Alternative Processing

Today was a special day indeed, listen in…

I’ve not done a great measure of grumbling over the last while, but it would only be to spite how hard the last few months have been. This semester of photography school: hells bells. The plate has been full for everyone. And no amount of all night labouring can scratch the scales, the work keeps coming. It has been fast paced and massively technology driven, streamlining our image capture resources, which is why 

-cue circus music (and jugglers)-

we’ve had to get back in the darkroom.

Our module seeks to turn our deft, keystroke fingers to the craft of alternative image making. I feel a bit “Ta-Daa” about it all, its so out of place with the pace of the year. It involved no less than 8 hours standing in the same place, swilling chemical compounds, mincing pigments and teasing out a trace of an image from our sodden papers through our tear welled eyes. If this post was a DVD it would have a huge out-takes section with us slipping on each others prints and falling head first into the wet sinks (that circus music again) Today was a great day for that old familiar feeling of patience.

Alternative processing is a   s  l  o  w  process, it is designed with pain in mind. But when there’s nothing on the cards but patience odd, fun things start to happen. You stop rushing about, music come on, someone opens a bag of bombay mix, you stick meticulously to one print for an hour getting it perfect – its all your favourite things all of a sudden. And i have 3 prints to show. 3 fabulously flawed creatures. Like 3 children of my own, and just like the dream child, one of them is a t-shirt.

Choo Choo, the cyanotrain.

Cross country

East district league cross country today. Out in the hills. And the wind. A ceaseless sky, heavy and low, searching the hilltops. Its vapour working on our every stitch of clothes. A pervasive, backwards dampness. And meanwhile…

Lumbering bodies, the great migration of a some great species. A herd of lycra and numbers. Limbs lank and soaking. The march forward, as in a dream.

Yeah, wrong way Karen.

Breaking Convention 2010

I was asked to shoot Edinburgh’s Breakin’s Convention ’10 this week. A success and a class act at once. I’m not going to lower myself by trying to come over all “street”, but it was really inspiring to see such a tight core of local talent throwing down for hundreds of spectators.

Since I am running up a tab on sports photography at the moment, breaking tied in perfectly. Perfectly in that it was pure challenge. Whirling, addidas limbs. That’s what I saw. I’m a little relieved my camera could slow things down a bit but even still- wild blinding speed! The theatre had a temporary checker floor in for the festival (giant chess style) which was held by local breakers, MC Tony Thrills, a score of awesome DJ’s , beatboxers and a wicked drummer, and if it wasn’t a celebration of looking a bit silly, it was one helluva celebration of youth. Gals and guys from 7+ all got to show their style and got timed in to the beat. Young boys being young boys couldn’t get enough attention, I guess its something we never grow out of.

Brought me back to the old days when i was once hip and with it. And the beauty of break dancing is no matter how much of a cynical, youthless despot you are, you can’t help but be compelled and want to join in! So shake out your tracksuit pantaloons and  commend your accomplices. Wording!