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

13 Jan '18

In The Frame: Jaclyn Snook

Posted by Mike Padua in In The Frame, Interviews

All photos © Jaclyn Snook

Heyo, I am a 26 year-old hobby photographer born and raised in Sacramento, California.

What I remember most about my childhood is my Dad constantly taking photos. I picked up this habit around age eleven mainly carrying around disposable cameras everywhere I went. In middle school my dad gave me his digital Kodak EasyShare so I used to rally all my girlfriends over for sleepovers where we would style each other and I would take portraits of everyone. During my Freshman year of high school I used to get picked on for having pale legs in my PE shorts so I used to ditch PE to sneak into the school’s darkroom and learn black and white photo processing. I really liked how it felt to control light on paper and create photos in a way I never had before.


I moved to San Francisco to attend SF State at the age of eighteen and felt a kind of strange social pressure being a college freshman. I found it overwhelming; constantly meeting new and interesting people and trying to be your best self while also learning a lot about who you are and what you care about. I developed (no pun intended) a strange comfort in being able to rely on communicating via photos. When at house parties or shows (or in nearly any social situation) I liked taking the outside-looking-in approach. I’m a very extroverted person with social anxiety so I realized that if I left the day/night with some great photos, I would share them to show appreciation for my friends in different way and it really soothed me.

Overall, nowadays, I mainly lean towards candid portraits of loved ones, self-portrait photography, and roaming the streets snapping photos of strangers/strange scenes.

I spent the last two years in London and currently reside in Oakland, CA
I learned photography by taking photos with disposable cameras at a young age. I then learned dark room development in high school. So I guess I am attracted to photographing with film because it is nostalgic. It feels good, it is a constant in my life.
I recently (finally) got my hands on a little Olympus Stylus Epic which has been a game changer for taking photos out in public since it is discrete and fits in my pocket. However, my go-to for the last six years is my Canon Rebel 2000 with a 50mm 1.8 lens. I have started to play around with shooting more at night and in low-light with 1600 speed films such as Fuji Superia and Fuji Natura
04 Jan '18

In The Frame: Lauren Keim

Posted by Mike Padua in In The Frame, Interviews
Lauren Keim

 

All photos © Lauren Keim

I teach digital photography classes, and I tell this story to my intro students about how until 2007, I broke or lost every camera I owned. College trip to Greece? Broke the camera. Move across the country? Broke the camera. Son's birth? Forgot the camera. Move *back* across the country? Dropped camera in a creek.

In 2007 my dad who is not an optimist but who is an enabler got me a Canon Digital Rebel, and I still have it! I banged around on my own for awhile, took my first class in 2010, and I now teach the classes that I took.

I'm a southerner. I grew up in the mountains of Tennessee and after some years away from the south, we now live in Virginia, a couple blocks from the Chesapeake Bay. Growing up in the south, I couldn't wait to get out, and even after 14 years I kind of can't believe we're back. But Virginia is beautiful, and the Tidewater is beautiful, a stone's throw from marshes, the Atlantic Ocean and the Bay. We love it here.


Our bayside home feels full, with three humans (my husband, our son and me) and three bad dogs, but when I need room to breathe, I can always grab my camera and head to the beach.

I'm drawn to film because of process and product. First off, the colors and tones of film can't be beat. There is a richness to film images that gets my heart beating faster every time. And once you're shooting medium format or larger, your images start to look three-dimensional. What's not to love?

I'm much more process oriented than product oriented, and for me, shooting film is all about the process. It slows me down and forces me to shoot with intention. I think about each shot. I take care. My shooting has become more reflective, and I like how that shows in my work.

My Pentax 645n is my workhorse camera. It's the one I trust the most when I *need* to get the shot or when I'm in a place where I'll never get back to. I don't even have to think about this camera.

