Issue One - july 2015
WARNING This magazine may contain traces of nudity. 1
Editor & Art Director: Luis Ganilho
Issue One Contributors:
Estefânia Silva João Mascarenhas Pawel Kufel Paul Reid Paulo Simões
Published by www.silverphotozine.com
Special thanks to Rogério Ramos.
Editor Note It´s my personal belief that people should have a cause to fight for, in life, and certainly there are many causes to choose from: Fighting for human rights, stopping domestic violence, saving the elephants, to name but a few... There are so many, and all very noble. But who’s to say that one cause is better or worthier than any other? The only negative thing about this matter, in my opinion, is having no cause at all to fight for. That said, I have to mention that I have fallen completely in love with film photography. Actually, it’s quite an obsession right now. For the past two years I have developed a strong attitude about it and I feel an urge to spread the word. I guess I’m hoping that other people might fall in love with film as much as I did. Spreading the word about film photography awesomeness is now my goal! Suddenly everything makes sense to me. I have just found my cause to fight for.
No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without written permission from the publisher.
The views of the contributors do not necessarily reflect those of SILVER Photozine.
The copyright to all photoeditorials lie with the respective photographers.
All rights reserved. In this magazine I would like to share with you the work of other film photographers, from all over the world, as well as their opinions about film photography. I will also throw in some reviews about cool vintage cameras and photography related articles.
Cover photo by João Mascarenhas
I hope you enjoy this first issue. SILVER Photozine is a film photography magazine based in Lisbon, Portugal.
MAMIYA RZ67 PRO2
WHY FILM PHOTOGRAPHY?
THE FUTURE OF OUR IMAGES
THE GIRL WITH RED HAIR
Estefânia Silva http://abaddonthirteen.tumblr.com/ I only saw Estefânia’s work as a photographer by pure chance. I’ve always thought of her as a model (and a good one). So, when I realized she was also a photographer, and not only that, she shoots film, I was amazed. Soon we became friends in social media and shortly after, I was happy to invite her to participate in this magazine. You started as a model and that’s actually your occupation right now. But now you also became interested in photography. How come? It started a long time ago. When I was about 13/14 years old, I was a member of the Photography Club, at school, where we worked in the dark room and shoot photos with a pinhole camera. On school field trips, I always took a film camera with me and typically shot 1 or 2 rolls each time. Sadly, I lost interest when I went to high school. Only when I started working as a model, I became interested in photography again. I did some research on various fashion photographers, for whom I developed a significant artistic passion. But I think the turning point was when I found my grandfather’s old camera, from the fifties. The camera was so stuck that I had to ask my dad to help me advancing to the next frame. Still, I managed to take some photos
with it. And the photographers I worked with, always asked my opinion on “aesthetic” matters or composition and, in exchange, they taught me a lot about photography. Therefore, it was no surprise when I became a photographer myself. Why did you choose analog photography instead of digital? Well, for a whole lot of reasons. The main one was to raise a bit the aesthetics of images of famous bands of the 70s and 80s. Sometimes I see recent photos from punk concerts and I feel they are too “clean”. I attended those concerts and what I saw was sweat, dirt and rawness. I think not many people are able to capture that with digital. Something I really like about film is not knowing right away the results I’m getting. Also, having just 36 shoots available, it forces me to think, predict outcomes, and analyze well what to do next. I enjoy the feeling of not needing to use Photoshop at all. I don´t know how to use it and I 5
don’t want to use it. With digital I would be forced to learn Photoshop. I also love the film grain. I know not many people love that, but I do. I love the rawness that grain ads to an image. It´s completely different from the experiences I previously had with digital… Anyway, I don’t see myself buying a 1500 euros digital camera that’s not going to give me the results I want. In general, how do people react when realizing that you don’t shoot digital? Worst than I expected. Publishers have refused my photos after finding out that they were analog. Fortunately, the website I currently work for gives me the opportunity to publish my work. But I have heard a lot of comments I would rather have not. For instance, I have been told that I only shoot film because it’s trendy and that I’m only trying to draw attention to myself. I’ve also been told that I shoot film because it’s “easier”. On the other hand, there is a lot of people who support
me. Some, that I hadn’t even met before, gave me advice and tips about analog gear and film processes and I’m very grateful to them for that.
“Publishers have refused my photos after finding out that they were analog.” Have you ever been involved in unpleasant arguments about digital versus film? If so, which was your attitude? I have once. I made the mistake of asking for information on Facebook about which lens brand was cheaper and easier to find. I merely wanted some info about brand X or brand Y. There was a flood of meaningless comments about how much better it is to shoot digital and how dumb I was for shooting film. Many people say that “the photographer is more important 6
than the camera”, but when it comes to film cameras, they change their reasoning completely. To those people, my only response is that I know exactly what I want to use. If I wanted to shoot with a pinhole I would do it and it would be none of their business. I prefer film and I respect digital. I think it’s wrong trying to influence someone to choose one over the other one. Great photographers know how to use both. Why did you choose to primarily photograph live concerts? It’s, undoubtedly, a real challenge. Why didn’t you pick fashion photography instead, since you are already a fashion model? It was more a question of joining business with pleasure. Since I started writing about music, I always had difficulty in finding someone to go with me and give me hand when shooting the concerts. Eventually, while chatting with a friend, I commented about how flat and identical most Portuguese concert photogra-
phers were and he agreed with me. I love Pedro Roque’s work. Actually, he also shoots digital, but has a very well defined style, that looks a lot like black and white film. I wanted to do something like that, something organic and inspired on Ruvan Wijesooriya, Charles Peterson and all of the concert photographers from the old days, in the punk, rock and grunge universe. I guess that my fashion influence also helps me achieving a more defined and “artistic” style in my music concert’s photography. Anyway, I have never concealed that, someday, I want to try shooting fashion. But I can’t afford buying the gear for that right now. How do musicians react, when they see you using a different camera? By the way, what cameras do you currently use? They don’t usually notice it immediately, because I use the most recent film cameras like the Canon EOS 100 and the Canon EOS 50E. They do notice something different, when they see me all
muddled trying to change rolls…hahaha… The funniest moment was when I decided to try the Yashica Samurai X 3.0 to shoot a concert. The peculiar camera design is very similar to a video camera and the security person tried to prevent me from entering, “because making videos was forbidden”. As for the musicians, they reacted to the camera as if it were a video camera, goofing around and stuff, thinking they were being filmed. As for those musicians who already knew me, they gave me a few extra seconds for me to shoot them. They know I need those extra seconds. Anyway, I’m replacing the Yashica Samurai with a smaller, lighter and faster camera. It´s just not the best camera for what I do. I’m thinking about a Canon MC or an Olympus XA (a point and shoot with flash that will allow me to get backstage photos with charisma). The good thing about these cameras is that I can bring 3 of them with me, weighting the same as a Canon 7D hahaha… My 9
dream is to, someday, be able to invest on a Pentax 67. I know that it’s a cliché, but I will, eventually, need a medium format camera and this one clearly seems to be ideal.
