My photographs have no red thread, no collective purpose. I just try to make good photographs that can stand on their own without context or reason.
I read that HCB hid a small box of negatives, before leaving for the war in 1939. Each negative was cut to the individual frame. Each negative was completely without context, contact sheet or reference. Each negative had no story, and no caption. I think often of this story, as it reflects my approach to photography.
I travel light. I don’t own a flash, a tripod, or filters. I use only one type of black and white film, one 50 mm lens, and one analog camera. I don’t bracket, nor do I try different angles or compositions. On a roll, I will often have 36 completely different and unrelated photographs. On occasion, I find a photograph that I am happy with.
I am a follower of Gianni Berengo Gardin, who stamps all his photographs with a green stamp that reads: Vera Fotografia (genuine photograph), confirming that what is in the photograph is what was in front of him when he made the photograph, an analog print from a negative that has not been digitally manipulated in any way. I do the same. I print in silver gelatin from the original negative and only scan the finished print on a flatbed scanner to send to you, or populate my website, harbel.com.