Enigmatic Burnley-based ‘film star’ Daniel Scanlin makes no bones about it - he hates digital photography.
He always has.
Daniel’s grandfather used to run a photographic lab - one of the first in the UK to use Fujifilm photographic paper for consumer prints. Now it’s a minilab set-up in a camera shop run by Daniel and his father.
''I learned about the darkroom and the magic of film processing and developing after leaving school,'' he says. ‘I think it should be a given that all photography students be taught these fundamentals. I confess I am a digital photography hater. I think this technology has just given people with money the opportunity to buy a camera, stick it on ‘auto’ and claim they are proper photographers. And yet the truth is, many don’t even know what an f-stop is.''
He adds: ''Now, with smartphones, everyone is a photographer. I think real photographers’ confidence has dropped. They’ve gotten lazy. To me nothing is more beautiful than grain. I believe digital images tend to be flat without the application of major post production.''
Now Daniel, who says his mission is simply to document life, has produced an eBook (available free on Blurb) entitled ‘Burnley loves Benedictine’. The project completes next year - coinciding with the one hundredth anniversary of the troops’ homecoming. Additionally, he is planning a series of exhibitions (all work output to Fujifilm Original Photo Paper by ThePrintStore, London) in the north of England and also in Normandy at the Palais Benedictine (a distillery and museum housed in a palace).
He describes the eBook as ‘a photographic insight into an unlikely love affair betwixt a French elixir and an industrial town in the north of England’.
Daniel explains: ''The link with this secret recipe and Burnley fascinates me. The history goes back to WW1 when physically injured and mentally exhausted soldiers from this area had been given ‘bene ‘n hot’ - Benedictine with hot water - by nurses in casualty clearing stations and auxiliary hospitals across Normandy.
''When they came home in 1918 the soldiers still wanted to drink the liqueur - and to this day the renowned Burnley Miners Working Men’s Club is the biggest seller of Benedictine D.O.M in the world.''
He adds: ''Also Burnley Football Club is the only club in the Premier League to serve this cocktail ( made to a top secret recipe from 27 plants and spices with the flavour of sweet honey and holiday spice) - at half-time - which I am sure is why we win a lot of our home games!'' (Check out Bene ‘n Burnley video on YouTube).
And now a Scarborough studio is also running a ‘film is not dead’ theme
Scarborough-based sibling photographers Dom and Liam Shaw help run York Place studios. They describe themselves as ‘natural light ninjas’ - shooting local portraits/weddings and street photography across the world.
The brother/sister combo frequently roam international cities ‘to try and find the true essence and soul of a place’.
Recently they partnered with Digitalab. 'After seeing the phenomenal work they do in developing, scanning and printing film-we decided it was time to go back to our roots and see what we could produce,'' says Dom.
Armed with Fujifilm Superior 200 film (sponsored by the lab) they took themselves off to Sri Lanka for a fortnight (see their website: yorkplacestudios.co.uk).
Adds Dom: ''Whilst much of the trip was actually spent shooting digitally, it was very exciting to pick up a film camera again and hear that old familiar click and winding of film- not to mention the absolute joy of receiving the beautiful scans back from the lab. I have a feeling there will be many more film images in our future.''
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