“...having a fashion influence can also help me achieving a more defined and artsy style.” Do you think that, someday, you may be seduced by digital photography? (If so, how would that influence your work? Will there be, sometime in the future, anything with as much visual charisma as a Tri-X roll) Very likely, but for different reasons. I will always shoot film. It’s what I am. It defines me. But it’s likely that I will eventually explore digital photography as well (especially for fashion photography).
I love photography and that’s all that matters to me. Quality photos, either film or digital. I’ll have two different styles for two different purposes. I can enjoy both, the work method of Tim Walker as much as Sølve Sundsbø’s method. It’s all about the identity we create as photographers. As a model, have you ever been shoot by a film photographer? Is it any different? Way more than a dozen times. From Rita Lino and Luisa Cativo to Sal Nunkachov... Foreign photographers as well as portuguese. It’s a completely different rhythm. As we cannot waste film, we pay a lot more attention to detail. I love it. Digital photographers like it when I change to a different pose every second. They say I’m a good model because of that, but I think differently. I like to say that I prefer doing things the MariaCarla Boscono way, instead of doing things the Coco Rocha way. Watching MariaCarla shooting with Tim Walker (or any other film photographer that shoots film) is like
watching magic. It´s like watching modern dance in slow motion. She stops, gives the photographer a moment for him to make small adjustments, and then carry on. The final result is amazing. My dream as a model as always been shooting with Tim Walker or being a muse for Newton. Right now I dream of shooting as well as they do… hahahaha Do you anticipate becoming a full time professional photographer someday? I have always thought of my work as a model as a way of creating art and being close to photography. So, if I were given the choice, I would completely switch from being a model to being a 100% photographer in a blink. But, right now, I have to work as a model to pay what I do as a photographer. I’m fine with that. The more I work as a model the more I learn about photography and more opportunities I have to exchange knowledge and opinions with other photographers. Being a model is the perfect complement 10
to being a photographer. But in a world where the role of models is increasingly undervalued and even undermined, I see myself more and more behind the camera. But I still have a long way to go until I’m ready to be a professional. For now I’m just a girl with a camera. Last question. What do you think about the future of film? Are you optimistic or pessimistic? Do you think that people´s mentality about film will change? I think that while the current film revival lasts and some famous photographers keep shooting film, we are safe... hahaha. I’m not sure if it will always be easy to find film to buy. Maybe in 20 years it will be a lot more complicated to shoot film than it is now. But maybe, by then, someone has become aware of the business potential of film, who knows. Anyway, as for changing mentalities it’s always a lost cause, especially when it’s about art. It’s the same about nudity in photography. For many it’s tabu...
Mamiya RZ67 Pro2 by LUIS GANILHO
I remember the first time that I saw this camera. Although it looked peculiar, I was immediately drawn to it. Later in that day I made a search online and tried to find out everything I could about it. When I saw some of the images it produces I knew this was the perfect camera for me. I was hooked. A couple of months later I bought it and Iâ€™ve been using it ever since.
Ok, so now that you now I love this camera, let’s dive into this review! The RZ67 pro2 was released in 1995 and was targeted at professionals working indoors or in a studio environment. There was a previous model, the pro1, released in 1982, and in 2004 Mamiya released the RZ67 pro2D for both film and digital backs (still available to buy new). All of these similar models were actually based on the classic Mamiya RB67. Many people still use the RB67 today, but it’s a heavier and less perfect camera than the RZ67. Anyway, 15 years ago the RZ67 was a very expensive camera, so definitively wasn’t a camera for amateurs. Many professionals used it because of the 6x7 frame (medium format) since it was less restrictive in composition than de 6x6 square frames from Hasselblad. With a superb image quality, great features and design, it was a winner among medium format cameras of its time. The key features of the Mamiya RZ67 pro2 are the 6x7 frame, the rotating film back that lets you rotate between portrait and landscape orientation without moving the actual camera, the bellows focusing system and a full range of very high quality lens with leaf shutters that let you synchronize with a flash at any shutter speed. Being a modular camera, you can take advantage of the many different accessories available and assemble the camera to fit your needs. The RZ has a microprocessor that electronically controls the camera functions and the camera is capable of shutter speeds from 8 seconds to 1/400 of a second. It’s has a switch for multiple exposures, two knobs - one in each side of the camera - for focusing with the bellows, a locking lever in one of the focusing knobs, a shutter speed dial, a manual advance lever and a flash hot shoe.
If you decide to try shooting with this camera, please keep this advice in mind: slow down and use a tripod (or a monopod). Fail to follow this advice and you will probably get a lot of blurry pictures all the time. I’m not saying it’s impossible to shoot handheld, but it is surely very difficult. This is not a camera that fits perfectly in your hand. In fact, it doesn’t fit at all. It’s basically a cube! It was designed to be on a tripod most of the time. The left hand grip is an accessory that may help you with handheld shooting, but still, I wouldn’t try it unless in a very sunny day, so that I could use a shutter speed of 1/400. This is my main advice, take it or leave it. If you are using the 110mm f/2.8 lens, I would also advice you to avoid shooting wide open at f/2.8 all the time. I have personally found out that I get better results at f/4 or f/5.6. The depth of field is still very small, but with a little more room for error. It’s not easy to manual focus with this camera, especially if you are not using a tripod or a monopod! When I did the photo shoot with Daniela for this review (the model you see in these pages) I tried to shoot handheld at f/2.8 and lost a lot of potential great photos because of that. Some of Daniela’s 16
Model: Daniela Palhares Another thing I love about this camera is the quality of the lenses. The most famous lens of this RZ system is the sekor 110mm f/2.8 and this is the one I use for my work. In medium format, this is a normal lens (about a 55mm in “full frame” terms). At f/2.8 the depth of field is very small and the bokeh coming out of it is beautiful. There is a full range of other great lens available for this system: a 37mm fisheye, a 500mm, a 140mm macro lens, a 75mm tilt shift, etc... And the best thing is that these are not nearly as expensive as other brands (check out www. keh.com). But why are these lenses so good? Well, for what I’ve been told, the less glass elements and moving parts a lens has, better the quality of the images it produces. Since there are no moving parts inside these lenses (no auto focus and no focusing ring), the lens design can be very simple, and therefore, more efficient in capturing light. The lens build quality is also great, in case you are wondering. I would expect nothing less from a camera branded as “Professional”. And last, but not least, the leaf shutter inside the lens is a great plus because, as I mentioned, it allows for flash synchronization in all shutter speeds.
