|FIVE STUDIES OF TIM by Martin Seeds|
Martin was introduced to me by fellow Irish Photographer, Joan Alexander. I needed to find a place where a photographer from Portugal, Andre Valera, and his partner could stay whilst he was over in the UK photographing me. Martin very kindly agreed to put them up and after I met him and found him to be a most enjoyable companion, and looked at his work, I very much wanted to work with him.
After a while, Martin told me he had been thinking about the shoot and he'd like to make an iPhone portrait of me that I could then transfer on to darkroom paper by contact printing. He had done this before but for my shoot he wanted to add a few more steps to the process. Once he had a darkroom contact print, he intended to scan it and have it transferred to film which he would then hand print as a black and white enlargement. He sent me a few images he had made with this process asking me to note also that these were candid shots and he was deliberating on such an approach with me. He went on to warn me that the results were unpredictable; however, he liked the contingency that the process brings and he saw a connection with that tension between the possibility and the uncertainty of everything in life.
I shall leave Martin to explain what he did in his own words. “The pieces are produced by making a physical relationship between contemporary technology and traditional photographic print making. An image taken on a mobile phone is “mined” as you would any other store of information. The phone's pinch and double tap gestures allowed me to search deep into the image and grab screen shots of interest. The phone screen, a light source, is placed face down on to traditional light sensitive darkroom paper leaving an image; a process harking back to photography’s early experiments.”
Martin's original intention was to scan the darkroom contact photographs and make very large prints. However, limitations of process and technology took him down other routes to this final, wonderful result. I think the images are extraordinary, certainly unlike anything I have had done before. I am really touched that Martin has taken the time and care not only to produce these but to have them framed ready for the exhibition in October where they will be on display at Create Gallery as part of the Brighton Photo Fringe.