michael k. wilkinson, photographs of architecture &


the death of film


Film is dead: a thought that comes to me with increasing frequency as I use my iPhone more and more to express myself visually and communicate the work out to my network of friends. Old way: buy film; load film into camera; take 24 or 36 (or 2 or 3) photographs; bring film to lab; wait a week; pick up processed film and contacts; select images to enlarge, maybe scan them; wait a week; pick up prints; then what? Pound the pavement for months to get a gallery show, spend a small fortune to get the photographs framed, send out invitations and wait several weeks for RSVPs, spend a day laying out and hanging the show, throw a reception on one night and talk to your friends and followers about the work? Nowadays: point iPhone and shoot; edit in one of a dozen powerful digital image editing apps; save; post to Instagram, which cross-posts to all your other online networks (flickr, facebook, twitter, tumblr); start a conversation with your friends and followers about the work; repeat any day, any time of day, as often as you want. This project attempts to merge the old days with the new ways. In it, I set up my 8x10 view camera somewhere in the field, no doubt garnering plenty of attention from passersby, black cloth and enormous tripod and all. The catch: rather than loading a sheet of chemical-coated plastic into the camera to burn an image onto film, I grab a digital capture of the ground glass of the 8x10 with either my D800 or my iPhone, download it, photoshop it, save it as a copy, and upload it to the web. Total time invested: some number of minutes. Ironically, it's my hope to land a gallery show with the body of work that comes out of this project. Full circle.