photos don’t have a perfect focus, if you notice carefully you will see it. Anyway, this is a heavy camera, although not as heavy as the RB, so also keep that in mind. When I finished this photo shoot my wrist hurt for several days. You have been warned. But let me tell you about one of the things I really love about the RZ67: the rotating film back (you can get 120 6x7, 6x6 or 645 film backs, or even a polaroid back). I honestly believe this camera was designed by some genius guy. The design solutions are sublime and work perfectly. The rotating back is a stroke of genius indeed. I can have the camera on a tripod and simply turn it to either vertical or horizontal and the frame guide lines change in the waist level finder to let me know and help me with the composition of my shoot. The film back itself has two frame counters, so that I can see it, either in vertical or horizontal mode. Anyway, the film backs are also great because, for instance, if I have two of them, one with black and white film and the other with color film, I can change between then without having to first finish a roll. This is a huge advantage if you like to use se-veral different film types in a photo shoot. 17
The RZ67 takes a 6V high voltage battery (4LR44) that is still available. I have ordered two of them online a couple of years ago (when I bought the RZ) and I am still using the first battery and keeping the second as a backup, so you can expect each of them to last for a long time. Anyway, the camera will still work without a battery, but the shutter speed will only work in 1/400 of a second. However, since the camera also uses RB lenses, and these have shutter speed controls in the lens itself, I believe you can overcome not having a battery if you use one of these older lenses (but I have never tried this because I have no RB lens). But beware that the red light that warns you, for instance, that the dark slide is still inserted will not work without battery.
Model above: DĂŠbora Coiso
Model: Lenor Coise 19
Model: Raquel Nunes
Model: Maria Carlota
Let me mention one last important detail. With this camera you must use a lightmeter in order to figure out your exposure. However, if you use the AE (auto exposure) prism finder FE701 instead of the standard waist level finder, you will be able to take advantage of auto exposure. Unfortunately the camera becomes considerably heavier with the prism finder, so it depends on which way works best for you. (The FE701 has both spot metering and average metering.) In conclusion, the Mamiya RZ67 pro2, with its great optics and many accessories, it is a magnificent tool for those photographers that want images with the highest quality. This is a classic medium format camera for professionals. Itâ€™s best to use this camera in a studio environment or indoors with a tripod/monopod. In extreme weather conditions, the bellows are its weakness. The camera design is very good but not great if you plan on using it handheld. This is the camera to get if you want to shoot portraits, nudes, macros, fine art, and every genre of photography where you can take things slow and plan each shoot.
And finally, you do have to know about photography to be able to shoot with this camera, otherwise you will be in trouble. 20
Mamiya Sekor 110mm f/2.8
AE Prism Finder FE701
Camera viewed from above (with the Waist level finder)
Film Back 120 6x7
João Mascarenhas http://joaomascarenhas.tumblr.com From time to time we all discover the work of a photographer that really inspire us. That’s what happened to me when I first saw the work of João, a photographer that documents his life and the life of those around him with his unique voyeuristic style. It’s so easy to fall in love with these perfectly candid moments. You shoot film instead of digital. What drove you into that path instead of digital? Well, it was mainly because of the film look. I admit not really loving the hassle of shooting film. But I really love the way a photo looks when taken with film. They remind me of the photos my parents took of me when I was a child. I love the colors, texture, grain… although today you can also use software filters like VSCO to simulate the film look and they work pretty good. They have brought a new creative direction for digital photographers. However, as for any new trend, eventually everyone’s photos start looking very similar. I believe both digital and film have their place and they both work well, but I prefer using film. The reason is simple. I’m lazy and totally hate sitting for hours in front of a computer post processing my images. I prefer just to send them to the lab and receive then back already
fully ready to use. One habit I’ve got with film photography is to shoot for months and saving the film somewhere. I then only send the rolls to the lab when I think the time is right or when I have some money to spend. I really like to finally see my images after some time, not even remembering having taken some of the photos. Your work has a very clear sense of style. To which extent did film helped you find that style? I’ve seen so many digital photographers (mostly beginners) struggling to achieve their own style, but ultimately lacking it completely. Do you agree? Anyway, how would you define your work? I somewhat agree. I think that film can help you achieve a more original look in your photos, but I have seen digital photographers doing very creative and original work as well. The way you shoot, digital or film, is what defines you as a photographer. 23
However, I have chosen film because I like it better, not because I’m trying to be original about it. Talent is what really matters the most, and also the way you shoot, so that you can achieve a consistent and identifiable body of work. As for how I define my own work, it’s hard to answer. I’m always trying to discover new ways to shoot. I like to experiment new things,
but I know my work is strongly connected to skateboard, youth, rebelliousness… I always try to incorporate aspects of my own life and my friends in my work. It’s kind of a voyeur type of thing. I don’t like them to notice I’m taking their picture. I’m always looking for those moments that no one expects me to push the shutter. Shooting people that I don’t person-
ally now it’s not my thing. I’m pretty sure I’d make a terrible street photographer because of that.
“I’m always looking for those moments that no one expects me to push the shutter.” I really like the unpretentious mood of your images. It’s like if you where casually portraying fleeting moments, instead of preparing a “serious” photo session. Is that approach your secret to amazing photos? How do people react to this? Yes, maybe. I don’t like the traditional photo sessions. I like to capture moments that take place by themselves. I don’t like to pose a portrait. I believe the right moment will happen while we go for a walk and talk to each other. This is what I always try to explain to my models when we’re on a photo shoot. Sometimes I actually take some traditional photos, as a way to “deceive” the model into thinking that that was it. But actually, the real photos are the ones taken in between. So, sometimes I sacrifice many shoots in order to get the ones I really want. Does your work reflect who you are? Beach... surf... skate... friends... pretty girls... I would personally say that your work searches for moments that are very real and honest, and film photography feels very real and perfect for doing just that. In the other side of the coin we see many digital photographers obsessed with Photoshop and trying to manipulate their photos into something they are not. It’s like if they are searching for an ideal that probably belongs in the fantasy world. What do you think about that? Those are the themes of my life. I like to document my life and the people around
me and film allows me to achieve a specific type of results that don’t seem to look as well on digital. And as I said, it saves me from losing time in post production. I respect the photographer that spends hours “cleaning” his images, but to me that’s boring and a waste of time. People usually think that film photography is more difficult than digital but I think it’s the exact opposite. Film has a lot more latitude and allows more room to make mistakes in your exposure. At least in a color negative the latitude is huge. With digital is harder to see good results when faced with the same type of exposure mistakes. Not to mention the time spent in the computer trying to fix those mistakes. Anyway, all is easier with film. What do you think about the times we currently live in, where everyone is a photographer because they have a camera or cell phone? Do you see it has a trivialization of photography? The amount of photos being taken is gigantic, but how about their qua-
lity? How does someone like you fit in? The world today is made of images. Social networks made that happen. Cameras and cell phones are very good and they are reasonably accessible. I think people became more confident about being amateur photographers and possibly professionals in 1 or 2 years down that road. It’s a trendy activity because our image-driven society says so. However, I like to believe there are still people that can give us something much more unique than what whatever the amateur contemporary photographers can. At least I try to do some-
“People usually think that film photography is more difficult than digital but I think it’s the exact opposite.” 29
thing that I like, first and foremost, and then maybe other people may also like it. But everyone likes to show their work to others and I’m no exception. Are the people you have recently meet or talked to in social networking somewhat curious about “old school” photography? Or maybe just surprised? Have you ever participated in a discussion about film versus digital? When I say people I shoot film I get all kinds of reactions. Some people say: “That´s still around? Is the quality still good?” or “Yeah, that´s really trendy, right? Everyone using vintage cameras, right?”. The way I see it, it’s not about quality and it’s not about trends. I just like it better. I avoid participating in discussions and I don’t like being judged by whatever reason. I choose my way of shooting, others can make their own choices. Your body of work is mainly personal. Did you ever considered incorporating it in
your commercial work? Is it even possible nowadays to consider incorporating film photography in a commercial workflow? Yes, my body of work is mainly made out of personal projects. At least, what I decided to show in websites and blogs. Usually, editors prefer digital because of costs and speed, but I did had the opportunity to do some commercial work with film on several occasions. I would love to work professionally with film more often, but the cost is too big, and that alone is a big reason for editors to choose another photographer. On the other hand, some publications still prefer my analog work because of the way it looks and that’s exactly what they want. SO, I guess I can say that I make a living taking photos. I do assignments I don’t really like and un-
fortunately that’s what my digital camera is for – to work – not to create photography.
