Updated: Oct 7, 2017
If you're starting film photography, it can seem pretty overwhelming. You'll learn many lessons and perhaps most of which were not taught in the classroom.
Before we start, Chris. Can you tell us something about yourself and how you got into film photography?
Chris: Hi! I'm Chris Esparaguera from the Philippines. I'm fairly new to Photography in general about a year and a half. I got into film photography about 4 months ago and never looked back. I got into film because honestly at first it was just for the "look", because when I was shooting digital I always find myself editing my photos trying to make it look like film photographs. After that I just told myself why not try film photography? I did and I just loved it. Now I'm shooting more film than digital.
What type of film do you use and what camera do you use it with? Why do you prefer these?
Chris: So right now I'm currently at that stage where you want to try all the films available black and white, color negative films, and even color positive films. Right now, though, my favorite black and white film is Ilford HP5 plus 400 and I always push it to 1600, I love the tones and contrast it gives especially when pushed. For camera I use my Nikon fm2n, So the combination of hp5 and Nikon fm2n is perfect for me because the camera is not too big and heavy but it has a good weight perfect for carrying it everywhere. Plus it's sexy! Haha!
What do you think film has that digital doesn't have?
Do you print your own photographs or are you comfortable having them printed in a lab?
Chris: I'm comfortable having them printed on a lab because I don't have a printer or a darkroom at home. Haha! That's my next goal though, to print my photos in the darkroom. I just found a darkroom that I can rent, so I need to research and study Darkroom Printing.
What motivates you to continue making photographs with film?
Chris: Honestly it's the process. The photographs means a lot to me if you've worked hard with it. I love shooting with film, I love film cameras, I love the sound of the shutter, it's so different than digital cameras, I love cranking the rewind knob. I love developing my films. It's an amazing feeling.
Are there any photographers that influenced your way of making pictures?
Chris: A lot actually, the past masters, like of course Bresson, Ansel Adams, Leiter, Lartigue, Eugene Smith, Irving Penn, Richard Avedon. I love Keith Carter's work too, but right now my biggest influence is Ralph Gibson, I just love his photographs, amazing! I also watch youtube a lot and I also love those film photographers there like Nick Mayo from Nickexposed and Matt Day.
Do you see any value shooting with film?
Chris: Yes, the fulfilment you get when you see your images come to life. Just the joy when shooting with film and the surprise you get when you see your photos, it always puts a smile on your face.
What do you think is the future of film photography?
Chris: I think it's bright. A lot of film came out last year and this year, Ferrania, JCH street pan, Cinestill and KODAK will be releasing Ektachrome again. Here in the Philippines, film labs are beginning to open again, prices of film cameras is beginning to rise again hahaha! So I think film is here to stay.
What’s your dream photography project?
Chris: I like shooting mundane everyday kind of stuff. So I guess my dream project would be to shoot this kind of stuff but in different parts of the world.
Would you like to share some advise to those who want to try out film photography for the first time? What must they learn before venturing into this format?
Chris: For those of you who want to try film photography my first advise and I think this is the most important one is to Study and Be familiar with the Exposure Triangle. It's so important because some film cameras don't have a light meter so you need to use the Sunny 16 rule and that is the second thing that you must learn. After that you're good, enjoy shooting! You'll learn other things along the way.
Amazing stuff, Chris!
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject, "Interview me", and share everyone 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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