160804 Exit - matthew piers robertson • photography writing creative toronto

Every exit is an entrance somewhere else.

And it doesn't matter that this photo was taken in infrared. It does make a difference to me that it was taken in monochrome. There was no real colour to begin with, so it's not that I was making a bold statement or daring creative choice, but I'm glad that the extraneous information was stripped out very early in the process.

For almost a year now I've been following a thread of keeping things straightforward and photographing only what I see. That also isn't a bold statement, since I've always been far more of a reductive editor than a creative imaginer. But what I have found is that by changing what my camera records I start to see what I see differently. In black and white I see tones more, and with an infrared camera I see the materials themselves, and am starting to have an idea of how they will render in an invisible part of the spectrum. That's not something I anticipated.

With that reversal of effect and cause I'm really seeing the appeal of monochrome-converted cameras; perhaps there will be a digital one of those in my future. For now it's more realistic and much cheaper to simply convert my film cameras instead.

I already have a lonely roll of Tri-X in the freezer. A gift from Kodak – okay, a free sample – so maybe it's finally time to use it.


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