Chasing Waterfalls is the third solo exhibition from Splendid co-founder, sean aickin. It is a 'work in progress' exhibition featuring three images (as shown here) from a wider body of work that is still being shot. Focussing on waterfalls each image is shot on a Ilford Harman Titan 4x5 Pinhole Camera using Ilford 4x5 HP5+ Film. For this show each negative was high resolution scanned by Good Sheet, printed large and then custom framed by Elliot Creative. Produced in an edition of 6 these images are still available for purchase.
10 Questions for sean aickin by Wiki Waitai:
In all honesty it just happened that way. I went on a motorbike trip with my father and could only pack the Titan because it’s so light. Whilst on the trip I shot a couple of landscapes and really liked the way they came out, then I tried it on Waterfalls (because of the motion)
Why do you choose to shoot the images that were taken on an Ilford Titan 4x5 pinhole camera using Ilford HP5+ film ?
It kinda didn’t pan out how I wanted to print the images. Originally I was to print them by hand in my darkroom, unfortunately that didn’t work out due to size constraints and it drove me insane and to tears lol. So in the end Sam @ Goodsheet scanned my 4x5 negatives and Harriette printed them. From the beginning I always wanted to work with Elliot Creative on the framing and it was good to realise that. Tom’s work is stunning and he was able to really help frame the images in a way that did the size and imagery justice.
Can you tells us about the process used to develop the images?
Ordinarily I shoot whatever comes my way. So I always have a camera on me and I shoot wherever my life takes me. Sometimes it’s boring shit like a bus trip other times it’ll be something fun like a gig or Harley-Davidson motorbike trip. I like the challenge of capturing something good out of any situation. Sometimes it works, mostly it doesn’t.
When looking for scenes / images to shoot, do you wait for the subject to come to you or go hunting?
Waterfalls? Being an organic, moving subject, what advice would you give to photographers when shooting water?
Water is tricky. Especially on film. I guess the main thing is working out what you want out of it. For my images I wanted the soft cloud like texture so it required a long exposure. Water is one of those subjects that can produce such wildly different images. Being from the South Pacific we all have an affinity to water and so I guess the best way for anybody else to shoot it is to shoot it in a way that shows what it means to them.
Yeah I think I do. I’ve heard that we remember in B&W, and so I kinda think it fits better when looking at a photograph as all photographs are retrospective (especially film photographs) in saying all this I also prefer B&W ‘cause it’s much easier haha.
Black & White images, do you prefer this medium?
Any advice I give photographers is just shoot more. Be it digital or film. If you want to learn to shoot digital then get a digital camera and shoot, if you want to learn to shoot film just shoot it. They both react differently and handle differently so choose your weapon and get to it.Little challenges work, in 2011 I wanted to only shoot B&W film so I shot 200ish rolls and it helped a lot.
What advice can you give to those of us wanting to shoot B&W, do we use B&W film or print in B&W?
Haha I think I know of a place that sells B&W films. Honestly there are so many options when it comes to film that your best bet is to pop into SPlendid (or your local photo shop) and have a chat about what is available. The best way is to have a clear goal in mind. That way we can help you select the right film for the shoot. If you’re just wanting to get started buy the cheapest and buy as much as you can.
Where can we source B&W film, and is there a difference in quality?
Not too sure on the next step. I think I should do a book or some publication. I’ll be working on some completely different projects for 2020.
“Chasing Waterfalls” was your third show, will we be seeing more of the same organic images in the next show?
No shows in 2020, I mean it's been 6 years between each of my shows. I may look at some other projects… keep your eyes peeled.
What is your exhibition schedule for 2020?
We’re all eager to see a book of your previous work. What will feature first?? Gigs? Street life? Random scenes?
Oh man. Yeah a book has been in talks for a while. I’ve wanted to have a book that’s called 'These are some photos I’ve shot from when I started to now' but yeah I'd like to do a book, so maybe in 2021?!