By Toby Mason & Steve Wrigley
16 June - 26 July
“Some images evoke giddy feelings of life sped up. Others the tranquility and relaxation of life slowed down. But all of them remind that it’s the little things in life, the small moments – the changing seasons and the chance sightings – that can be the most moving.” - Toby Mason
All of the photographs in the exhibition have been achieved using 35mm and 120 analogue film cameras. There has been no digital manipulation, and definitely no Photoshop! Both Toby and Steve make use of a variety of techniques such as (flipped) multiple exposures (all done by layering images on the same frame of film, in camera), and practises such as “film swaps”, whereby a roll of film is shot by one photographer, and then sent to another photographer who loads and shoots on the same roll of film, producing random multiple exposures. They also make extensive use of slide film (frequently long past its expiration date) which is “cross processed” in the wrong chemicals (C-41, usually used for colour negative film): this tends to boost saturation and give colour shifts. The combination of all these unpredictable elements is always surprising, intriguing, and presents a vision of Brighton as you've never seen it before.
I have always loved film photography, with early memories of using a 110 cartridge camera to capture grainy images of my favourite things. In my late teens I bought my first SLR: an Olympus OM1, which I later replaced with an OM10. I still use ‘Old Trusty’ today.
Working with analogue methods gives my photographs character, with grain and colour shifts from various films and processing techniques generating wonderfully random qualities. This is what I look for and savour. In the same way that whilst listening to music on vinyl isn’t as perfect as CD or digital, I believe it too has more soul. I like to capture real scenes, with real people, imperfections and all. I mess around a bit with double exposures too, and particularly enjoy combining graffiti with street scenes. I try to capture some
of the quirky and natural beauty of the world around me.
I still shoot film because it’s what I grew up using. I’ve tried digital but it just doesn’t seem the right fit for me. It’s too clean, too sharp. I love messing with multiple exposures and cross processing as it gives a skewed view on reality. Things that are there but not there at the same time. Like looking at the world through half closed eyes.
Possibly my favourite thing about film is the anticipation of what will come out when the roll is processed. I still get a flutter of excitement as I look at my photos for the first time.