About this Blog

Photo Writing is the web version of the Photo Writing mini-magazine produced by Limephoto and Emil von Maltitz since 2010. As of 2015 it is now completely online. Feel free to browse through the articles and please leave comments in the comments section if you would like to engage with us.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Love of Film

 I check the thermometer once more before noting the time on my phone's stopwatch and inverting the Paterson tank, followed by the usual tap-tapping of its base against the kitchen counter. I'm doing this so that air bubbles don't get trapped between the loosely wound celluloid film, leaving pockets that don't get enough of the silver dissolving chemicals that are sloshing around inside the light-tight tank. Fourteen minutes is up and I pour out the now blackened (dark from dissolved silver crystals) developer before adding the hypo solution we call fixer to the tank. This will then 'fix' the light sensitive silver halide crystals that remain on the film, ensuring that when I finally remove the film from the tank, the images won't immediately fade into a splodgy darkness. Five minutes later, unable to contain my excitement, I check the wet film against the light to see the faces and places I have captured shining back at me in inverse tones (it's always been like this, that sense of excitement and trepidation after developing a roll of film). Then, being responsible, I return the film reel back to the tank for a thorough wash.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Using Guided Transform in Lightroom

A few updates ago Adobe went and added one of their more useful updates to Lightroom CC. Often I am very critical of the way they update their apps, but the addition of the 'Guided' transform in the Transform panel is a genuinely useful tool that speeds up adjustments to architectural images. Essentially what it does is add the ‘Distort’ feature from Photoshop’s Free Transform to Lightroom while simultaneously making it slightly simpler or more intuitive to use.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Seeing the World in Slow Time

Several years ago (okay possibly, more than several - more like a decade) I came across an article by the Canadian nature photographer Darwin Wigget entitled ‘Painting With Time’ (I tried to track the article down but it seems to have been converted into an ebook so is no longer freely available). I had always been interested in long exposure photography, but the images that Darwin Wigget posted were mesmerizing. From then I found myself increasingly trying to slow the world down in a single frame so that a dimension of time played out in the image. Rather than a frozen moment in time - Cartier Bresson’s ‘decisive moment’ - a period of time could be seen in an instant. In some ways it’s seemed to invert the way we look at photographs. Rather than a single moment gazed upon for longer than the image took to capture, now we would look at the image for a shorter period of time than it took to create (well in a way; we always hope that our images resonate and that people gaze at them for ages, and if we are extraordinarily lucky they do).

Monday, January 9, 2017

The Image Divorced From Context

Usually at the end of every year we have a series of images paraded before us that are supposedly ‘the images of the year’. If the publication nominating them is a journalistic enterprise, we tend to see images that convey some of the more newsworthy events of the year. Other’s such as National Geographic pull from the images that were created for their stories, but tend to be nominated along lines of photographic prowess. Admittedly I am prone to an introspective cynicism at the start of the year, but found myself rather depressed at this year’s crop of images. Not because they weren’t good. No, in fact the imagery is brilliant. Rather, it is because of the response to the imagery that my usual levels of cynicism were bested.