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Celebrating the art, process, and gear of the film photography community!

10 Apr '19

In The Frame: Photographer Hannah O'Brien

Posted by Mike Padua in In The Frame, Interviews
Black and white photograph of Gandy Street by film photographer Hannah O'Brien
All photos © Hannah O'Brien

I'm Hannah, I'm 24 and I'm a passionate photographer from Exeter, Devon; in the South West of England. Photography is my main passion in life and has been for quite some time now. Despite at times not being able to get out of the house to pursue my photography endeavours all of the time, due to being chronically ill the past 11 years with severe M.E, which unfortunately means that I'm bed bound 95% of the time. For that other small 5% when I'm hoisted into my wheelchair, I seize those opportunities more than anything and don't take a single moment for granted. I fill as much photography as I can in those outings and that time spent pursuing my passion means so very much to me.

I adore shooting film and everything that surrounds this way of capturing images. I've been interested in film photography for a long while now, but as my passion for photography in general has grown over the past few years, so has my intrigue for film. I love the personality and soul film photos have opposed to digital images, there's just so much more within the image that can be portrayed to the viewer. It's also so important to me how much film photography slows me down. Each and every shot on a roll is so much more valuable and I truly savour each of them, most especially when working with medium format.

Black and white photograph of Exeter Cathedral by film photographer Hannah O'Brien

The main camera I'm currently gravitating to is my Yashica Mat TLR. It happens to be my first medium format camera and I'm absolutely in love with this camera and the personality that oozes from it.
In regards to film I'm really loving Ilford FP4+ (in 120 specifically), as well Kodak Portra 400.

I'm submitting three images from the project I have recently completed, titled- 'Isca; The Eras Of Exeter', which is a piece of work that portrays the history the city I live in has over various eras in time, which is shown dominantly through architecture.
I was lucky enough to exhibit this project in a fantastic local arts festival this July in Exeter.

Black and white photo RAMM by film photographer Hannah O'Brien

It was all captured with my beloved Yashica Mat and the film used was; Ilford FP4+ and Kodak Portra 400.

Although, the three images I'm sharing where all taken with FP4+.

Apart from being shown at the local arts festival on July 8th, 2018, I haven't posted any of the images from this series of 10 photos myself online yet. And only one of them has been seen on social from being posted by the great site Your Exhibition.

I'm hoping to display the project again locally very soon and then make a series of print boxes that will be for sale on my website later in the year if all goes well.

06 Apr '19

In The Frame: Photographer Hope Roach

Posted by Mike Padua in In The Frame, Interviews
chair in leaves with light leaks at bottom
All photos © Hope Roach. All rights reserved.
Hi, I’m Hope and I’m an eighteen year old film and digital photographer living in Columbus, Ohio. I started shooting my freshman year when I took an Intro to Photography course, never really thinking that it would stick. However my teacher became my mentor, friend, and father figure and helped guide me to expressing my thoughts into my photography. I have found a great love and appreciation for the world and my life because of photography. Photography allows me to cope with my anxiety, depression, and chronic illness in a healthy and positive way. I am so thankful to be able to continue my art throughout college at Ohio University’s Scripps College of Visual Communication majoring in Photojournalism. I am excited to go down a new path for my photography and see where it leads me.
backlit clouds against blue sky by Hope Roach
I love the intimacy of film. When I shoot film it’s such a personal experience that I can’t replicate with digital. The thought that it’s easy to mess up the exposure or get the angle wrong makes me really think about what I am doing, seeing, and shooting. After shooting comes developing which is my absolute favorite part of film. I love knowing that I am creating art with my hands, and that I can mess it up. The feelings that you experience when your film comes out or doesn’t are so overwhelming. I’ve cried and I’ve cheered over film, it all depends. Film is an intricate and interesting medium and I think that’s what I love so much about it.
Of all the cameras I’ve shot I can say that I personally love my Olympus OM10 the most. It’s a small, quirky camera that is so much fun to just take out and shoot with. I think I love this camera so much because I’m so attached to it, I have shot over 25 rolls on it. I shoot color film, Fujicolor, Kodak Gold, Portra, Velvia, Ektar are some examples. I love shooting the world the way I see it so color film is an obvious choice for me. However I do love to edit my color photos to B&W when I’m feeling something a bit different in post than I was before.

I’m submitting some pieces from very different points in my photography and in my life. I have grown with my photography and have learned from it as well. Everything I shoot is for fun, to see the world through my eyes. I love this planet and I love documenting it.
03 Apr '19

In The Frame: Photographer Benedetto Manzella

Posted by Mike Padua in In The Frame, Interviews

black and white photo of Amenra guitarist by Benedetto Manzella

All Photos © Benedetto Manzella

 I was born and raised in San Pedro, California. Typically if I'm traveling, I might just say I'm from Los Angeles since San Pedro is a suburb of LA county but I feel like my perspective would be different if I grew up in what could be considered "Los Angeles" proper. While being a musician is my primary artistic pursuit(I've played drums for 15 years), I began an intentional pursuit of being a photographer about 9 years ago. My primary source of inspiration when making photos is concerts; I haven't been able to find a group of musicians to consistently work with over the years, and photography has allowed me a way of being more connected to the music I love. I make photos both out of a pursuit to document the concert for fans to relive the night after the fact, as well as a service to the artists who performed to possibly use for promotional purposes or as a keepsake/memory of a special time in their life. I also enjoy making photos when I travel, particularly in cities, and using my work as a way to show my observations of the world around me.

