Photography is a good way to counterbalance the long work on drawings and paintings. Also, at first sight, photo’s are momentary images taken from “outside” reality, whilst drawings and painting come from imagination and memory‘s interpretations.
During the late seventies I became interested in photography. Because colour was too expensive and too difficult, I started with black and white film that I developed myself in an improvised darkroom. I learned a lot about local greys and steepness of greyscales, and these insights helped me make better drawings. A good example of cross-fertilisation indeed! I also considered photography as a very quick kind of sketchbook and memory-aid, although I seldom used them because I usually forgot why that sketch-subject had fascinated me so much in the first place.
I also took slides (transparancies) and colour negatives, and these had to be developed by a laboratory. No result on paper ever really gave me what I wanted. Later on, I could scan slides and negatives and use my digital darkroom application to make them better, but it just didn’t inspire me, and I felt bored.
In 2004 I bought a digital camera. It didn’t really change my point of view. The big advantage was that I didn’t have to calculate anymore how many slides I was allowed (financially) to take on this or that subject so as not be without film the next day or week. But I kept the good habit of trying to make every shot the best one I could. But quality-wise? Not much of a progress. Too meagre, and as good as never what I had wanted to shoot. I must add I shot jpg’s, which do not have much tweaking space.
September 2007 was a turning point. I went to Bretagne for an exhibition and started shooting in raw format. These raw files can really be “developed” in a digital darkroom inside my computer. The possibilities are as good as endless. To the joy of shooting, I was able to add creativity and suddenly photography became a real artistic expression in itself . Which is why I find it deserves its own set of galleries here.