Can smartphone photographs be printed with legacy darkroom photo processing techniques? Absolutely.
From now until May 5, The Griffin Museum of Photography in Boston is displaying 95 images captured by 19 award-winning photojournalists from the photo agency VII.
Most of the images were shot with iPhones, using the Hipstamatic photo app, which allows photographers to mimic film and darkroom techniques. The images depict intimate familial moments, playful human gestures, and bird’s-eye views of urban and earthly landscapes. Several photos are bold, graphic, bursts of color and energy while others are ephemeral, meditative and painterly.
All of the 8 x 8-in. prints featured in the “iSee” exhibition were output by Digital Silver Imaging, a Boston-area professional photo lab that uses digital photographic laser technology, silver gelatin papers, and traditional black-and-white photo chemistry to make continuous-tone prints from digital files.
The black-and-white images in the images were produced as silver-gelatin fiber prints. The color images were produced as archival inkjet prints on Canson Platine Fiber Rag paper. Signed, small-edition prints are available for sale exclusively through Digital Silver Imaging.
The notes about the exhibition observe that the technical limitations associated with shooting and editing images on smartphones give photographers a sense of freedom, and adds intimacy and immediacy to photos: “The spontanaeity and unpredictability add to the fun.”
At 7 pm on Thursday evening, April 26, Steven Mayes, CEO of photo agency VII will be giving a gallery talk. Several of the exhibition photographers (Gary Knight, Ron Haviv, Ed Kashi and John Stanmeyer) will also be on hand to discuss the evolving relationship between art and technology.