But let's face it. It's steady, and we all need steady, but it's not exciting! And I love playing with other, older cameras. My favorite medium format camera to reach for right now is my Rolleiflex 2.8. In a lot of ways, this camera feels like my soul mate. I have long loved the square format and the structure it brings my images, and the Rollei just feels right in my hands.



Because we live by the water, my all time favorite camera to reach for in the summer is my Nikonos V. This underwater beauty is built like a tank and takes everything, from sand to snow, that I throw at it. I love that I have no expectations except surprises when I get rolls from this camera developed, and I generally adore the water shots it gives me.

You'll generally find Fuji 400h or Superia loaded in my cameras. I accidentally stumbled on my favorite way to shoot and develop, which is rating it at box speed and then pushing two in development for contrast. I'm trying to fall in love with P400, but it just hasn't happened yet.


Someone asked me this week what I like to shoot, and I had a hard time answering. I feel like I'm at a crossroads with my work. I have long been a still life photographer, starting with food, when I was a digital shooter, and moving on to other things as I transitioned to film. We moved to a new house a year and a half ago, and I left my beloved studio space behind. It's taken an adjustment, and I definitely shoot differently here. We live by the Chesapeake Bay now, and I'm drawn to the light here, especially the play of light on the water. When I was shooting still life, I wanted even steady light and I was hesitant around strong directional light and sharp shadows. I may have lost my studio (for awhile at least!), but I gained a sense of exploration and a willingness to experiment that I'm not sure I had before. Now I find myself looking for light that plays along the water and strong silhouettes and shadows. My favorite images are ones that bring the relationship between the sun, the land and the bay to life and show the connection among them all.

16 Dec '17

In The Frame: Lozzie Kennedy

Posted by Mike Padua in In The Frame, Interviews

In The Frame is a series exploring and showcasing the work and methods of artists all over the world shooting film.

Lozzie Kennedy: Website / Instagram

Tell us who you are and where you're from.

I'm a young lady from the shores of a small city in north western Pennsylvania. I, like most..if not all, had a grandmother. Her and I would watch reruns of I love Lucy and the Carol Burnett show. -side note, we also snuck in donuts for our viewing snack pleasures. Why sneak around some sweets, you ask? So that my grampa didn't comment on our health. WILD! right?! Anywho, these shows pleased me so much, from the theatrics, the studio props and costumes to saturated contrast and the juicy colors (with Carol B). At my young age I already knew I liked what I saw and that I wanted to make THAT happen in my life. I had a Vivitar retro panoramic 35mm and one of my first photos that I remember taking with it was a portrait of my gram. She was sat on the peach colored, floral couch in the spare room, where we would watch our shows and eat smuggled sweets. Sadly, I do not know where this image is, as I was probably 8yrs old when capturing it and then stuffed the print in an album somewhere. Fingers crossed I rediscover it someday!



Let's get academic, shall we? from the moments with my vivitar up through high school, I was always capturing scenes around me or setting up my stuffed animals to be my models. High school didn't offer photo (they turned the dark room into a supply closet) but I did attend a university and despite rubbing elbows with student loans for the rest of my human existence, all in all I'm glad I did it.

After all the fun, late studio nights, getting dark room munchies (I swear it's a real thing!) I came outta the grind with a BFA (oooo) main focus on fine art photography! but also dabbled in areas of printmaking, ceramics, 2D animation, and graphic design. All of those mediums did & still do help me pull inspiration(s) from so much of the creative process.

I moved across the United States to follow a desire of new surroundings, experiences, faces – a change in pace. After residing in sunny Los Angeles, California for a bit the opportunity to relocate to Nashville, Tennessee came about. I continue to look for exciting career/life/human/creative options and challenges to better advance my knowledge in the photo/creative media world. Now I shoot with both film and digital, I like them both so much! each offering a spread of excitement with never ending possibilities.

Never still for long, the Chicago chapter will take me through even more worlds of collaborations and obstacles to exert the boundaries of photographic frame!

What attracts you to photographing with film?

