TAKE 5: #1 – Stephen Crowfoot

Stephen Crowfoot Peter Crowfoot
Stephen Crowfoot

“TAKE FIVE” is an oppurtunity for Blanco Negro to feature friends & clients who still shoot film, but more importanly, still PRINT their films.

I have asked each photographer a few questions about the how's & why's and for a little bit of background. I hope you enjoy their words and pictures.

 

#1 STEPHEN CROWFOOT  – Merely observant, sometimes lucky”

 

In the beginning;

 [A damn long time ago!] I bought my first camera with money earned by selling newspapers after school from the local Chemist who also processed and printed my attempts!

I became the family photographer, all the usual events, Xmas, Holidays, birthdays etc.,

First important contact was with Robert McFarlane at a School run by Marcell Siedler,[Harry Siedlers brother]

I also became a “steam locomotive “head” & chased steam trains every where & even wanted to be a driver! Thankfully my eyesight put me out of the running.

Went to the UK & Europe for ten years, worked as a builders labourer, worked in commercial darkrooms, went cycle touring through Portugal, Spain, Greece, Crete, Ireland.

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Spent some time in Norway & Denmark.

Came across Creative Camera magazine from the UK, first edted by Colin Osman then Bill Jay.

US camera mags, featuring the writings of David Vestal, [photographys 'Grumpy old man']

Influences;

Many & varied,

Films, books, painters, music and photographers.

The usual run of suspects, HCB, Martin Parr,Fay Godwin, Sally Mann, Ian Dodd, Peter Elliston, Peter Dombrovskis, Max Pam, Robert Adams, Thomas Joshua Cooper, Edward Weston, etc., etc.,! Landscape photographers, Documentary photographers.

Formats/Cameras;

Everything from 1/2 frame 35mm format film cameras to 5×4 pinhole cameras including the plastic lens cameras!

Bought and sometimes sold to pay the rent!

Different tools to best suit the subject, i.e., “horses for courses” approach.

Still using film;

Film has its' own unique “look” and a texture and depth that I love.

After many decades of photographing using film I am confidently comfortable with the process.

I feel I have barely scratched the surface when it comes to exploring and experimenting with the expressive potential of film .

It is still a delight to pull a print from the dev! after the tedium of processing the negs! and making the necessary contact sheet.

Darkroom prints are a hand made article, offering a 'unique work of art'.

Traditional photography offers a camera original which can be printed with analogue materials or hybridised using digital printing methods.

These skills need to be kept alive to offer an alternative method of printmaking to the digital era, so much so that there is a serious resurgence of interest in the “alternative” processes of image capture and print making.

Quote; “Old photographers never die, they just fade away!”