Interview with ACHIRAWIT CHURMUNG, THAILAND
What motivates me are the darkroom atmosphere and scenes from everyday life.
Mind telling us about yourself and your story on how you got into film photography?
Achy: Hi, I'm Achy. I'm interested in photography since I was young—that's more than 20 years. I learned to shoot with film by myself from the start. After I finished high school, I moved to Rangsit University here in Thailand to study art and I majored in Art photography. I fell in love with B&W because of the timeless look.
I think B&W print from darkroom is the form of impress that you can see by eyes. I got many accidents from many people and situations to bring me here B&W analog. For example, I got stuck in the rain during a photo shoot, and met an old German photographer (I was 19 and he was more than 65 years that time) —who later became my friend. He passed me a B&W Ansel Adams book of Negative and a spot meter as presents. He said he did not need it anymore but I need it and I will know later. After that time, I never saw him anymore and that's it for me. He is someone from heaven and bring mission for me. Today I do my personal work only B&W from darkroom and service to analog photographers as B&W print maker who trust my skill.
What type of film do you use and what camera do you use it with? Why do you prefer these?
Achy: I do use many film types depending on what I can find easier. But mainly Tri-X and HP-5. I do use a Leica M6, MP, Hass 503 CW, Rolleiflex and Ebony 4x5 camera.
What do you think film has that digital doesn't have?
Achy: It's the real thing—like from real life— and not electric signals from digital that I can't touch and not trust .
Do you print your own photographs or are you comfortable having them printed in a lab?
Achy: I do all my B&W prints in my darkroom— which I always have even when I move from place to place. It's a must.
What motivates you to continue making photographs with film?
Achy: What motivates me are the darkroom atmosphere and scenes from everyday life. I learned a lot of things from film photography, for example, you can't turn back time; you have one chance to maximize something; the best thing you can do is the thing you can touch and handle from begin to end.
Are there any photographers that influenced your way of making pictures?
Achy: Many photographers influenced me like Ansel Adams' way of work, Fan Ho's lighting , and Long Chin San's mood and tone.
Do you see any value or merits shooting with film?
Achy: Yes, Something from life that transfer to silver form that you can touch and keep it with you. It's shock proof!
What do you think your future is like with film photography?
Achy: I made my decision. I will keep working on B&W analog from darkroom till my end —my lovely mission & passion.
What’s your dream photography project?
Achy: It will be something like nude project of people from all ages.
Would you like to offer some good words to those who want to try film photography for the first time? What must they learn before venturing into this format?
Achy: My advice to those who want to try is to just do it. Whatever you're thinking that's pulling you back is nothing. Do not think of anything and just do it. If it's wrong, then fine, you can stop. But if you like it, you will know automatically which way to go.
Achy plans to hold a solo exhibition next year. Check the details on his Instagram and Facebook page.
Thank you for sharing your work with us, Achy.
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Well now, if you are a passionate film photographer and would like to be interviewed? I’d love to hear from you. Send me an email at email@example.com with the subject, "Interview me", and share your story, thoughts, and work related to film photography. I’ll get back to you as soon as I receive your request for an interview.
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