As time marches forward into the digital age, there are many artists who choose to hold onto the past. Some writers refuse the latest technology in favor of a typewriter. A few musicians prefer to record only in studios that don’t have the latest sound-correcting technology. And many visual artists choose to use tools and materials that have been passed up for the newest thing.
Photography is one art form that artists aren’t ready to change just yet. In this age of selfies and Photoshop, everyone is a photographer. We all carry a phone with photo capabilities in our pocket, ready to capture any important (or inane) moment that might arise. And then we can edit those photos as we see fit through apps or graphics programs. No experience is needed to take a fairly good photo. With all of this technology, the photography landscape is changing…and fast.
But then there are those artists who are holding on to the pre-digital days. A close-knit community of photographers swear that there is something deeper and of better quality in analog photography. And while materials are getting scarce, photographers are still flocking to analog classes to learn this nearly-lost art. It is only for the patient – those who need the instant gratification of seeing their photo immediately after it’s taken need not pursue it. But it is often worth the wait.
Many artists are even going beyond just capturing images using analog photography. They are pushing the limits of the medium and materials to find a new way of looking at photography.
Alison Rossiter, for example, works with only extremely old photographic materials. She experiments with light-sensitive photo paper that expired nearly sixty years ago to create her pieces. When she finishes developing a piece, it may look like a graphite drawing or have a mirrored effect from oxidation. Each paper has its own qualities that are not discovered until the chemistry in the dark room takes place, creating something that could never be expected.
And as the world goes buzzing into the future, these artists are doing well to hold onto the past. Let’s let them inspire us to slow down and see just what we are passing by.
The Fine Art Studio of Rotblatt-Amrany is proud to be located in such a great city and to be surrounded by so much talent. View our gallery and see some of the great pieces our studio artists have created.