“...some publications still prefer my analog work because of the way it looks...” To wrap up, what do you think about the future of photography? Are you optimistic or pessimistic? What can all of us do to help saving film photography? I think film will eventually cease to exist, although the technology we have today allows us to produce amazing quality film. There are many people and communities
trying to boost and save film, and these people deserve my outmost respect. I do my part. I use it as much as possible. But I think we will only know what the future of film is when the vintage trend is over, but for now, it’s looking good. Future will tell.
Why film photography? by LUIS GANILHO
Since this is a magazine about film photography, it makes sense for me to write about the reasons why I personally love to shoot film. I mean, I love it to the point of making this magazine about it.
Old vintage cameras! Don’t get me wrong, I also like technology and new modern cameras. Who doesn’t? They have an appeal of their own. But for me, they never feel special. They never feel like I’m holding a classic instrument in my hands. I just really enjoy is using old gear. There’s something peculiar about vintage cameras and lenses... maybe it’s their mechanical feel or simply how difficult it is to shoot with them. I actually prefer the path that forces me to overcome difficulties instead of allowing technology to take over and make all decisions for me (although sometimes that’s what you need). Anyway, this is a very personal reason for shooting film.
I will, however, avoid making a direct comparison to digital photography because, in my opinion, it doesn’t make sense to try to put one against the other. One doesn’t have to be better than the other. Instead, I prefer to say that both mediums have their place, each with some advantages and some disadvantages. What matters is what works for each person and the type of work someone does. But to be honest, when someone asks me about film versus digital, I usually reply: “I like digital, but I LOVE film!” … Anyway, I wanted to write on paper my personal reasons for choosing film over digital. You should know that I’ve learned photography with digital and only about 2 years ago I started shooting film. Today I’m happy to say that I’m a film photographer. Why? Let me try to explain…
It’s always Christmas! Do you remember how it felt when you are a kid on Christmas Eve? When it was time to open the presents and you were all excited about it? Felt great, right? Well, this is very close to what I feel when my film lab finally send me my scans. It feels like Christmas! Instant gratification is nice, but waiting and being surprised feels even better!
The film look looks great! Probably, if you ask 10 film photographers why they shoot film, 8 or 9 will say that it’s because of the way a film image looks. I’m not the exception here. I absolutely love the way it looks! I also love using specific types of film for specific purposes and results. The analog process of capturing an image gives it a depth, texture and grain that I really enjoy. Actually, many people really like this analog look… even if they shoot digital. That’s why many digital photographers emulate this look with presets (VSCO) and try to make their images look the closest possible to film, but it’s not the same thing. For me, it doesn’t make any sense to try making a digital photo to look like film. If I want the film look, I shoot film. I like the real thing, but that’s just me.
Less photos, better photos! This is a tricky one, and in fact, many people may disagree. But at least for me, this is a fact. I just get better images using film (and I certainly take less shoots). Shooting film makes me slow down, think more about stuff, and take the shoot only when it counts. Ok, a lot of people that shoots film say these exact words all the time. I guess I lose some points here for lack of originality… But it is what it is and my results with film prove it.
Medium format awesomeness! This is another big reason for me. Shooting with large negatives gives my images a very distinctive look and a very high quality image. Many people I’ve talked to often don’t really notice the difference between a 35mm shot (small format) and a 6x7 shot (medium format), although some do. But many people with no musical background can’t really notice if a guitar is slightly out of tune, although some do. Still, I prefer to play a guitar in tune if possible, and surely I prefer to shoot 6x7 if I can (silly analogy, I’m sorry). The difference in image quality is there and looks mind blowing to my eyes. The amount of detail in these images is crazy and there is also a noticeable extra three-dimensionality that really makes my subjects to pop out. Shooting medium format takes my photography to an all new level. People usually think that medium format is out of their reach, but with film, I have access to so many affordable medium format cameras and lens that amazes me why aren’t everyone shooting with these cameras.
