A Year In Development exhibition: Not all photographers are giving in to the lure of digital

The world has switched to digital cameras, right? Not so fast, says one exhibition, now in its third year, which celebrates the breathtaking work of a select band of photographers who continue to prefer the dark magic of the hand-printed photograph

In a world that celebrates speed, digital has long replaced analogue as the photographer's preferred method. But the story of film's demise might have been relayed prematurely. Some aficionados would even claim it is alive, well, and being put to good use.

While fewer people might be using it, and only a smattering of labs specialise in its production, there is still a community that is dedicated to the art of film.

Labyrinth Photographic Printers is one of a small number of London-based experts. This month it is putting on its third annual exhibition, A Year In Development, presenting more than 70 of its clients' hand-printed images that have been shot on film and developed at the lab over the past 12 months.

"People were saying that film was disappearing from the industry, but that's far from the truth," says Clare Hewitt, the curator of the exhibition. "Photographers are still choosing to shoot on film and the lab has seen a real surge in users; if anything, it's increasing."

Part of the reason it still flourishes is the creativity it offers. "The way the negative is processed and how it is printed allows the photographer to experiment," explains Hewitt. "I'm not saying you can't achieve a beautiful image with digital, because of course you can. But hand-printing is very much about the relationship between the client and the printer, and getting the most out of it that you can."

 

It is not just the time spent in the darkroom that keeps film fanatics hooked; it's the shooting process, too. "If you're using a medium- format film, you might only have 12 shots," notes Hewitt. "It makes you react in a different way; you have to make them count. Then [unlike digital], you have the anticipation of not knowing what you've captured. It's exciting."

Clients being showcased range from recent photography graduates to Spencer Murphy, the winner of the 2013 Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize; and the shots vary from fashion campaigns for Calvin Klein to stark photojournalism from conflict areas. The idea is simply to celebrate and support film within the industry.

Some of the most striking images are from photographers recently returned from Ukraine: Anastasia Taylor-Lind shot a number of portraits in Kiev's Maidan Square and brought in her films to develop at Labyrinth. "I think it's kind of incredible that that type of photography is still being shot on film," says Hewitt. "You could still smell the smoke from the barricades on the film. You wouldn't get that with digital, would you?"

A Year In Development is at Four Corners, London E2, until 2 May (labyrinthphotographic.co.uk)

Arts and Entertainment
Call The Midwife: Miranda Hart as Chummy

tv Jenny Lee may have left, but Miranda Hart and the rest of the midwives deliver the goods

Arts and Entertainment
Legendary blues and rock singer Joe Cocker has died of lung cancer, his management team as confirmed. He was 70
music The singer has died aged 70
Arts and Entertainment
Maisie Williams looks concerned as Arya Stark
tv
Arts and Entertainment
photography Incredible images show London's skyline from its highest points
Arts and Entertainment
'Silent Night' last topped Classic FM's favourite Christmas carol poll in 2002
classical
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Rhys says: 'I'm not playing it for laughs, but I have learnt that if you fall over on stage, people can enjoy that as much as an amazing guitar solo'
musicGruff Rhys on his rock odyssey, and the trouble with independence
Arts and Entertainment
Krysia and Daniel (Hand out press photograph provided by Sally Richardson)
How do today's composers answer the challenge of the classical giant?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
News
Shenaz Treasurywala
film
News
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Watkins as Christopher Jefferies
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Star Wars Director JJ Abrams: key character's names have been revealed
film
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams won two BBC Music Awards for Best Song and International Artist
music
Arts and Entertainment
Mark, Katie and Sanjay in The Apprentice boardroom
TV
Arts and Entertainment

Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites

Arts and Entertainment
Frances O'Connor and James Nesbitt in 'The Missing'

TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations

Arts and Entertainment
Joey Essex will be hitting the slopes for series two of The Jump

TV

Who is taking the plunge?
Arts and Entertainment
Katy Perry as an Ancient Egyptian princess in her latest music video for 'Dark Horse'

music
Arts and Entertainment
Dame Judi Dench, as M in Skyfall

film
Arts and Entertainment
Morrissey, 1988

TV
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

    Christmas without hope

    Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
    After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

    The 'Black Museum'

    After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
    Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

    Chilly Christmas

    Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
    Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

    'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

    Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
    Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

    Ed Balls interview

    'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
    He's behind you, dude!

    US stars in UK panto

    From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

    What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

    Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
    Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

    Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

    Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
    Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

    Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
    Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

    Autism-friendly theatre

    Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all