I always considered myself a child of the digital age: My dad first had a desktop computer when I was 9 years old in 1991 with a very slow, weird kind of internet connection (anyone remember Netscape?). I had a Game Boy when it came out in 1989, I had one of the first Sony Discman players and I used my first Macintosh computer in school in 1993.
This continues to this day: I have all the gadgets, smart phone tablet, smart watch, laptop, desktop, the works. It’s crazy to think that just 20 years ago this was all very, very far away and today it is all normal. I always found technology fascinating and love to see the magic these devices can produce.
I am a photographer and of course I have an advanced digital camera (two actually).
It is very fast, produces photos immediately for me to review or discard as I wish. You stop to think about your process and what it actually means to create a photo. Most of the creative part tends to take place in another advanced tool: Photoshop. Photoshop is essentially the same as an old school darkroom, just on your computer. You’d be surprised how similar the terminology is from dodging and burning to cropping.
At some point, I started shooting on film. Like many photographers who shoot digitally, everybody ends up at least dabbling in film photography a bit.
I am no exception to that but I think I have taken this a bit further now… I ended up getting addicted to film photography. The process of using a vintage film camera (of which I have many now as some of the tend to be cheap to acquire) and seeing the images magically appear when you develop the film with the right mix of temperature, time and the right amount of chemicals. It is a process that feels almost ancient in an ever faster paced and digital world. Yet, the magic of it is undeniable. To me at least.
Following the whole process from capturing the image on film, processing the film yourself and then printing the final image in the darkroom is exhilarating to me and made me realise that photography is so much more than just pressing the shutter button and uploading the result to Instagram.
It is art. It is magic.
If you are interested to check out my work, please visit my homepage http://www.benbeerphoto.co.uk