Personal style! I hope digital shooters don’t read this paragraph… but far too many digital photographers whose work I follow, (mostly people that started like I did, shooting models/books) have a really hard time in making their work stand out. In my opinion, their work greatly lacks a personal style. It’s like if digital pushes them to the same flat and over processed type of images. Eventually, all these photographers’ photos look similar. But of course, this is my personal perception, and thankfully there are many exceptions to this. That said, I think it’s easier to achieve a personal style with film. And that’s it. Are there more reasons? Yes, but these are the main reasons. In short, film just works for me and helps me to better express myself and gives me the results I really like. That’s what really matters. 37
Pawel Kufel 6x6 http://facebook.com/pawelkufel6x6 When I first saw Pawel’s photos I immediately felt a very powerful sense of personal style. I was really surprised when I knew his age. Being so young and already with such a clear visual direction. I really like it. Of course, I had to talk to him I find out more about his work! Can you tell me a little about yourself ? (Where are you from? How old are you? How long do you shoot? Do you want to be a professional photographer?) I came from Zdunska Wola, but in the last two years I’m working and living in Lodz. I’m 24 and the first interest in digital photography came up about 8 years ago. After graduating from high-school, I bought a digital SLR camera and then decided to sign up for a 2 year photography school. I think it was around 2010-2011 when, in one of those classes, we had to take a picture of a still life using a Mamiya RB67 and that was it ... At first glance, my camera seemed to be a plastic toy when compared to this medium format camera... It’s design and the image seen on the focusing screen made me decide to start taking pictures with an analog camera, and so, a few months later, I got a Start 66 double-lens camera from my aunt. In the first half of 2012
I bought a Kiev which I still use today. I started approaching photography more seriously in 2012/2013, but I never wanted to become a professional photographer (in terms of earning a substantial amount of income from photography). A lot of people think that the combination of your hobby/passion and work is something cool, but for me, it would mean probably keeping up dates or the need to adapt to what the client wants. For example, when shooting weddings, this would mean I would have to purchase a digital camera, flash, etc. I do not want to shoot with digital camera, especially topics that do not interest me. Also, I dislike the idea of having to deal with the post-production of photojournalism. It would probably kill all the desire to shoot in my spare time. So I prefer to earn money in a different way, but still get satisfaction from creating my “squares”. Why have you decided to shoot film instead of digital? (What do 39
Model: Anna Czerwińska you like about film? What are the advantages and disadvantages about shooting film? Do you develop some of your own photos?) People say that “analogue has a soul”. I like the depth and grain of an image, the way of thinking when you only have 24 shots (I usually use 2 rolls of film per photo shoot), the sound of the shutter release, the work process, or just knowing that the rolls of undeveloped film I‘ve shoot may contain an amazing image and having to wait for the pictures to develop... All of this has an amazing charm to me. As for the pros and cons, it depends of what you want to take pictures of and how you like to work. If you want to take pictures of subjects in action or moving, then a digital SLR camera will be a much better choice. For example, you’ll benefit from auto focusing, high-sensitivity matrix metering and the ability to shoot several frames per second. However, with the pictures that I take, the above-mentioned advantages of
Model: Anna Czerwińska
digital cameras are of no use to me. Also, I prefer choosing, let’s say, 4 photos out of 24 rather than 4 out of 400 shots. As far as developing goes, I do it all by myself, I scan the pictures, but I do not make any handprints - these prints would have been very ‘crude’ and without the characteristic photo manipulating that I do. However, I do have plans to make prints from digital files soon. Do you have any favorite photographers? (What do you like about them and how much do they influence your work?) I do browse through a large amount of pictures and I think it’s hard to point out all of my favorites. Still, I could mention Andrzej FETISH Frankowski and Ruslan Lobanov because they are probably the first two photographers whose work popped up when I started researching about nude photography. There are other photographers whose portfolios give me mixed feelings – on one hand they motivated me to continue to work hard and 40
evolve and, on the other hand, they demotivate me by making me feel several levels below. Anyway, I think that other people’s work doesn’t really have that much of an influence on what I’m doing.
“As far as developing goes, I do it all by myself.” How’s the film photography community in Poland? (Do many other photographers you know shoot film?) Come to think about it, probably most photographers whom I had the opportunity to meet in person, use analog cameras, or at least, they did for a time. Many photographers which I haven’t had the opportunity to meet yet and whose works I do admire, also use analog cameras, so I think that the analog society in Poland is very well indeed. :) Also, on
Model: Anna CzerwiĹ„ska
Model: Anna CzerwiĹ„ska
PAGE 45 Model: Enigma MUA: Marta Szulc 42
Model: Enigma MUA: Marta Szulc Facebook groups dedicated to traditional photography in Poland, you can see a lot of good work, and in the auctions, there are still ‘findings’ from the attics, inheritance from grandfather - enlargers, cameras, lenses, etc.
“... models who pose for an analog camera for the first time are usually curious...” How do people usually react to your images? (How do they react when you tell them you shoot film in old cameras? How do the models react to this approach?) I often hear people say that my photographs are nice, but they convey the feeling of a certain sadness. The first part of this opinion is relative because I realize that not everyone must conform to like my work, but I can only partially agree
Model: Enigma MUA: Marta Szulc
with the second part. But when they find out that I use an old camera, as a contrast to my young appearance, they seem to be quite surprised, although this is a positive surprise. As for the models, the mere fact of working with a person using an analog camera is fine with them, and I do receive positive feedback, especially since some of them pose mainly for analog photos. Those models who pose for an analog camera for the first time are usually curious, but they also need to “switch” from the constant movement when posing for digital camera and some of them do not find it easy. Do you think digital is a big temptation to a young photographer like you? (Do you ever consider shooting digital in the future?) Digital cameras tempt young people with the opportunity to begin easily the adventure with photography, especially since we can immediately see the results on the screen. We live in the twenty-first century, the full development and mo43
mentum, so the standard is that immediacy tempts young people. Automatic settings allow even for a small child to be running around the yard with a compact camera, snapping pictures. As for me, I do not plan to work with digital camera, if anything – maybe in the very distant future I will have the opportunity to try a digital back (assuming their price will come down) and maybe I’ll like it. However, I do not want to move away from the medium-format and square frame. I really like the effect you give to most of your images. You blur the edges, somehow, making it kind of your “signature”. Where did that idea come from? When I was first intrigued by photography, I’ve spent more and more time on the internet browsing sites where people post their own pictures. After some time, I started to notice some characteristic elements in some of the work, such as design or theme-specific images, which after some time allowed me to identify
Model: Cocorosie the person who took the picture, before I even read the photo caption. I wanted my pictures to influence people in this way, and it is slowly happening. Grain, dark vignette, most of the central frames enclosed in squares, strong contrasts, but above all, blurry and the swirly edges/ bokeh become something that I was recognized for. I’m not sure if it is already fully defined in the photographic sense of “me”, but this is definitely the path in that direction. Anyway, the idea of my ‘swirl’ appeared during an outdoor photo session, where I felt that the background blur would beautifully compliment the model, by introducing some dynamic into a seemingly static scene. You shoot a lot of nudes and then use social media to share your work. What do you think about nudity policy in the internet? For instant, on Facebook. Yes, I use social media because it allows me to reach a larger audience and get instant feedback. The policy and re-
Model: Skajres MUA: Anabell Make Up
strictions on the content are somehow necessary, though they could be better regulated. I get a little confused when I watch TV and see a woman’s breast or a scene in which someone’s blood pours all over the place and everyone is OK with it, but a photo where the women’s breast is unveiled and presented in an artistic way is considered offensive for some rea-
“...censoring photos published on facebook reduces then to the level of pornography.” son. I could understand it, if the human body was something foreign to us and if we had not been learning about anatomy since primary school, or later on, when we study the renaissance, with its nude paintings and sculptures. Censoring pho44
tos published on Facebook reduces them to the level of pornography. Since so many photographers publish their work on Facebook, and some of that work may be inappropriate for those under a certain age, then, maybe they could give us an additional option/tool that could allows us to block access to people under a certain age. This would at least allow for a somewhat less restrictive approach to censorship. One last thing. What do you think about the future of film? (Are you optimistic or pessimistic?) Even though I tend to be a pessimistic person, the future of analog photography appears to me in bright colors. For people concerned with it, my perception is that the number is actually increasing due to workshops, the internet, exhibitions or even documental movies such as ‘’Finding Vivian Meier’’. Analog photography is a true passion and love. We’ll still be unexposed till death.
