Tag Archives: photography
Manifesto for a film.
Long time ago, in A.D. 1839, someone reassured the category of the painters with a minimal affermation:
Photography has everything but the colour.
It was the time of Daguerre and Talbot. Painters were scared to be downgraded by photographers.
After 70 years, a couple of french brothers called Lumière made the Autochrome process up, let the whole world cringe.
Everything that was considered known in the culture of Images before that day, it would never been the same after.
Now, I’m a bit outdated. I wish I could still use the typewriter, send a postcard, drink gin in a teacup, wear wide-bremmed woven hat, take pictures with films without appearing old fogey, or even worst a hipster. I’m doing all those things, indeed.
I don’t think modernity is all bad. I consider it my duty to decide to not use modernity for everything.
Film is not dead. Did you notice that?
I found my Coronet in a carboot sales in Battersea, in the out-of-the-way south of London.
Round the corner of a ex council building misfits sell what they don’t want anymore.
Everytime I go there I want to buy everything.
The Coronet Twelve – 20 was a pseudo TLR made by the Coronet Company in Birmingham, UK, c. 1950. A box with a metal frame and sides. Nothing special.
Surprise, it makes pictures! And it’s real, it’s not a plastic coloured something (thanks anyway Lomography to bring the films in vogue, in a way).
Don’t you find a similar taste in your hipstamatic pictures? Faded, blurred, dirty and rough.
Don’t you find uncanny using an application to take pictures instead of experiencing the anxious wait of developing a film?
With a hipstamatic it’s easier, I agree. But life is not easy and I reckon we’re loosing the heart of doing things. It really takes some cheek to be still alive, in this world. Everything is accessible. Standard behaviour in this apparently democratic society.
Eventually we are all the same.
Well, sometimes we have the choice to not be the same.
I’m still using films because there are still available, because the quality is unreachable with digital.
Because photography is such an old story about developments and chemistry and scratches, and waiting and feelings and battles, and broken frames, why should I loose the right to have all of them?
You can still use your hipstamatic to take pictures of your dog. But doesn’t make you a photographer.
It makes you a new image culture merciless supporter that is adding up to the photography a different and overshot immediate taste.
Well, I’m not a hipster, I’m not a digital supporter, I’m a not to matter photographer that can use a broken old metal box with a Kodak Portra 400 to take the picture of a sick sweety straycat, and after days discovering that the lovely cat looks like the devil.
The Down By Law analogue studio blog
Photographic experiments, coarse grain, Do it youself tips and the discovery of a city.
This is a public service announcement with camera
Punk bands didn’t really know how to play, nevertheless they were just doing it. They didn’t care about perfect tuning or perfect instrument.
Ba-ba-banana, this ain’t Havana
Punks were misfits with wrong outfits
I am an orgasm addict
Punks took the Do It Yourself to the extremes, using it to get back the productive process, from the recording to the instrument construction to the distribution.
It’s purple psychology, Not just an old lady’s.
Punks claimed the lens of subjectivity is the only way to see the world,
I did it my way
Punks were not tryin to give a lesson
Livin in a jungle it ain’t so hard, living in a city, it will eat out, eat out your hearth
Punks couldn’t care less
Listen to this, run
Punks were often lonesome wanderers of run-down areas
Yeah, Yeah, Industrial Estate and the crap in the air will fuck up your face
Punks thought that doin it was better than talk about it. Go out and get it.
I don’t know what I want but I know how to get it
from “Photography: an allegoric manifesto”
Pictures scanned, check. Website on, check. Images uploaded, check. Ok and now rip it up and start again. Yes, when you start a trip with an idea, usually you end up with something else, we’re not here to respect the schedule. This project is a trip, where you get lost in places you wouldn’t want to be, where behind the corner there’s some unexpected beauty, where you find the way out from the maze.
The first idea was to make pictures about the London area to be redeveloped for the 2012 olympics, showing how the image that this city try (successfully I guess) to cast to the world through the media is different from the real life. We were tryin to dig under the weight of thousands of thousands postcards and stereotypes, the Queen’s yellows outfits, the tea time, the London eye, the O2 dome, Regent and Oxford street, artificial stages, olympic cathedrals in the desert (why the Stratford park appear as a blank space on the London map ?) all mixed in a pre-recorded tape for tourism and customer’s consumption. We are tryin to see what’s under the curtain of stale images about Camden town, Portobello road, the swinging 60s, 1o Downing street and all the London’s modern mythology and cliches.
Then we had a selection of fiftish pictures, with a beginning and an end, showing a thesis in a documentary kind of style. A complete sequence, organic and nice. And then we realized that London as we see it is not like this, doesn’t have a defined beginning and an end, and try to attach them in a story-like frame was like the kind of media mystification of reality : from an infinite reality extract a couple of things you think are important to build up a story and support one or another point of view. Fallen Empire is still about the Olympics, just because it’s about here and now in London, and the olympic’s madness is an unavoidable part of the city. We’ve switched from an inductive to a deductive way of seeing: instead of going around knowing already what to look for, we were examining what we found without any preconceived idea about how to introduce our city.
Of course the map is not the territory and you can’t show 100% of your perception, but we tried not to sticking to an already written screenplay.
We don’t want a pamphlet, we want a city.
Working with a preconcept idea we were missing lots of the accident and casual encounter that at first sight don’t make sense at all. Now we’re tryin to include them in the wave a city is, like a rollercoaster: up and down. With the new selection (90 pics and counting) we are breaking free from the screenplay. A friend of mine once told about London, “if you are high this city lift you higher, but if you are down on your luck you’re going to scrap the bottom”. There’s space for the beautiful and the dreadful, sometimes in one square mile you can travel through the world and social classes.
This is what people do when they write or shot a book, they’re building a city, and now Fallen Empire is a city, real and imaginary at the same time. I hope in this city you’ll enjoy to get lost.