I got to the group just too late for the first month’s pairings, but noticed in the comments on the draw that there were a few other folks in the same situation. Top of that list was Andrew Bartram, so I dropped him a message and asked if he fancied an exchange.
In future, the swaps will be themed each month, but for this first time around, it was as simple as exchanging a photographic print with your partner – that could be something printed in a darkroom using traditional methods, using an inkjet at home, or a commercially produced print.
Being a now regular listener to the Lensless Podcast that Andrew co-hosts, I thought he might like one of my pinhole pictures, taken in Quin Abbey using a Reality So Subtle 6x17F. I’ve not found a darkroom over here yet, so it would have to be a print from my inkjet at home.
In return, Andrew sent me fantastic wet-processed picture of Belvoir Castle – by chance, a place about twenty miles from where we’d just moved from – that had been exposed on the enlarger for half of its exposure through tissue paper. It’s a technique that I’d not seen or heard of before, but gives a dreamy, almost pinhole look to a traditional picture.
Having a physical output to one’s photography is something I believe is very important to the process. It doesn’t have to be fully analogue, traditionally printed either (although it’s very nice when it is). Any print from an inkjet or high street lab does the same job in returning something physical back into existence, so completing the photographic circle. It doesn’t necessarily have to be framed or displayed either, but can be tucked away on a bookshelf or in a shoebox for re-discovery at some point in the future.
Anyway, get across to Facebook and sign up for the print swap, and I hope to see the community grow and who knows, maybe we’ll swap a print sometime in the future…