Friday, 24 September 2010

Wondrous Resurgence of Analogue?

I am a total magazine freak. Right now there is a pile of mags next to me that extends from the floor to the arm of the couch, with titles that cover everything from photography to biking to fashion and tractors (kidding - pay attention at the back). Now and again I dip in to read a snippet but usually to look at images. The Pile, as it has become known in the Waugh household, also doubles as a convenient tea/coffee cup rest whenever someone is nice enough to boil a kettle ;-) And when I am not sitting next to The Pile I am probably in a newsagent looking at new magazines. So it was that, after flicking the pages, I bought two magazines that piqued my interest immediately. Having the words 'Photo Special' or 'Photo Annual' on the cover is usually all it takes. The Surfer's Path did it with the headline: 'The wondrous resurgence of analogue surf photography in the digital age'.  To use surfer parlance, I get super stoked scanning and pondering the amazing images of these globe trotting athletes doing their thing in the big waves. The colours and action are almost unbeatable, and the lifestyle and candid photography takes some beating too. If I look anywhere for inspiration it is here. I don't think there is a similar resurgence of film in cycling photography, but some of the passages in the magazine, the word 'surfer' could be replaced with 'biker' or surf photographer with bike photographer. For example:
"They were an essential, integral part of the 'scene', travelling with the pro circus as the all-important iimage-makers , a group of well known and well-loved shutter monkeys happily nuzzling on the teet of the industry."
I found that like some of the old and new school surf photographers, I had turned to shooting film some of the time to produce a different effect from what is expected. We shoot the majority of peak action and lifestyle on pixels but go analogue for various reasons. I know with me it for the sheer enjoyment of the medium, for the unexpected and the excitement that goes with it. And (here comes the latent geek confession) because I love film cameras. My Nikon D300s comes nowhere near my Hasselblad 501CM as a design classic. A genuine thing of beauty. Although the latest release from Fuji could seriously change that.
I found myself in agreement with paragraphs such as: "But there are moments of beauty and drama in every surfer's (biker's) daily reality. These are moments captured in a glance. The gray-scale mornings, the boards (bikes) at rest before the paddle (ride) out........ " Now the sweeling ranks of surf photographers have turned to analogue equipment and individually purposed composition in order to access this difference in vision..."
I really soaked up the features in this magazine. Whether you shoot or even like surfing or not, as a photographer it is worth looking at. Unfortunately I couldn't find the articles on the mag's website 
Shame really, but you could do worse than look at the websites of guys like David Pu'u or Jack Brull

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