Films - it's an Organic process. / by Dawn Webb

Way back when I first got handed a digital camera I didn't really understand a whole deal.
Unsure of how the camera processed the image, I knew nothing of Photoshop or the digital darkroom.
I knew nothing other than photography, light and manual camera settings and how to light meter with a handheld Sekonic device.

So I was handed a Nikon D100 - my first introduction to digital photography, wow you can actually see your image on the camera screen.
The years went by, you learn more but something always felt missing and I guess I missed the organic process of film.

That feeling from returning from a days shooting with a roll of 35mm HP5, you would cherish it with your life, you would mother it almost like delivering a baby into the world....that film would go on a journey with you. Developers,Fixers, Patterson tanks, film reels, the darkroom, the smell, the agitation of the patterson tank, the fixer, the tick of the stop watch, that red light, the wash sink, the smell of the drying cabinet, the magnifying glass, the lightbox - it's all organic, it's a living process....and we haven't reached the print process yet!

Digital for me brought about one good omission and that was the immediacy, I had my image in an instant and I could tweak it in an instant.  Did it make me a better photographer? NO I don't think it did, I got complacent, I got lazy with exposures, I became greedy with my frame counts...I shot more than I needed - this isn't photography I said, this is "Snapping" and anyone with a digital camera can "Snap".

Photography is in your soul, good photographers are making pictures in their heads before even thinking about picking up the camera - the visualisation happens in our minds eye, I see light, shadow, form and texture on every surface I set my eyes on and it is like a form of disease...itching at my very core 24 hours a day.  I enjoy making images in my mind, often saving for them for when I do have my camera to hand.

This is an image from that very first D100 digital camera that was handed to me back in 2000 ok I have made it look like how I would of interpreted my film image to look, print how I would in the darkroom ........but content and subject and came from my soul, his face, his gaze, his thoughts are all here film or digital I am glad i had my camera that day in Covent Garden, London.

No Organic process took place in the making of this image..