Florian Kaps, renowned Polaroid rescuer
In the fast-paced world of digital cameras and social media, analog photographers are a rare breed. Analog or film photography is leaps and bounds more demanding and time-consuming than digital photography. So why practice it at all? Analog photography is precious because not very few people are practicing it these days. Yes, it punishes every single mistake but as soon as you press the shutter, the image tone is set. It is scary yet freeing at the same time. It teaches you to be more mindful of your resources as you do not have unlimited ‘clicks’ at your disposal.
Analog photography teaches you to appreciate the present moment. One can let go of the idea of perfection and just submerge oneself into the creative process. With analog photography, the process just does not end with a ‘click’. Days are spent waiting for the photographs to develop and the bated excitement when the day of revelation finally comes is priceless —as you take a peek into the photographs after days of waiting with bated breath, you feel like a child opening a Christmas present.
Today, we delve deeper into three homegrown analog photography projects and unravel their beauty:
I. An Analog Photo Exploration by Namrata
These analog photo exploration shots are developed by Namrata at the Harkat Studio Labs. It is shot using an Ilford 400, a film particularly useful for unfavorable light conditions. The black-and-white of the Ilford films combined with the white flowing costume and fluid dance movements of the subject lends to the photo series a haunting beauty. The caption, an excerpt from the master horror writer's famous poem, adds to the eerie radiance. One Instagram user compared the model (@nitattvam) to renowned American dancer and choreographer, Isadora Duncan. For some reason, when I first looked at the series the figure of Christine, from Phantom Of The Opera, gliding across a stage sprung to mind.
Find out more about Harkat Studios here.
II. FAIRER PEOPLE = BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE = POWERFUL PEOPLE by Arpan Mukherjee
This analog photo series titled FAIRER PEOPLE = BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE = POWERFUL PEOPLE is by Arpan Mukherjee where he conducted a social experiment and used ‘alternative photography’ to capture the Indian obsession with fairness. He informed the participants that the documentation process involved using iodides & bromides of silver which are not sensitive to red, and yellow but sensitive to blue and UV light. As a result, Indians having more red, and yellow hue skin, will appear darker in the photograph than they actually are.
The photographer explained the wet plate collodion process that he was going to use and asked the participants how they wanted to be photographed. Some of them instantly opted for using instant whitening powder while some did nothing; some even applied Multani mitti. Mukherjee allowed them the freedom to choose how they wanted they wanted to be photographed to look more beautiful. Some even applied an excessive amount of talc to their faces. After that, began a long session where Mukherjee made ambrotype photographs with his 10” X12” wooden plate camera.
You can view the entire photo series here.
III. Twilight Moon by Sarang Sena
The artist intricately shows the process of developing an analog photograph in a dark room. He starts the printmaking process from scratch and walks the audience through it. It is a handcrafted portrait shot with a Kodak camera. The result, after dipping it into the stop bath, is quite remarkable. Blue is the overarching tone of the photograph, which complements the title of the photo project. During twilight, the sun is almost absent from the sky and it is primarily a blue tinge of moonlight that illuminates the landscape. The photograph, with its azure hues and the model (@kxma_) dressed in a fashionable white gown, has a sense of gothic feminine beauty about it.
Find out more about Sarang Sena and his works here.