at a hundred percent

photograph Tim Page

As I work on one of Tim’s files at a hundred percent.. the only size proficient enough to carefully heal the grain and to restore the ‘damage of time’ of the dust and marks to the now ‘ancient’ film. And only by doing so…  to maintain the image captured.. by restoring the ‘film’.. not the ‘image’.

I always create the file large to maintain 600dpi to print at one and half meters by three, or for reproduction to whatever size required.

And I find myself again in front of the ‘last supper’, or beneath the Sistine chapel, yet this image is the documentary photograph… that perfectly composed image, taken in that split second of perfectly composed ‘story telling’ time. And as my eye wanders over the grain that I am restoring.. I see all the stories within that story. Felt yet not noticed by the documentary photographer.

The world of photography was taken on the technological wave of digital that in all forms had swept through the world, an event of liberating cosmic disturbance, as it was a technology that was capable of unveiling infinite quantities of information. And whilst I worked on the files today I thought about all the giant prints of nothing, that flooded the galleries in the nineties, when art was ‘born’ in photography, and where ‘size’ meant everything in those voluminous galleries all over the world.

And then I thought about the hand print, and how finite it always was, yet at the same time holding that enigmatic moment in time, that innate feel and emotion of composition, the eye of the photographer, and they are as beautiful now as they were then. And as my mind wandered back to the stories I was seeing within the image at a hundred percent, details that I could print at the same resolution at any size I wished, I thought how digital allows one to get all the information from a 35 mm piece of film, and print at any size we wish, at whatever dpi we desire and something that digitally captured images will not allow us to do as yet..

And I thought how truly beautiful giant prints from film are.. from within the Sistine chapel of documentary photography.


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