Using a film and a digital camera I took photographs of the same scenes on a trip to London just after my father passed away . The film camera was an Olympus Trip 35 which was my fathers and was presented to him in 1984 after 20 years’ service with Blue Circle Industries. The digital camera was a Panasonic Lumix DC – FZ80 Bridge Superzoom.
The experiment entailed the direct comparison of colour digital images verses black and white film photographs; an element of old technology verses the new; and a sense of journeying to a place my father grew up in and left a long time ago to live in Wales. London as the central location is grounded, fixed, actual, but the experiential aspect of the process gives it an ungrounded, fluid virtuality.
When he died in his eighties, he was housebound with Parkinson’s and unable to see London with his own eyes again. Using his camera felt in a way that I was bringing a part of him with me and that the photos became his memories as well as mine. When I see my father lying in his bed, I cannot help but think about how “death has two faces, an actual death, the ceasing of the heartbeat or of activity in the brain, but also a series of virtual deaths, a series of small deaths and rebirths that dissolve the self.” (Williams, 2013)