During my recent trip to India, where I had 9 full days with which to shoot, I shot 23 rolls out of the 44 I had chosen to take. I am usually frugal with my shutter, and try and make my images in as few actuations as possible. I gave myself a little more leeway […]
Jump in for, thoughts, musings, and opinions on traditional/film photography, process, films stocks, gear and technique.
Squaring the circle: Polaroid rises from the ashes of The Impossible Project
A little over 12 years since The Impossible Project’s inception, the company has squared the circle and become the very brand whose products it was created to save.
Why Shoot Film? It’s about where things break down…
As the title says, for me, it’s about where things break down. The beginnings and endings. The edges. There is always a point at which an image breaks down and becomes the mark. Be it a pencil drawing, an oil painting or a photograph. I’ll show you what I mean. We’ll start with an oil […]
36 keepers: Working towards a perfect roll of film in India
One of the things I tried while in India was to set myself a simple challenge: to shoot a “perfect” roll of 36 exposures.
Global film photography survey: Your help needed
At the end of February, I played a little game on social media in the form of a film photography “Never Have I Ever…” For a fun little thing, the….
The Paradox of cluttered contact sheets
Contact sheets are a fantastic resource for film photographers, and can also be used by digital artists – although applying these ideas to a digital workflow can often distort the result (but I’ll come back to this later).
Is black and white photography “real”?
I recently wrote an article about the way I find the film process is an asset to an honest approach to documentary photography. This is a topic I feel quite strongly about, especially in the current media climate where the veracity of many aspects of media reporting, from video to photo to interviews require scrutiny […]
Scanning film: The $20K Imacon 949 vs the $740 Epson Perfection V800
Let me be clear this is not a consumer or technical review, really it is just a bit of fun born out of an opportunity. A few weeks back week I met up with my friend Mark Heaver so that he could give me a large format 4×5″ negative that I had shot using his […]
Natural bedfellows? The symbiotic relationship of Mobile and Film photography
You may have heard: photographic film is a viable business again. Like a river fed by many smaller tributaries, there are a variety of reasons why film is lately resurgent. I would like to suggest that Mobile photography – that is, photography with mobile phones – has and will continue to play a significant role […]
My year on film in 115 photos: A 2019 retrospective or, my not-a-365-project
What follows is my 2019 in film photography, a 365 photography project that was absolutely not a 365 project. In this article, I share the results from 115 of the sheets/rolls of film I shot in 2019. It boils down to over one hundred photographs taken by yours truly, all wrapped up in a couple […]
Embracing winter conditions in my film photography workflow
Winter 2018 was when I really buckled down and took black and white photography seriously, as a response to a few uninspiring grey-feeling colour rolls. I wanted to take command of that grey aesthetic, and quickly went through pushed ILFORD XP2 Super, Delta 3200 Professional, Delta 400 Professional, and even some SFX 200, looking to […]
Where to from here?
We (almost) all put ourselves on display via the many and varied social platforms with our photography, writings, podcasts and whatever else. We do this in the hope of gaining an audience that understands and appreciates our work and when it happens, it feels incredibly great… …but social platforms have all started to implement algorithms […]
A love letter to motion pictures
My grandma would introduce me to her friends as “James the photographer” and I would whisper under my breath “‘I’m a filmmaker, not a photographer” but thinking about it now she was right. Since the age of 12, I have always carried a video camera with me, I quickly became fascinated with recording everything I […]
A Day in the Life: London Street Photography with the Leica M6
This article is part diary, part camera review, part lens review, and part film review, all based around my average day-to-day exploits as a film-based street photographer and photojournalist in London.
Three things Bill Murray can teach you about street photography
A man walks up to a couple at a restaurant, takes one of their french fries right from the table, eats it, looks them directly in the eyes and says: “No one will ever believe you”. That man is Bill Murray. This is just one of the thousands of stories out there that exist about […]
Essay: What happened to ‘Girl Gaze’?
The concept of a ‘gaze’ is not new to photography. In the 1970’s art critics and theorists like John Berger and Laura Mulvey made it their mission to retrace and analyse the history of the dominant gaze found cinema, art, photography. Ultimately, they decided that it was, and had been, a predominantly male one. In […]
Some more of my favourite film photographers
Last year I published a short list of analogue photographers who were valuable (at least to me) in some way; ones who offer either inspiration or education. The response to this was very wholesome, and people in the comments seemed to enjoy both the concept of the list and my selection. I thought it would […]
Film vs digital? It’s a pointless debate: photographing the Northern Lights on both
The debate pitting traditional film vs digital photography and which is superior has been going on over a decade – more than two depending on how you count it. It was as pointless then as it is now, simply because — in my opinion — both see the world differently. Photographic film sees the fluidity […]
Taking a chip off the old creativity block
Writer’s block, creative slow-down, work paralysis – call it what you will but, as people who rely on a steady flow of creative juices to make a living, we will each face creative block at some point. It can manifest in many forms and have many causes, but the terror that comes with creative block […]
Shooting 100-year-old black and white film: Primor B2 Panchromatisch
“Where in god’s name did he find 100-year-old film?”, you might be asking yourself. Well I recently went to Budapest, Hungary for a vacation with some friends. During our stay, we happened to stumble upon a flea market on Gozsdu Udvar, a beautiful little street filled with bars and restaurants. One of the stands caught […]