Are we all photographers?

Editorial Staff
September 27, 2012

In the age of digital photography and iPhones, when each of us can snap in one day perhaps as many photos as were taken in the whole of the 1800s, a photographer such as George Tatge is a rare find. An American expat in Italy, Tatge uses a wooden camera that can hold only one frame at a time, and he can spend up to three hours taking one shot. He uses a historic process, allowing the light that passes through his camera to touch silver on a negative, and he then creates a print by re-exposing it on paper. This is most certainly 'art' and he is an 'artisan'. But as telephones become cameras and desktop printers morph into mini-printing labs, producing ever faster, clearer shots, don't we all consider ourselves photographers of a kind? It has never been so easy to capture the world around us and to engage others through the power of images as we share our lives and memories with the world through Facebook and Instagram. Although the 'handmade' techniques that Tatge uses might be heading out the window, they have not been abandoned by all. Filmmaker David Battistella, who moved to Florence from Canada in 2011, is keen to revive the age-old tradition in our fast-paced world. Inspired by the botteghe (artisan workshops) of the Renaissance, he has established a workshop to promote such 'made-by-hand' photography and filmmaking. The Bottega Battistella's first project is a 25-minute documentary on the life of Tatge, Light and Silver, which will screen at the Odeon cinema on the October 10 at 3pm. For details, see article.

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