The future of our images by LUIS GANILHO
Are we witnessing to the vulgarization of photography? Are we thinking about photography only in the short term? Is it reasonable to say that the more photos exist around us, less value we give them? Will we actually be able to show to our sons and grandsons the photos we are taking today? What will happen to our images?
We live in a digital world were almost everyone has easy access to digital technology and camera devices. With great ease we take photos with our smart phones, tablets, compact cameras and DSLRs. But now that digital as brought us speed, easiness and convenience, do we ever stop to think about if those images will actually be able to survive for… 100 years? We are now in the early 21 century, a little over a decade after the digital photography hit the market strongly, and already many people have no clue about what is film photography. Digital invaded our lives, with all of its easiness, convenience and speed. New devices, like smart phones, are capable of taking nice photos, at least according to most consumers’ standards, and without them needing to understand photography, making it possible to everyone to take photos without actually thinking about it. It’s reasonable to say that today we are all photographers. In some ways this allowed many people to express themselves creatively, taking advantage of technology to make their art. In other ways, far too many photos are being taken with no thought, no meaning, no quality and no art. We live obsessed with social networking, and many of us feel the strange need to express ourselves by documenting and publishing online everything that happens in our life, whether it’s important or not to other people. There is no common sense applied. Just people eager to get some attention. To some, this has become a lifestyle, a way to bring attention on them, to simulate happiness and provide an ego massage. Are we witnessing to the vulgarization of photography?
But what implications will result from a complete digital approach to photography? Today, all over the world, trillion of photos are taken every year. It’s a massive amount of photos and never before in human history so many photos were taken and by so many people. But… will these images survive the passage of time? For instance, a mother takes photos of her newborn son. Will she be able to show him those pictures when grows up to be an adult? Will we actually be able to show to our sons and grandsons the photos we take today? Anyway, I think due to the speed and easiness of digital photography - and because taking a photo is somewhat “free” - you can easily take thousands of photos in just a couple of days (if you really want to). There is a new perception concerning photography in general. First, we tend to only value a photo in the moment it was taken. We usually publish the photo online, receive some nice comments about it from our friends, and we are happy. A week later that photo is old news and may very well get erased from our camera or Smartphone to make more space for more pictures. Are we thinking about photography only in the short term? Second, we seem to be concern about quantity more than anything. For instance, some couples getting married asking their photographer for an “X” amount of photos, as if that is their main concern. (As if anyone is going to enjoy looking at 2000 images of their weeding). Is it reasonable to say that the more photos exist in our lives, less value we give them? Are our photos really safe? Let’s think about that for a second. For instance, most people nowadays backs up their photos in standard CD/DVDs but this medium is only able to keep its data safe for about 2 or 3 decades. After that time, its data will become corrupted and unreadable. Anyway, we already see the trend of laptops and personal computers not even having a CD/DVD reader… so how will we read our images 30 years from now? We usually also back up our photos in external hard drives, but even those have a relative short lifetime. They will fail eventually. How about just keeping our photos in our laptop or personal computer? I guess that’s the worst idea, since any computer can break down, be attacked by virus, or simply, files can be deleted accidentally. Not to mention that we buy a new computer every 3 or 4 years, just to keep up with technology. In fact, it’s interesting to point out this super fast technology advancement as a big problem in keeping your digital photos safe. Why? Because the hardware and software change so fast, and every time it does, new incompatibilities arise. A couple of years ago I tried to read the con-
How about the professional photographers? Nowadays most of them use digital cameras. Even if many started with film photography, they have quickly made the transition to digital. No doubt digital photography is very appealing. It allows photographers to immediately visualize and confirm their results; deliver their work to clients with great speed; use software to improve and correct their photos; immediately publish their photos online; and take advantage of more technology (WIFI connection, HDR photos, GPS tagging, video, high ISO capabilities, etc…). It is surely the right tool for many professional photographic assignments. However, it’s interesting to note the paradox… The easier it becomes to shoot, more complex the technology needs to be, and more difficult it is to differentiate one photographer work from another.
tent of several 100 megapixels yomega disks I have. Couldn’t do it because of driver issues. A few years ago we started to hear about the “Cloud” and several services that let you upload your files to a server and keep them there, safe. But how safe is it? Will the companies that manage those servers still exist in 100 years from now? And finally, how about publishing your photos in social networks like facebook, flikr, instagram, etc… Is that any guarantee that those photos will be online fifty even years into the future? But why is it so important to try to preserve our photos anyway? I will presume that the photos we take of our friends and relatives, vacations, birthdays, etc., are important to most people. However, there is another reason of why those images are important. The cultural importance of documenting our society is also – in my opinion, at least – of great importance. Think about the photos our ancestors took and how important they are today. Thru those images we are able to know more about our past and the key moments of our society, the birth of our cities, the people from those days and how they lived, etc. We have photos of vietnam, the man on the moon, the building of our skyscrapers and bridges, everyday people walking in the streets… All of this is important to provide us a clear understanding of the previous century and not all of those images were taken by professional photographers (a good example of this would be Viviam Maier, but that’s another story). From the historical point of view, these images are very important indeed. Imagine that no such images had ever survived the passage of time… For instance, imagine not being possible to see images of your hometown in the beginning of the XX century. How sad would that be? From the cultural stand point we would be so much poorer, don’t you think? That said, shouldn’t we take measures in order to prevent losing our images, both professional and personal? Surely the next generations will appreciate it
Print your photos This is probably the best thing to do if you want to protect your photos. That doesn’t mean you should print every single photo you take (let’s try to preserve the trees also), but at least, your very best photos or those that have great meaning to you. If you print then in archival paper, depending on several factors, they may last for about 100 years and the best thing about it is that no devices will be needed in the future for viewing them. Another very good idea is to print photo books. Today is very easy to print a book in websites like www.blurb.com. You can choose from different sizes, papers and covers. You can even publish the photo book in their online store and try to sell it to other people (if appropriate).
So, what can we do in order to maximize the probabilities of not losing our images? The answer to this question is what lead me to write about this in the first place. If you are like me, and you value your photos, both professional and personal, you may want to try and do something in order to insure your images have a good chance of surviving for as long as possible. In short, I think there are 3 things everyone should do to protect their photos...
Make a lot of digital back ups This is something we all need to do with commitment and a lot of organization. It’s a lot of hard work. Should we have our photos in our personal computer? Yes! Should we have our photos in a external hard drive? Yes! Should we have our photos in even another hard drive and keep it at our parent’s house? Yes! Should we upload our photos to the cloud? Yes! Should we publish our photos in social networks and/or website? Yes!
Shoot film Well, this suggestion in perhaps a little too obvious, since this is a magazine about film photography. Still, it’s worth expressing the advantages of shooting film in the preservation of your images. The thing is that, by shooting film, you get something that you can actually hold in your hand and safe keep somewhere. It’s much more than a computer file. But you can also scan your film, with the resolution you need, and have a digital file of your image as well. The better thing about this is that, because scanning technology is also advancing greatly, in 10 years from now you can grab the roll of film you shoot today and re-scan it, being able to pull even more detail from the film itself. By the way, it’s also worth mentioning that photography was invented more than 100 years ago and there is still a lot of film that survived until today. This should tell you a lot about the durability of film.
