Ansel Adams’ famous quote about technical proficiency in photography is more apt today than ever. Camera manufactures and photography ‘gearheads’ continue to peddle a narrow narrative concerning the importance of mathematically machined photographic equipment and its importance if you want to ‘shoot like a pro’. British photographer Pennie Smith has proven otherwise. Her iconic photo of Paul Simonon smashing his guitar on stage during a show in New York City in 1979 is a perfect example of the visceral power of an imperfect photograph that is perfectly flawed. It’s out of focus and grainy. A technocrats worst nightmare. Yet it became one of the most famous images in Rock’n’Roll when used as cover art for The Clash’s London Calling album. A fuzzy photo that captures the energy and vitality of life will always win out against a sterile photo that’s perfectly sharp.
Interview with Pennie Smith via Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/showstudio-official/showstudio-punk-photography-4
Thanks to digital, we now live in a picture perfect world. Perfectly polished pixels that only a computer could make and love; but we are not algorithmic machines – perfect is boring. I’ve always been a big fan of the imperfections of painting. The yellowing varnish, the hairline cracks, and the tarnish of time all add to the art and aesthetic of the painting. I originally shot the above images on my DSLR. They looked good enough – but lacked intrigue. A bit too picture postcard. I uploaded them to my iPhone and applied textures using photo apps to give them a more ‘painterly’ personality. Hope you like the series of images – and should you like one of the images enough to want a pristine print on your wall, please write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll chat about print sizes, prices and shipping arrangements. Thank you for your visit.