Despite The Illusion is pleased to have Lalo Borja’s work featured here. If you are aware of his work you’ll know these images take a different turn to his highly skilled and faultless photographic work. These images are familiar to those who know his work but these reproductions and alterations have given a new breath of life into a wider body of work.
Lalo Borja teaches photography at Canterbury College currently, having spent most of his life abroad, away from his country of origin, Colombia or as Lalo lovingly put it, "the jungle"
Callotypes were printed by exposing paper negatives - framed in direct contact with unexposed paper in sunlight for hours at a time. Lalo’s images here, only vary slightly to that, they are reproduced from original celluloid negatives; instead of the sun, were exposed with electric lights.
"These images are the result of an exploration that began as an accident. I arrived at them through a circuitous road, first by accepting and adopting the essence of the “accident”, and afterwards through venturing on the visual possibilities of the process.
It started in the darkroom, where the business of reproducing images is itself a return to the archaic nature of photography, to its original fountain.
To get the required results it was necessary to push the boundaries of a game encounter of chemistry, exposure and, most importantly, the limited harnessing of the capricious nature of light.
Light undergoes a transformation of its own when chemical developer is present, and each image depends on light to change aspect.
At some point in the proceedings the photographer relinquishes control to other forces outside its domain.
Final images were reproduced outside the realm of enlarger originated light-source and were, instead, exposed to regular space-sourced light, thereby opening up the chance of more difficult and unruly influences, as well as the potential for more interesting outcomes.
Transformation has always been the essence of photography. And this case was no different. Sometimes it is necessary to test the endurance of the medium.
Lalo Borja is dear friend and mentor of mine. Like so many before and after me, i hold Lalo personally responsible for cultivating my interests in photography and setting me on my journey through photography. The real life Mr Keating, "oh captain my captain" "gather ye rosebuds whilst ye may"
You can find Lalo Borja's portfolio here and regular posts from his blog
All images © Lalo Borja