Exhibition Story

Written by Alan Falzon

In today’s digital environment, analogue photography is converted into digital files to be consumed through electronic devices and immediately shared over multiple social media sites.

The immediacy and amount of images shared online raises questions not only about our social interactions but even more so on how photography is used; when the choice of shared images is based on the number of likes and social approval to be gained rather than to share the photographic experience.

Too many posted images are of poor photographic technique, with added ‘artistic editing’ to compensate. It is true that as an art form, technical proficiency in photography is not vital but complimenting a photograph with a good story will give a greater sense of fulfilment than any editing could.

Social media platforms offer numerous options in which to share; therefore, very few analogue photographers experience the artistic insight of handling a darkroom print of their work. In a traditional analogue setting, the photographer would go through a long process of choices and decisions before arriving at a final shareable print.

Critiquing one’s work is not easy. Still, when considering the time and financial costs involved, only the distinguished photographs are printed. Choosing which image to print involves a substantial amount of reflection. The available enlarger, lens and especially darkroom space dictate a chunk of options. Print size affects the relationship between itself and the viewer. Grain, contrast and tones vary according to the choice of paper which comes in a warm, neutral or cool tone with surfaces that are gloss, pearl, satin or matt and smooth or textured. All these choices are further determined by preferred chemicals and printing process.

A few hours are generally needed for the fun part of printing. When done, this needs to be washed in water for almost an hour then  air-dried for nearly a day followed by flattening under heavy objects for a few more days.

Finally, and only if the photographer is happy with the print, it can be photographed with a digital camera/smartphone to be shared on social sites. This process, although tedious, is a journey where the photographer is in control, where an intimate bond is formed with the reasons for the photograph, materials and process to arrive at a final print, which is something unique. The personal satisfaction of having a photographic journey; this cannot be matched by likes.

“Art, as an art, must by its very nature, be self-indulgent. The inherent element in all artistic projects should not be one of contemporary mass appeal but rather one of personal symbolism.” Rodney Trotter

Artist Biography         Artists Statement

Venue

Splendid

17th till 31st January

Straight Street

Valletta

Technical Information

Analogue photography has some complex technical jargon, learn what they mean.

Read more…

Alan Falzon, The Printer

Valletta based photographer and silver gelatine  printer  Alan Falzon.

Read more…

Film Photography Workshops

Learn the difference in films and their iso. Understand exposure and how to use older light meters or modern light meter apps. Use aperture, shutter speeds and composition.

Read more…

[social-media items_align=”center”]