Here’s a pretty cool concept. This guy, Ian Ruhter, who started out as a snowboard photographer developed this enormous camera that is stationed in the back of a truck that prints a negative directly onto a large piece of metal when the aperture is opened. This self-made development in photography technology is really quite interesting and, if all pans out, could be groundbreaking for photographers everywhere.
I have a digital camera myself and have, over the years, amassed a collection of photographs I’ve taken throughout the country but I have to agree with Ruhter. There’s something a little disappointing about digital photography, in that, it seems like nearly anyone can do it these days and make it look presentable with a couple of quick effects on the computer. Strolling through Facebook, half the people online have full albums dedicated to their photography, some good, some terrible. And it sucks because I love photography and it’s a harsh reality when I think about how, dare I say, easy it’s become. But at the same time, I guess I shouldn’t be whining about it because in the end, it really is just a form of expression. People take pictures because they love taking pictures. And this love for photography is what I hope will keep film photography alive.
As someone who loves photography, I think film photography is the most gratifying, and that’s because it’s a one time chance. With digital photography, you can look at the print immediately after it’s been taken and decide if this one is the final or you need to try again. With film, all adjustments need to be done before shooting and you have to hope you captured what you desired to. I would venture to say it takes more skill. Plus there’s really something inexplicably gratifying about standing in the dark room and watching your image suddenly appear on the paper. You have to put work into developing that negative and I find that more satisfying than having your photography on a hard-drive or just simply printing it out. And that brings me back around to Ian Ruhter.
Don’t ask me the specific chemistry of his work because I have no idea. But it’s the idea that I love. I love that the picture is immediate and tangible. I love that the giant image is an actual capturing of what the camera is focused on. It’s not a copy and it’s not an enlargement. And there no negatives, so his prints are literally one of a kind. Plus hours of work are required for the development of one picture which I imagine makes it the more gratifying. Take a look at the video for yourself because actions speak louder than words. I think you’ll appreciate his work.