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Sunday, August 30

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MAXXI, Rome's Museum of XXI Century Arts by Helene Binet

Here's an interesting interview with an architecture photographer who refuses to use digital cameras, shooting all her commissioned work on film.

Helene Binet photographs some of the most iconic buildings in the world on her 5x4 Arca Swiss camera. She says she finds that digital photographs of buildings can be "disturbing", sometimes looking more like computer renderings than photographs.

The Swiss-French photographer said, "There's something more absolute in analogue than in digital, because the digital you can go back to it and you can modify it. Even if you make as little modification as possible you still have a different relationship with what you are doing in that moment.

"I'm more interested in limitations. So if something is a bit strange, a bit rough, you work with that. You're not thinking, 'I'm going to take it away'. The film is a real testimony, and you're using the difficulty to make a good image.

"I've always worked with film. I've never done anything professionally with digital. This is the way I work. I like to handle things with my hands – to print and to have a physical relation to the product I make."

The interview is in Dezeen magazine, a "showcase of architecture, design and interior projects from around the world" - and a publication that seems to know little about film photography. If you read the first half dozen comments you'll see that the article writer originally thought Helene used a dark cloth with her Arca Swiss to "protect the film from overexposure". You couldn't make it up. They seem to have corrected that one - just as well! You can read the article here.


Photo Utopia said...

Thanks for posting that very interesting article, especially for one who is re-acquainting himself with 4x5.
The photographer has a very thoughtful approach to her work and seems to have got the idea of differentiating herself from the crowd of 'me too' perfect images that now pervade architectural photography(and other fields).

The comments were idiotic in places, but par for the course; the 'I stopped using film when my local camera shop stopped selling 35mm' was particularly irksome when aimed at a pro using LF.
These film guys just don't get it! don't hey know it all ends up digital when viewed on the screen!--sheesh what a dumb comment.

DougH said...

The article including interview and comments were very interesting.

I especially like her attitude as in viewing photography as a performance. "You have to give the best of yourself in one particular moment. So you're extremely concentrated, you're extremely connected to what you are feeling"