In the times of analog film, film-grain played an important role. It was significant for authenticity in press photography and helped to enhance tension by abstraction. It was a fixed part of photography that had a great influence on the pictures. Nowadays, digital photography mostly replaced analog, and it seems as if this stylistic feature has been lost as a result.
The noise of a digital sensor is seen as a failure and most people are trying to remove it by using complicated algorithms that often already happen inside the camera. The grain of the film was one of the parts that gave the analog image its character and charm. It provided a kind of natural distortion that made the image more natural and reachable. If you look at the development that came with digital photography, it seems as if the meaning of the medium itself changed in the last years.
In my search for a comparable feature to the analog film-grain, I took a series of highly underexposed, digital raw images. The pictures only showed as black on the camera screen. After, I increased the brightness digitally and converted them to black and white to reveal the actual image and enhance the digital noise that the camera produced. It was my attempt to see what I can do with the digital medium. How will it transform when it’s pushed to its limits? To me, the resulting abstract pictures show the sort of underlying characteristic of a digital image that tells something very true about the origin of the picture, and still holds the potential to be used as a stylistic feature.
Furthermore, it was surprising how similar the whole feeling of taking the picture becomes to analog film, when you can’t see the picture before developing.