I made a number of 5x4 negatives for the 2015 Magpie Springs Photography competition. This is one image that failed to make the cut, and as it didn't work in colour, I converted this underexposed negative to a black and white image using Silver Efex Pro 2 software.
Though it looks better in black and white, and I've overcoming the over sharpening problem caused by the Epson software, I still have the other problem of blown highlights caused by scanning the negative. However, looking at this image of straight photograhy makes me uneasy and this unease is over and above these technical flaws.
I cant help but feel that straight photography, exemplified by this image, appears as a rather archaic discipline—even in its digital form, let alone the chemical one. There is still the attitude in the art institution that contemporary visual artist's love for the photographic medium is because it is so “simple,” so “non-artsy,” so “direct.” Photography, in this sense, has always been an important counterpart to modern art, The corollary of this is that straight photography has gradually acquired a strange status of something not completely artistic and yet highly artistic.
Read more »