What happens when the convenience of digital photography becomes banal?

The past two decades have given agency to photographers to experiment with the offerings of digital cameras. Digitizing photography was originally thought of as a revolutionary way to overcome the limitations of film cameras. No longer were people forced to deal with harsh chemicals, or limited to the confines of darkroom retouching. This revolution has given way to endless complex manipulations. The convenient marriage of Photoshop and digital cameras provided a new sense of freedom and experimentation. What happens when this convenient freedom becomes banal?

Charlie Kitchen has an answer: make the process endlessly complicated. Kitchen isn’t a masochist, but it seems he strongly appreciates a tedious challenge. “My tendency has always been to put a lot of—sometimes too much—work into anything I do,” he says. After three years of pondering the complications of 4×5 cameras, he decided to experiment with the medium. He enjoys the arduous process of focusing the lens, playing with the bellows, and carefully composing the shot.

“My tendency has always been to put a lot of—sometimes too much—work into anything I do”

Kitchen decided to shoot near his home in San Antonio. He had the idea to create mind-bending photographs by using stencils and a large-format film camera. His process starts in Google Sketchup in 3-D format. Next, he cuts the shapes for the stencils from black paper. In the following steps, he inserts the stencil (and film) into the film holder and captures a photo, then exchanges stencils, moves the camera a bit, and hits the shutter to expose the same piece of film. Kitchen repeats these steps for as long as it takes until he feels satisfied. The operation creates images that look like oversized, accidental digital mirrors in nature. If that description sounds strange, that’s because it is.   

No Photoshop or digital camera needed. This magic requires time, patience, and loads of film.

Read the full article at: www.wired.com