Definitely setting up the shot & seeing the light! Shooting film really changes how I perceive the natural lighting that happens all around us. I find myself getting dizzy from it, at times. I wanna drink it in gulps, get drunk off the reflections that blind me and disappear within the shadows then reappear through a window then bounces off buildings & puddles. When you have limited shots on your 24, 27 or 36 exposure roll you cherish each moment.

One of my life long mentors, Henri Cartier Bresson said a wonderful thing “The creative act lasts but a brief moment, a lightning instant of give-and-take, just long enough for you to level the camera and to trap the fleeting prey in your little box.”

What type of gear/film do you tend to gravitate to as of this writing?

Canon EOS Rebel Ti 35mm
Pentax P3 35mm
Minolta Pocket pak/440E 110mm
Polaroid 600
Meikai Refrax "the four shooter"

I love Kodak Gold ISO 200 but I will shoot some fuji ISO 400 for my color shots.
For black and white Ilford Delta 400 & Kodak 400 T-max.

About the images:

Image one: Taken while seeing exhibits in Los Angeles, Arts District. The galleries and exhibits themselves were pretty great, although, I took a liking to this raw, gritty old phone booth. Tagged and drawn all over by passing artists and visitors to the city, to me..this captures the essence of the arts district. My own private viewing!

Image two: Taken on my way through the small town of my university in PA. Not a lot of process leading up to it, other than I simply can not pass up a deep tree shadow against a lightly painted building with windows.

Image three: Taken at the women's march in January 2017, Nashville. A group of young ladies, rallying together. Those girls captured the feeling, the up and coming adults of this country, there is so much that needs done to pave the way for them and if they continue to stand together, like in this photo..they're gonna be A-ok! (a nice thought, at least, let's hope!) I walked beside them for a few paces, heard them speak and then jumped ahead of them and said "you ladies get it!, gather around & let's capture this beautiful moment!"

 

 

 

08 Dec '17

In The Frame: Brooke Comegys

Posted by Mike Padua in In The Frame, Interviews

Brooke Comegys

Brooke Comegys: Instagram

I’m a 25 year old idiot who’s been living in Brooklyn on and off since 2012. I went to school for screenwriting but always found myself hanging with the photo kids and even somehow coercing the college to let me use their darkroom facilities and the Senior center to scan (I pissed a few people off with that...oh well.) I originally started taking photos in high school when I had a Photo 101. My dad had his old Canon AE-1 laying around so I decided to shoot with that. It definitely interested me, but I didn’t start carrying a camera around till freshman year of college. I started hanging out with my friend Woody freshman year who didn’t shut up about his Grandpa’s Nikon and was always shooting. We’d hang out in his dorm and he’d spew all this stuff about F-stops and ISO and grain and I would just sit on his bed with a 40 of Old English and somewhat pay attention. Woody lived in the same dorm as this boy who I couldn’t breathe around I liked him so much. (Now you get why I was always in Woody’s dorm?) He happened to be an amazing photographer and I wanted to impress him, so I started shooting more. Well, the crush ended but my love for analog never did. I always tell people how some people have gardening to unwind, or the gym, or crocheting or whatever weird hobby people have to chill out. Mine has been shooting and developing my own stuff.

There’s something about older cameras and their lenses and the viewfinder that just makes things look a little better than real life. It’s that feeling when you let a kid look through it and the first thing they say 9 Times out of ten is “woah.” That’s how I feel every time.

I’ve been shooting with a Yashicamat 124-G for about two years now. I’ve always gravitated towards Black and White film just cause I think my brain thinks better that way. I think I can see the way light is hitting a person or an object and know how it’ll look in B & W. Also, I just love 120 film. I like that I can shoot from the hip easily with my Yashica and know where the square image is going to look best. I recently tried to go back to shooting 35mm on the street and I felt like I was learning to ride a bike again. I couldn’t get the mechanics down. In the future I’d like to eventually get a Mamiya 7 or even the RZ67. I feel like such a nerd writing all this. Whatever.

