Photography, in my experience, has a habit of following a similar path with many patrons of the art. Specifically, since the rise of digital, there’s the stage of shock and awe that we would’ve abandoned film; then there’s the obsessive stage where focus tends to linger on the absolute clarity and resolution that digital brought to the table and all the technical advancement in tow.
Then, almost as if full circle, when the technicalities have been observed, and the arms race of gear obsessiveness loses its lustre, many begin to look back in film’s direction. It took more time, more thought, more preparation, less instant gratification, more frustration and heartache sometimes, but still the rewards could bring tears to your eyes, especially if you’d be developing yourself.
Well, not everyone left, and some really still treat it as a romance. Photographer Lúis Plácido is one of them, and watching him shoot a simple portrait with his large format camera using 8×10” Kodak Tri-X pro film, then developing it, really is a glimpse into the romance of film photography.
It’s such a process to develop film, and moving around with an enormous large format camera just adds so much to that. It’s not even like using an SLR where you can see the image right side up, as there is no mirror, so it is more technical right away. Then he gives us a glimpse of ‘real’ dodging and burning, a process that used to drive me into my own padded cell.
But what he really did was make me want to clear my schedule for the weekend, shoot, and be alone, in a dark room, listening to music, letting all else fall away. If you’ve never done that, do it. Don’t know where to go? Try contacting your local university or college to see if they may allow you to audit a photography class which would likely grant you access to their dark room, or even use their dark room without auditing the class.
For more from Lúis Plácido please do see his site.
Source: The Phoblographer