David Silk, from AG Mono and Isle of Thanet Camera Club, and a member of the RPS for 40 years, delighted us all on Friday with his talk ‘The Alternative World of David James Silk’. He was quick to explain that it wasn't a set talk and as the evening progressed it was clear that ideas just bubble out of David. Giving the talk had been an opportunity to look through his early photography and his daughter in the logpile showed us his skill with a camera straight away. His passion encapsulates the whole of photography and he is not satisfied with just reading about the early photographers, he has studied and put into practice the techniques of those early photographers. Everything has been tried and proved – cyanotype, Polaroid, pin-hole, glass plates, daguerreotype. He has a collection of early cameras, one of his favourites being his box brownie which he delights in using among the modern photographers (although he did also mention a Leica). His patience in developing a final print from his cameras is amazing, ranging from 6 seconds to transfer from the Polaroid, to 6 hours to copy the techniques of Ruskin.
His display of photography was inspiring, and his hand-made books preserving pictures from the past quite wonderful. David doesn't like to be ‘put in a box’ and is definitely a bid of a rebel. Photography, he says, should be fun, and he urges us not to be overwhelmed by judges, rules, and competitions. Loved his quote “sharpness is very overrated”. Lets hope he comes back to APS as a judge and then see what we can give him – tissue paper, cornflakes packets, rocks and the one I particularly loved, the book end-papers. It was a really entertaining evening to begin the New Year.
Thank you David from all at APS.
In the Saatchi Gallery
Print made from a glass plate HP3 packet dated 1945. Take on a Lancashire folding view camera from 1897 . I wonder if the camera we use today will be able to produce a picture in 120 years time ...
The Art of Doing Nothing