Interview with AHMET USLU, TURKEY

Updated: Oct 4, 2017

A man searching his way trying to build his ideas through film photography.


Mr. Trapped On Film himself. Hi, Ahmet! Tell us a brief story about yourself and how you got into film photography?


Ahmet: I am Ahmet, a 31-year-old product designer working and living in Japan. I was born and raised in Turkey and moved abroad to study and work. After 6 years in Sweden I moved to Japan to design musical instruments for Yamaha. I always had a huge interest in photography. But getting into the film photography happened after I moved to Japan. I wanted to slow down a bit and value each shoot. And analog photography in Japan is alive and strong, it is easy to find films, developers and equipment.


What type of film do you use and what camera do you use it with? Why do you prefer these?


Ahmet: I have tried so many different films and still experimenting with new ones. But I usually go with Trix 400 at my Leica and Ektar at my Contax. Main reason is that I do a lot of night shooting and I enjoy using flash with Contax or if I don’t want to use flash, manual focus is great and fast at Leica. I can quickly adjust the settings and push my B$W film for night shoots. I also build an infrared external flash by taping infrared filter over it and attach it on my Olympus. It is really interesting to use Rollei Infrared film with infrared flash in pitch black situations.


What do you think film has that digital doesn't have?



Ahmet: Film have a lot of constrains and physical aspect. Constraints slows me down and let me think and tinker more on each shot which I believe increase the value. Physical aspect of the film makes leaves traces of the time not only the light but humidity, mistakes during shooting, water marks and more. I was shooting in a festival where rain never stopped for 3 days. When I get my photos developed I saw that most of the shots had huge water marks, so it is not only captured the light but also the entire experience of being wet.


Do you print your own photographs or are you comfortable having them printed in a lab?

Ahmet: I develop (only b&w, they don’t sell C41 here in Japan), scan and print my photos by myself. Only go to shop for color ones.


What motivates you to continue making photographs with film?



Ahmet: The whole process is like a motivation for me. I enjoy every bit of it, also I am getting better at it and I can compare my photos before and after film to see the big difference.


Are there any photographers that influenced your way of making pictures?


Ahmet: Sebastião Salgado, Daido Moriyama,  Duran Levinson, Can Dagaslani… so many!


Do you see any value or merit shooting with film? 


Ahmet: I do, as I explained earlier when I used to shoot digital. I was shooting 500 photos a day and only looking them once until I saw some good shoots and that’s it. Right now taking 36 photos takes quite a bit of time and on each shot I think twice if that is worth a place on the film, after that I develop them, dry them, check them again on lightbox, scan them, edit them, look again and again to choose the ones I really like and want to publish. So each photo took maybe 100x more of my time which I think is a value.


What do you think is the future of film photography?



Ahmet: I think it will still be there for a while but gradually it will disappear. But not in near future, now is the second coming of film photography.


What’s your dream photography project?



Ahmet: I wish I had the courage and time to find and photograph all misfits of the world, people and things that has been rejected from society just because they can’t fit in.

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?



Ahmet: I enjoyed the most when I was learning. So I would only say enjoy the ride.


Cheers, Ahmet! We enjoyed your body of work and we'll definitely enjoy shooting with film after this.


Catch him and his work on Instagram and Tumblr.


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Be considerate. All photographs shown on this page are the sole property of Ahmet Uslu. He devoted his time and worked hard on these photographs. You are not allowed to copy, download, reproduce, reprint, modify, distribute, publicly display, license, transfer or sell content retrieved from this page in any way, for any public or commercial use or to any commercial source, including other websites, without prior written permission of Ahmet Uslu. You don’t want to go to jail, do you?


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 mapamelvin@gmail.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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Cheers!

Mel


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