About the Ypan project

One of the primary focus’ of my current practice has revolved around building this camera from available materials and developing kind of shadowy landscape photography, created in-camera using analog film, rather than with digital post-processing.

Initially with a barely functional viewfinder, and an equally undisciplined film processing regimen, the camera that I ended up building, a chaotic mess of visual noise and light leaks, forced me to rely on instinct and intuition, to an extent making chance an equal partner. For a while it was almost a surprise that I produced photographs at all. The camera has evolved incrementally over time as I have experimented with adaptations.

To begin with I fetishised the photographic outcomes for their looks, their surface appearance, their ‘fucked up’ state. Through use  and experimentation I came to realise the aesthetic was built in by design, it’s in the DNA of the camera itself, that it is an actor in the image making process. Contemporary cameras strive to be as invisible as possible, they attempt not to mediate. My camera mediates more than most, in a way it the anti-camera.

What has emerged in the work is an atemporal quality, a blurring of place and presence; a quality of history denied, a sense of existing outside time and place. I try to work with that in mind, to hopefully unlock a door to memory and dreams.

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© 2021 Simon Last