I really just get in these shooting moods where I bring the camera with me everywhere and I just shoot. I shoot my friends, I shoot interesting people I see on the street. I just really like composition. I try and compose a shot even when I’m sneakily trying to shoot someone I don’t want to know I’m shooting them. It’s the challenge of getting the perfect image with the littlest touch ups when scanning and editing. The images I’m attaching are those that I’m the most proud of cause I got the image I saw in my head in one snap. Are they the best photos? Absolutely not. But they gave me that tiny rush that keeps me shooting when I saw them come out the first time. And that’s what I hope to continue to do for a long time

See more of Brooke's work on her Instagram feed.
02 Dec '17

In The Frame: Daniel Rodriguez

Posted by Mike Padua in In The Frame, Interviews

Today we are featuring Daniel Rodriguez, San Diego Photographer.

Follow Daniel's work: Website / Twitter / Instagram 1 / Instagram 2

My name is Daniel Rodriguez and I'm from North San Diego County, California. I first got in to photography when I was in high school after seeing Glen E. Friedman's work of legendary hardcore bands such as Black Flag, Minor Threat, and Bad Brains. Pretty soon after that I started shooting local hardcore/punk rock shows with disposable cameras. I really wanted to take a photo class but my high school didn't offer one, so I did the next best thing and joined the yearbook staff. I had access to film SLRs and a limitless supply of Kodak Gold 200 that I would take to shows every now and then. I shot film on and off after high school but I started taking it more seriously in 2007. All I really knew about the world of photography was what my yearbook instructor had told me, "Get candid shots/natural shots of people hanging out. Try not to get posed or stiff looking photos of people". I just shot whatever was going on around me at the time: parties, punk shows, people skateboarding, or my friends hanging out at the local taco shop late at night after a show. I took some photo classes at my local community college and realized that the style of shooting I was used to was really similar to street photography. I don't necessarily consider myself a street photographer, but that's probably the best way to describe my style of shooting.

Its kinda tough to explain why I shoot with film. Die hard digital shooters argue that film can be too complicated and that there's a large chance that you can screw up your negatives but I disagree. Sure, developing and scanning takes some time but it just seems easier and it makes more sense to me. If you give me a set of constraints and tell me "do what you can with these tools and their limitations", I'm going to learn the tools inside and out and how to work with their limitations. I guess I've gotten used to doing "more with less". I know that I will get the look I want if I push my film X amount of stops and my editing process is much easier. Fix my contrast, take out the dust spots, crop and I'm done. I don't knock digital, but I feel like its easy to get lost in all the sliders and adjustment bars with raw/digital editing

What I shoot with is dictated by what I'm going to be shooting. If the venue I'm shooting has a "no professional cameras" photo policy then I'll sneak in with my Fuji Klasse S loaded with Tri-X (usually pushed to 1600 or 3200) and a Fuji GA Strobe just in case I need more light. If I'm shooting a DIY punk show or a show at a venue that doesn't mind SLRs, I'll bring my Nikon N80 with Tri-X, my 18-35mm lens, and a couple of speed lights, triggers and gorilla pods to mount on the walls/speakers. For my personal stuff I've been using either my Konica Big Mini HG with Ektar if I'm just hangin' around with friends or my Fuji GW690ii with Fuji Pro 400H for more serious stuff.

The concert photos are all shot using the same technique: Tri X Pushed to 1600 or 3200 with extra lighting provided by speed lights. I use this technique because punk shows don't always have the best lighting and sometimes they're in random places with only a single light bulb to light the "stage". These types of places/lighting conditions might make other photographers cringe but I really enjoy the challenge. As much as I love flash photography for the gigs I shoot, I tend not to use flash for my personal stuff. My first Nikon N80 had a broken flash bulb and I used it for years before I got in to using speed lights and that really helped me "look for light". By the time I got a fully functional N80 I had already developed a habit of ignoring my flash/speed lights with color film.