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Halftone Print Detail
CREDIT: Alan Hodgson ASIS HonFRPS

Photography as a trade

Functional photographer at work

I started work in the photographic industry in 1982, and never really left. It all began with 22 years at Ilford, first on silver halide photography and later on inkjet printing. My means of image capture has transitioned too, starting with 35mm, roll and sheet film systems to DSLRs and smartphones. With the odd glass plate here and there too.

So do I call myself a photographer? I guess it depends on your perspective. I refer to myself as a functional photographer, one who uses photography as a part of their work but where the image forms only part of the workflow. Easiest explained with a few examples.

I am currently preparing a paper for  the "Don't Press Print - the collodion process" online conference and need a few images. Many of my images have ended up in scientific and technical work; at conferences, in journals and books. And there are many like me - it is probably a growth area of photography, principally due to the ready availability of digital imaging.

But this is not a new phenomenon. As a part of the Collodion work I have been doing research through the Journal archive - a fantastic resource. The image above is one from the 1960s where functional photographers were more deeply embedded in the printing process. If you want more detail, you will have to book your ticket for the Collodion meeting. Teaser - it is associated with these images.