Analogue to Digital

2001 - 2007

Prospect Studio - Chesterfield

Shortly after starting these paintings, I began photographing them with a digital camera. Choosing to go digital was a bit of a risk at the time. There were very few opportunities for me to submit digital prints or JPGs. There were doubts about authenticity, and a feeling that conventional methods couldn't be matched. From my point of view, letting go of film promised the opportunity to adopt a DIY approach to promotion.


I soon realised that the photographic process remained much the same, and what started as a means to an end became interesting in its own right. Producing an accurate likeness of a painting is a form of calibration; the computer screen and print can be directly compared to the original - this highlights any discrepancies in capturing and processing an image. If the white balance (type of light) is incorrect, the tone of the colours will be affected, and the wrong exposure (quantity of light) will create tinting or shading.


The need to produce a neutral situation for recording paintings made me more aware of the way light is involved in the things we see first hand. Photographs, film, TV, CGI and print, all replicate this experience. Light captured by a digital camera is interpreted by computer monitors using red, green and blue light. Inkjet printers translate using cyan, magenta and yellow (the primary colours of the spectrum) to produce photographic prints.


For my painting work, I changed from using a red, blue and yellow colour wheel, traditionally used by painters, to the cyan, magenta and yellow colour wheel used by printmakers. Using these three colours, plus black over a white background, produces all colours, tints, shades and tones. This has allowed me to step inside the electronic process and play with the links between light, the way we see things, and the way various types of photographic and graphic media produce convincing images.