Black and white photo of The Great American Music Hall's marquis by Benedetto Manzella

Film is a lovely reminder that nothing is guaranteed in life. There is more room for error than you'd like to admit, but there is equal potential for capturing a photo in a way you never thought you would. In a time where the primary camera that people look to is in their cell phone, the joy of a film camera is endless. It disconnects you from the wired world and offers you a way of embracing a wonderfully aging tradition of documenting life as it happens.

My primary film camera is a Pentax K1000 and I love mine dearly. I hope to soon own a medium format camera, ideally one I use at shows but I'm still undecided as to what is the best camera for my creative goals. I mainly shoot black and white film and have grown to love motion picture film such as Cinestill's BWXX. There is a rich stillness in the photos I've made with this film that feels as close to what I intend to, and hope to, show the viewer.

Black and white photo of band Amenra by Benedetto Manzella

The three photos I've shared are from 3 days I spent with the Belgian "metal" band, Amenra. Along with listening to their music for the past decade, I've had the fortune of developing a friendship with the band starting back in 2016 when I was able to meet their guitarist Mathieu while I was studying photography in a short-term study program in Germany. I was able to take photos at 3 of their concerts in California while they were on tour and spend time with the band. While I believe all music has value, I am particular about the bands I work with and take photos of; bands such as Amenra are musicians that have influenced my approach to art as well as provided a soundtrack for a number of years in my life. With that in mind, my photos are an act of service and gratitude to my now friends who I hope to continue documenting for years to come.

30 Mar '19

In The Frame: Photographer Daniel Alvarez

Posted by Mike Padua in In The Frame, Interviews
football player kneeling by Daniel Alvarez
All Photos © Daniel Alvarez. All rights reserved.

I'm a photographer born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area.

I got into photography at a very young age. My father was a photographer through the 80s doing portraits, weddings, and fine art photography. I remember spending time with him at a young age in the dark room. In highschool I took a photography class my school offered and played around with photography. Then when college time came around I decided to pursue a bachelors degree in media arts. Media Arts is just a fancy term for learning a little bit of everything art related. While in college I again took photography courses and sort of fell in love with it then but once college was done I stopped and was a bit burned out on the arts. It wasn't until I was in my late 20's that I came back to my first love. A friend of mine passed away in that time and I realized that I only had on shitty cellphone picture of he and I. That bothered me quite a bit and I decided to not ever let that happen again. I wanted to document everything, so I went back to photography and never looked back.

Man from back, staring at colorful balloons by Daniel Alvarez

There are different tools for different jobs. That being said I use several different cameras. My go to set up is my Leica m6 with a zeiss 35mm lens. I would say that I use the set up 90% of the time. I also have a Canon EOS 1V with a variety of different lenses depending on what I'm shooting. I also have a Yashica Mat 124g, an sx 70, a 600, and a land 100. All of these cameras were bought from my friends at Glass Key Photo in San Francisco I typically shoot Tri-X pushed to 1600, and portra 400. I do however love to experiment with different films. It just depends on my mood and what I'm shooting. I also love shooting expired film.

black and white photo of two people in masks at sporting event by Daniel Alvarez

The photos I've submitted were all shot with my Leica and a 35mm lens. Some are from working sporting events and some are from my every day life. My goal is always to tell some kind of story. For me, I think its important to try and have some kind of story, some interesting composition, or interesting light. Sometimes I nail it, some times I'm lucky, but I always try to do better the next time around. Thanks for looking!

13 Jan '19

In the Frame: Film Photography Interview with John Crane

Posted by Mike Padua in In The Frame, Interviews, Landscape

Color film photography by John Crane

All Photos © John Crane, all rights reserved

I am a film photographer in Colorado, USA focusing primarily on travel, scenics, landscape, documentary, etc. It's difficult to summarize my involvement with photography and film because it's such an important part of who I am as a person and an artist. I've been shooting for many years - at times trying to figure out a way to assign greater meaning to justify the compulsion. I travel quite a bit, specifically the Rocky Mountain West, and always have a good many cameras of different formats and flavors with me.

Color landscape photography by film photographer John Crane

So many things, really - again, it's difficult to summarize but here goes: I think the core attraction is it's a tangible, analogue process. As a result of exposing a roll of film you have something in your hand transcending ones and zeros. If feels more like you've just created something new.

Color landscape photography by film photographer John Crane

The natural mechanics of shooting film force a more structured, thoughtful approach to each shutter release. There are consequences; costs associated with it, so one tends to pay closer attention to what's in the frame - which to me - is one of the primary reasons for being "out there" shooting in the first place. Being a student of the world, digesting it one frame at a time. There's much, much more behind it, but that's what comes to mind at the moment.

Color landscape photography by film photographer John Crane
I shoot color and black and white in both medium format and 35mm. An ongoing challenge (compulsion) is to see how far I can push 35mm film.

For my black and white work I've moved back in the darkroom to a more traditional silver wet print process. I gravitate towards the Ilford Delta films, Delta 100, 400, and of course Pan F. For my color work I'm still in love with E6 and have my first rolls of the new Ektachrome ready for the lab.

Color landscape photography by film photographer John Crane
I'm submitting a series of images made this past September in Badlands National Park. These were all made on Velvia 50 with my trusty Nikon F6. Usually I try to structure visits to such places to have more time, but on this day I was just passing through for an afternoon. As it happened conditions were favorable and I feel like I got the most out of a single roll of Velvia.

In this case a long lens was used to isolate various features within the landscape - something I tend to do a lot of. Finding compositions within compositions. With so much natural subject matter to work with it can be a little overwhelming. But scanning the land patiently in beautiful light is a delightful way to spend an afternoon/evening outside.

Color landscape photography by film photographer John Crane

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