My name is Julian Barkway and I'm an enthusiastic amateur photographer from the UK, currently living in Switzerland.
I have dabbled with photography on and off ever since my student days but it is only in the last few years, with the growth of the Internet and the 'digital darkroom', that I have begun to take the hobby more seriously. That's not to say I am a digital photographer as such. My preference is for combining traditional film-based capture with digital processing - using the best of both worlds. Digital capture supplements my film-based work but will never replace it (so long as my favourite emulsions remain on the market) and the majority of the images on this website were captured traditionally.
I am a passionate believer in 'slow photography' where time is taken to 'make', rather than merely snap, an image. To this end I find myself drawn to the simplest technology possible to create my photographs: the 5x4 view camera. Choice of film is dependent on conditions - either fine-grained transparency film or, for high-contrast lighting, colour negative film.
Using technology that is little changed since Victorian times is much more of a 'process' than shooting with smaller formats and it promotes contemplation of the intended image every step of the way. There is so little margin for error and each exposed sheet of film is expensive enough that being able to visualise the end result before you even think of unpacking the camera is key.
The upside to all of this difficulty and inconvenience is a degree of control over perspective and depth-of-field and a level of quality that is simply not possible with either digital equipment or smaller formats. Even more than this, is the sheer enjoyment and satisfaction that results from taking full control over every step of making a photograph.
In the real world, however, there are times when I need to travel light or wish to use a more spontaneous shooting style and for these I employ a smaller medium-format camera or, increasingly, either a digital compact or a full-frame DSLR. But the principle remains the same: if I don't think I can see a worthwhile photograph, the camera stays in the bag.