On drawing with light
Writing and drawing are activities performed with the hands. The eye, intuition and inspiration guide, but ultimately the hands made the image according to the manipulation of instruments or materials. If photography is to write or draw with light, the hands cannot be absent at the time of creation: both hands and light are used during and in the absence of the camera, as it was at the beginning of this technique.
It was the hands that arrange the objects that would allow or avoid the passage of light to the sensitized surface, and designed shapes using substances and elements that would then be printed on that surface.
At one point in recent history the hands were “exiled” from the creative process: the activity was reduced to an exacerbated intellectual work and to pressing keys or buttons.
So, if, as the name says, photography is drawing or writing with light: does that definition fit a type of photograph where the hands do not participate? The camera was first a simple light-proof box, later it was an optical and mechanical sophisticated machine, and after then an electronic and computerized instrument, allowing to create images and reproduce scenes with great fidelity; but drawing with light (the original photography) remains both manual and visual.
The rest is digital imaging, a different way of designing, dependent on hardware and software, that awake and mobilize other parts of the body.
From a personal point of view, it’s all about how I feel when practicing one way or another to generate images. The laboratory becomes the point of separation between the two fields. Even if the results are indistinguishable from each other, or do not show their origin, the creative process is very different. The hands know it.