pro lab. While I sometimes do darkroom prints with an enlarger and photo paper, negatives are typically scanned and touched up with software to post online and to make inkjet prints. High-quality prints for exhibits and purchase are done through professional printers.
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