I hope this article has brought some attention to this potential issue. Hopefully the film community will continue to increase and maybe, just maybe, 100 years from now some of our photos may have survived.
The future is in our hands. 49
Paul Reid www.flickr.com/photos/thepaulreid I’ve found Paul’s work in the internet while browsing in flickr searching for inspiring new film photographers. I talked to him and asked him about an interview and I was glad that I did, because he’s not only a nice guy, but he also had some interesting things to say about photography. How long have you been shooting? (Did you start with digital or film? Do you work with both? Did you go to photography school or are you a self taught photographer? Are you a professional or a serious amateur?) I started my interest in photography in 2003. I had a little point and shoot silver digital camera. I’d take photos of the usual things: sunsets, animals etc... I soon became frustrated with the fact that the camera interpreted what I saw and made the image, rather than making a replica of what I wanted. I then got my first DSLR in 2005; a Nikon D70 with kit zoom lens. My mum bought it when visiting family in Seattle and brought it back for me (around her neck to avoid duty fees!). I thought it made me look like a real photographer! Being a guy I didn’t bother reading the manual and also only shot in Manual mode as I thought this would help me learn. I took pretty much unusable images
for the next 2 years, birthdays, holidays, weddings, you name it, the photos were dark and/or blurred! I look back and laugh, I could have just asked someone, but I was too stubborn with working it out myself! So I guess you could say I am self-taught, although it was more a process of trial and error. Things eventually started to click and the photos got better. I eventually upgraded to a Pentax K5. It was a lot more advanced then the D70, but I felt more removed from the photographic workflow that the D70 had forced on me, with its postage stamp sized screen. So, I later sold the K5 for a Nikon D200 to try and recapture the feelings of making photos again, I even considered buying another D70 as I craved the challenge of having to fully engage my thoughts and senses to earn a good photo. I wanted to feel part of the process and this is why I love to shoot film today as a passionate amateur photographer. 51
What drove you into analog territory? Why film? (Any particularly influences on that decision?) My Dad left when I was 5, he was a keen photographer and I have flashbacks of going into his room and playing around with 35mm film canisters and camera paraphernalia. Maybe it’s a comfort for me in some way, or maybe I was designed
to shoot film from the start. As digital cameras improved in their capabilities, I became increasingly disillusioned with the process and results, I felt like I was somehow left out of the creative process. I know this is illogical with the manual features available but it just felt wrong for me. I began spending a lot of time in the lightroom and later with Photoshop
trying to ‘fix’ my photos as they were not how I wanted them to look. I felt like a fraud. I would wonder to myself, how could taking a photo on a DSLR only be a starting point? Surely the image should be created in the moment, I thought. Cue further dissolution from my once passion. I am a regular Flickr member and would often look at the photos and marvel. It became clear that I had a preference for film photos. To me they capture a reality that I could not extract from the digital photos I saw. Pandora’s box was now well and truly opened! I began an exploration of different film types, formats and camera lenses with their respective unique rendering. I was in heaven, the photo look was derived from the film type, lens and developing -not Photoshop! It was like reigniting my passion; I felt like my photos could be honest again. In 2012 I bought my first film camera, a Rolleicord Vb and so began my love affair...
“In 2012 I bought my first film camera, a Rolleicord Vb and so began my love affair...” Do you usually combine digital and film in the same photo shoot? (by the way, what would you say the main differences between them are?) I have shot with both digital and film cameras a couple of times but found out that it confuses my flow. I prefer to stick to using just film. They are so different, but the key benefits of digital are convenience, cost and autofocus. These are very important to most people. However, I don’t take photos because I want them fast or for free - and I love the feel of a 52
focusing ring! I savour the fact that it is costly for me to press the shutter, it intensifies my workflow and demands my purest attention. I love the waiting and unknowing if the photos will reflect my creative intentions and I enjoy the process of developing and feeling like I am crafting a photograph from a special moment that I saw. Also, the film cameras themselves are glorious machines! They were built in an age where things were built to last rather than designed to become obsolete. When you use a film camera, it is like a precision crafted watch or tailored shirt, you can feel the attention and thought that went into its construction. And the level of engagement they command from me is incredible. I love how when I look through a Pentax 67 the glass makes the world look even more beautiful (how do they do that?) or when you look through a Mamiya RZ67 waist level finder (WLF), it is so bright and sharp I could look through it all day and feel like I am having a great time - even without taking any photos! I recently met up with a good digital photographer friend of mine for a shoot. I brought the RZ for him to use. The moment he looked through the WLF he was transfixed! I sensed his stunned silence and knew that he was experiencing the same revelations that I had. These machines are an experience in themselves. With digital I feel none of these things. Just click, chimp, delete. Digital cameras are constantly evolving from the need to appeal to consumers.
