I have been into photography for quite a long time. I started on black and white film in High School though I put it down for quite a long while as I pursued college. In adulthood I got back into it when I purchased my first Digital SLR but grew tired of the process. It felt soulless, sloppy, and too detached. I am not here to stir the great film vs digital debate – modern Digital SLRs are feats of engineering and there are a number of photographers that take wonderful images with them! I just get a lot more enjoyment in crafting analog photographs and like the end product better.
Thus, I have chosen to pursue a largely if not exclusively analog approach. While I tend to prefer black and white, I do shoot color as well. It has connected me to the process, to the scene, to the person, and to the print so much more. It requires me to pre-visualize and work to get the shot right when I take it rather than trying to fix it in post. I also take fewer photos, and I think this is a good thing! I tend to shoot 35mm all the way up to 4x5" large format, preferring the latter whenever I am able.
With black and white I enjoy making handmade prints in the darkroom. Every print is slightly different as a result and it produces a beautiful and rather unique look.
The resulting style may not appeal to everyone but it is one I greatly enjoy!
So why Bit By Bit then? It has a double meaning – it is both an irony that I shoot on film (rather than with bits using digital) but also describes how I like to approach a scene, be it a landscape, a person, architecture, etc. I like to put a lot of thought into an image before I take it. And in the case of portraiture, a goal of mine is to try and capture the person – who they are – and to try to put that into a photograph – bit by bit.
PHOTO: Me composing a shot of a waterfall in Oregon with one of my 4x5 cameras (the Intrepid MK2).