It’s safe to say that I’m a product of the digital age. While I was not born in a country where computers were available to me from early childhood, I can still remember using photoshop 2.0 (no layers) and early 3D software (infini-D, Strata Studio “pro”) on a 25mhz Macintosh shortly after we moved to Canada. I treat digital tools just like my parents generation treats pen and paper. Despite all that it’s very easy to forget how simple the things digital technology aims to demistify really are. Photography at it’s core is a natural phenomenon, a simple opening in a box that lets in light from the world and focuses it on whatever surface is in it’s way.
In spite of digital technology’s influence on photography, the basic principles remain the same since the first rival processes for “fixing the shadows” were discovered by Henry Fox Talbot and Louis Daguerre. While digital technology brought unprecedented control over exposure and the final image, it has clouded the simple roots photography stems from.
The images below were shot with my wooden Ebony 4×5 camera. Handcrafted in Japan, it uses no batteries, no presets, has no flower and mountain icons and it has never heard of auto focus. It’s only a shutter, a lens opening and a light sensitive sheet of film that brings everything together. When compared to a modern point and shoot, it really is so simple.