What we are seeing now is a race comprising of megapixels and frames per second. Digital cameras can focus faster, more accurately and shoot more shots with less and less input from the photographer. These ever increasing metrics combined with the negligible consumption cost, have a strong influence on my workflow when I used to shoot digital. I can only
“Digital cameras are constantly evolving from the need to appeal to consumers...” 53
see this trend increasing. You seem to be mostly drawn to portraits. What traits do you look for in a model? (where do you find your models? Are they seduced somehow with the idea of an old school approach? A photo shoot with film cameras really is a completely different process… is it more difficult to work with a model that’s used to digital photo shoots,
due to the much slower speed/process of shooting?) I am drawn to people in life and in photography. I look for people I want to photo, it’s not anything specific I can put my finger on, just something that inspires me about a person and I know it instantly. I often find my models in the street or they are friends of friends. I once saw a girl in the street that I was blown away by, I approached her and gave my spiel and card. I heard nothing from her and forgot about it. A year later she contacted me and we made some great photos together (it was Amber). They are the heroine or hero of the world I want to portray within that frame. People often don’t understand when I say I shoot film. They often look at me strange, like I want to film them with a movie camera! The expectation of a model who is new to film shoots is
“I say to the model that unless I think the photo is perfect I will not take it.” different. I think they hear the shutter on a digital camera at x frames per second, and it gives them confidence, it somehow validates that they are doing something right and looking good to the photographer. I don’t have the luxury of that. I say to the model that unless I think the photo is perfect I will not take it. This sets their understanding of my work flow. In the past, I have taken a couple of hours to shoot 10 exposures with a model, but she was very patient and we had a good time. But the number of keepers is the same as I would get from 600 digital shots. Your wife seems to be a big supporter of your photography. Is it somehow more in-
spiring – or easier – for you to work with someone that’s special to you, than a regular model? I am very fortunate that my wife understands my photography. This was not always the case, and it took her being a model for me to understand that the mood conveyed in the photograph is not the same as the moment the photo was taken, it is sometimes a creation. I find it difficult to work with my beautiful wife as familiarity dulls my eyes. I like to have a fresh visual stimulus to activate me. Something I see in some of your images is a special attention to the environment in the background. Is that something you always look for in a portrait? (what else do you look for… a specific type of light? Mood? Facial expression? Emotion?) Thank you, I am surprised to hear that, as I see myself as a head shot guy; although I do strive for a portrait with context and the background should be congruent and enhance the context. I look to create a photo that will look like a believable moment. As if the moment would have happened regardless of me holding a camera in front of them. The model’s look will dictate what I think the boundaries are for a theme. If it won’t pass for a real moment, I will steer the shoot in a different direction. Light is obviously key to making a satisfying photo and I especially enjoy window light. I use natural light as I like the subtlety of how it can vary and graduate. You think that film adds some extra emotion into a portrait? (Perhaps with black and white a portrait becomes more timeless… Do you imagine someday being converted in a full digital shooter?) For me, yes. A film exposure is a physical reaction that cannot be undone. You may have seen the frozen water experiments where words are written on water bottles and then they are frozen. The ice crystals 55
formed vary according to the words written. I like to believe that in the moment film captures an essence. I can’t describe it, but I can see it and feel it in the film images I see. I have seen equally amazing digital work by other photographers. I think people need to find what works for them. Maybe if they can create a digital camera with no screen that can use old lenses, I may be persuaded to dabble, but I can’t see myself fully converting! Have you ever had a bad experience/discussion or negative feedback from someone, for not shooting digital like most people? (Perhaps some ugly discussion about megapixels on Facebook or something like that?) No never. Although I did have another digital photographer saying that I wasn’t a true film shooter as I didn’t make prints of my work, I only scan my negatives and they are then digital. In this age the easiest way to share what you take involves a digital medium of some kind so I guess this is inevitable. As long as I am happy with my work flow and results I will carry on doing it that way. What do you think about the photography in general being made today? (Are you optimistic about film?) I like what I see, there are plenty of inspiring works I see daily both film and digital. Am I optimistic about film? I am. As digital cameras diverge ever further from their film forefathers, I think the digital work flow becomes ever more isolating for the user. Subsequently, the virtues of film and a film-camera work flow increase over time. This experience is something unique and I believe people will value it more and more as time goes on. Ok. To wrap up, please tell me, if someone wants a portrait from you, how can they approach you? Are you available? Great! Just shout me on: email@example.com
The girl with red hair Photographer: Luis Ganilho Model: Sinnie Einnis
Paulo Simões www.paulosimoes-photo.com I‘ve been following Paulo’s work for some time now. He’s a professional digital photographer with a lot of work that I admire. One day I notice a photo of an Hasselblad 500/C in his facebook feed and I realized that some of his personnal work was actually done with film. What a great opportunity to find out what a professional photographer thinks about shooting film today! pany called “Instant Bulb”. Professionally you shoot digital, but now I’m starting to see some of your personal work on film. Why? I’ll start by answering with the same words Nãna Sousa Dias told me one day. Those words are recorded in my brain: “If you intend to take a picture of a cloudy sky, and find out that there are not enough clouds in the sky as you wanted, then you don’t take the photo. Instead, come back on a cloudy day.” One of the things I sometimes try to recreate in post-production is the film appearance. But when you try to cut a rope with your teeth – having the scissors right next to you – it is just pure nonsense. So I concluded that if I want to have the film appearance in my images, I should just shoot film. Now I shoot both film and digital. I fell in love with the process of shooting film and all the possibilities that derive from the infinite options you’ve got for different signature results.
You started photography with digital. Do you think that it made it a little easier to learn? (How far back did you start? During your learning process, did your instructor/s made any reference to analog photography?) I’m a digital photographer since 2006 and only 2 years ago I tried to shoot some film. Digital surely made it easier to learn photography, as we can immediately see on the screen the mistakes we’ve made. This way we can fix them right away, and the learning curve is much faster. One of the best photographers I know – Nanã Sousa Dias – used to show me his work with large format, so I have always been in contact with film photography. Without a doubt, he’s one of the biggest defenders of shooting film as a way to become a better photographer. Film photography makes us more creative and less dependent on technology. You became a professional photographer and now you have a com69
Which were your first impressions after trying film photography? Which advantages and disadvantages would you give each method? What type of project you find more suitable for film photography? Lastly, how do your models react to the film process? Film photography is just a personal project to me. Digital is cheaper for commer-
“Film photography makes us more creative and rely less on technology.”
cial work, period! No client in the world will pay for the extra cost of shooting film. In my opinion, when digital arrived to the scene, it added more responsibilities to the photographers due to the colors, the balance of the whites and the photo editing. Before digital, the film lab would take care of all that! In short, digital photography only wins over film photography in its easiness and speed. As for how models reaction to film and vintage cameras, it is always different, but depends on their age. Older models still remember how things used to be. Younger models think the camera looks weird and sometimes ask me if they can see the images in the screen… Being a professional that uses digital in your everyday work, do you think photographers in general can still benefit from trying film for a while? I don’t even have to think twice about that one. It’s an absolute YES!! The creative process evolves 500%.
“...digital photography only wins over film photography in it’s easyness and speed.” How do you analyze the world of photography these days, now that photography is part of the lives of almost everyone? (Everyone has a camera or a cell phone and an Instagram account. Do you see a banalization of photography? Maybe that’s why some people seek in analogue photography a more “real” alternative? Or at least a more realistic experience ...) Being a photographer is more than just point and shoot. It´s knowing what you want to achieve with an image and going beyond that, adding your own personal 70
style. Instagram creates pretty photos when you first look at them, but they lack that personal component. With film photography, you need to develop an idea, think about the best way to execute it, which camera should be used, which lens, how will the rolls of film going to be develop, chemicals, development times… All these variables can help you accomplishing a very unique look and personality to your work. A photographer is someone that imagines and implements a creative idea. Any serious photographer grabs a Polaroid camera or a Hasselblad
and makes a beautiful image full of personality. Digital is simply more commercially viable. Technology evolves faster and faster... Ten years from now and we may have medium format digital cameras that anyone can afford. Should photographers wait 10 years for the technology to arrive or should they start by just grabbing a film camera and try it? No one should wait for nothing. Digital and analog are two different realities and I think we should experiment with the best of both.
MODELS: Rodrigo Castelhano (Central Models) Page 68 and 73 Catarina Fernandes Page 70 Ana Lamas (Urban Management) Page 71 and 76 Priscila Shou (L’Agénce) Page 72 Agna Oriana (Elite Lisbon) Page 73 Rita Garcia Cardoso Pages 74/75 Assistent & Make-Up: Magda Casqueiro
SILVER Photozine is a self published zine about film photography and analog cameras, featuring talented film photographers, articles, interv...
Published on Jul 9, 2015
SILVER Photozine is a self published zine about film photography and analog cameras, featuring talented film photographers, articles, interv...