Updated: Oct 22, 2017
Film photography has intrinsic value in a psychological way. The medium has a suspension of disbelief. Where you later notice little flaws and imperfections in a photograph and called the 'soul' of analogue photography.
Hi, Dane! Tell us a brief story about yourself and how you got into film photography?
Dane: First of all, thank you for featuring me. I'm Dane, 31 years old, living in Haarlem, the Netherlands. It's a town near Amsterdam, where I used to live and will be living again. Since I can remember I always used disposable camera's on holidays. But it was in 2014 I did a pinhole workshop in the Lomography store in Amsterdam (the store unfortunately doesn't exist anymore). After that, I was hooked on analogue photography. My father gave me his old Praktica MTL5, which he never used.
What type of film do you use and what camera do you use it with? Why do you prefer these?
Dane: Color Negative and Redscale from Lomography and Tri-X from Kodak, all 35mm film. The low-fi feeling and cheap film is the best combination to 'stay broke shoot film', right? Mostly I shoot color and redscale with my Lomo LCA+. I love this little compact camera with the playful mood to be creative in long and double exposures. With the Practica MTL5 I shoot more black and white and with a SLR I think more about composition and the subject. My first redscale film was with the Praktica in Copenhagen, Denmark. At 7 o'clock in the morning I asked my girlfriend to stand in the middle of the street while she was eating an apple. The camera had a light leak and gave some blue in the photograph, which matches perfectly with the orange glow.
Some times I use the La Sardina, which I gave to my girlfriend as a present. It is a really nice cheap plastic camera with a bulby mode and button for mere exposures. Recently I got the Nikon FE and I'm quite stoked with my semi-professional friend. I just came back from a trip in Australia and Singapore where I used Portra and slide film. Can't wait for the results!
What do you think film has that digital doesn't have?
Dane: Film photography has intrinsic value in a psychological way. The medium has a suspension of disbelief. That's because the process will sets your expectations between reality and fiction. You could have this with digital in post production, but the element of surprise is identical for film photography. Where you later notice little flaws and imperfections in a photograph and called the 'soul' of analogue photography.
Do you print your own photographs or are you comfortable having them printed in a lab?
Dane: For the time being I don't print my own photographs, because my bathroom has to many light leaks. Just kidding, I still need to learn how to process my own film. A future project is to process my own film with old red wine or coffee and cafenol. Giving your film out of hands to a lab is sometimes not that comfortable, but I trust the LomoLab in Vienna.
What motivates you to continue making photographs with film?
Dane: Film photography is very personal for me. It gives aesthetic value in a way not only to look at something, but also how to feel at something. The challenge is to duplicate a feeling in a picture, but most of the time your are surprised by the feelings that has been created in yourself. Second, in my opinion, if you want to be skillful in photography then film is the way to go. You learn a lot by writing down your camera settings; if you use a SLR manually. This is possible with digital as well. Only the learning curve is higher with film, because you become more mindful if you only have 24 or 36 exposures. Digital could make you forget the substeps easier, because you see the results immediately.
Are there any photographers that influenced your way of making pictures?
Dane: Influence is a big word, but there are a few who inspire my way of making pictures. For example Sebastian Zanella is a photographer from France, with an own outlet for photography about surf lifestyle and travel. Which inspire me a lot, despite I don't shoot surf photography. Another French photographer is Louis Dazy, whom makes beautiful double exposures (If you read this, I love to collab with you!). Also who inspires me is Hello America a concept from a couple who travel through America while shooting film.
Do you see any value or merit shooting with film?
Dane: Like I said it is has more intrinsic value; to feel, think, act and know about what you create. Commercially there is a lot of value as well. Filmmakers like Ben Stiller and Christopher Nolan still and always use film.
What do you think is the future of film photography?
Dane: I think we are already in the future of film photography, where the creators are the minority to show art to the masses. Film photography is a niche. Today and in the future. You can only hope that enough people shoot film to be a sustainable community.
What’s your dream photography project?
Dane: Travel the world, while shooting film with my girlfriend. That's exactly what we are planning to do next year. I'll keep you posted when we are launching the website ;).
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?
Dane: Do it now! Buy a camera in a vintage store or borrow one from your grandparents. You don't have to learn anything before shooting, you can learn while you are in the medium of film photography. In the film community you'll find the nicest and most helpful people in the world. Most important thing is to take the lens cap off before shooting. Write down the conditions and camera settings when you shoot before or after every exposure of your film. At first, it is a bit scary, sooner or later it feels like second nature and you can't live without it.
Many thanks, Dane! These insights give us a foundation to which we can build confidence when dealing with film photography for the first time.
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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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