A 500 image Durban Mosaic - Snapshots of the Holiday City Purists, technophiles -- you're probably not going to like this stuff...be warned. It's very different from my normal style. Read on... I'll be having a solo exhibition in September. Apart from my normal documentary style, I've been experimenting with a way of portraying Durban, my city in a different way. Durban is in part the nation's largest national tourist destination. But it's not a very classy city and has all the elements of a Coney Island or Blackpool (UK) environment - plasticky, garish and over the top. In part, it is also very African, and very poor. These elements combine with the incredibly hot, sticky sub-tropical climate to make a city that is full of tantalising and quite rich contrasts in terms of people and places. I wanted to convey the feel of this through almost way-oversaturated images that look hot and sticky. Also, I wanted the material to look like a huge collection of holiday snapshots. Recently, I've been very interested in the "plastic camera" or "toy camera" wave that has been quite prevalent in the last few years, having be "rediscovered". People have been using cheap novelty cameras from the sixties and seventies - most famous of which is the Diana camera, to create images that are very fluid and quite different. More recently, Lomo cameras and Holgas from Russia have found their way into the hands on enthusiasts and those who couldn't find the Diana, manufactured by the Great Wall of China Plastics Co. The secret of this fluid effect lies in the poor abberant plastic lenses coupled with bodies that leak light in the strangest places. The effect, which as I have said is very fluid and spontaneous, ideally suits the personality of what I am trying to portray. I didn't have access to a Diana camera, but I knew the effect I wanted to create. Some websearching led me to two sets of actions that work with Photoshop, and together with additional work, create the style I want. I specifically rough shoot DIGITALLY most of the images at the outset to create the holiday snap feel. Careful cropping then takes place, after which I convert the image using the Holga action. I then remove some of the unwanted effects and layers, and fiddle with the contrast and saturation until the basic style is right for me. Considerably more tweaking goes into most of the images after I have run the action, in the main "body" of Photoshop. Thereafter, I run it through a Polaroid framing action, and size the image exactly as a 4.5 inch Polaroid. The whole image in printed on a 5x7 inch print. The result, which will offend the Diana purists and the digital sharpening fraternity is an off-focus, leaky-light image of colorful simplicity. I guess you could call them "digital holgaroids". I now have about 250 of these images. By September, I should have 500 odd. They will be mounted tightly together on a single wall as a giant varied photographic mosaic of Durban, for people to ponder over, identify people and places. They'll be sold individually so that people can buy a couple that they like, or perhaps someone will buy the whole installation.