Film photography is like meditation where you disconnect yourself from the world.
Hi, Edgars! Tell us a brief story about yourself and how you got into film photography?
Edgars: My full name is Edgars Zaļups. Currently I work as a psychiatrist in mental hospital in Rīga, Latvia . The work takes most of my time so photography stays as a hobby. I got into it a few months ago when friend of mine bought film camera on eBay. I immediately fell in love with it and realized that I also have to get my own camera.
What type of film do you use and what camera do you use it with? Why do you prefer these?
Edgars: Usually I use black and white negative film. A have always loved black and white images because you can see more details in them. B&W images brings more dramatic, melancholic tones to images. But of course there are days when I search for colors in streets or in nature and then I use color negative film. I prefer Kodak Tri-X or Ilford Delta films for B&W images. For color pictures I use Kodak Ultramax or Kodak Ektar. Lately I have started to shoot also with expired films from 90’s or 80’s which brings special feeling to image.
For more serious shooting I use Canon EOS 1000F. But in my pocket there is always Minolta Hi-Matic 5 with which I can take pictures in seconds because it is so small and easy to use.
What do you think film has that digital doesn't have?
Edgars: The physical and chemical process that happens on film when you take picture is magical. Not because I could not understand it but because it is like ritual. From the beginning when I load the film in camera till the end when film has developed. The moment in time have been captured in this little piece of plastic. I would call this process - modern magic ritual.
Do you print your own photographs or are you comfortable having them printed in a lab?
Edgars: I bring them to my local photo lab which is very professional. People who work there have more than 20 years of experience in film developing. Of course I would like to have my own lab but let it stay as my dream for future.
What motivates you to continue making photographs with film? Have you learned anything about yourself through film photography?
Edgars: Sometimes photographing for me is like a meditative process in which I disconnect from world of work and study. I enter this state where I look for a great shot and my mind becomes clean. Through this process I have learned to appreciate different things on streets or in nature. It teaches me to look at ordinary things from different perspective. And so I reflect also on myself from different perspective and learn something new. For example film photography taught me patience and self control because it is only that one shot and you have to be ready to take great photo.
Are there any photographers that influenced your way of making pictures?
Edgars: I have not been interested so much in great photographers. Perhaps I should. But time for this hobby is limited.
Do you see any value or merit shooting with film?
Edgars: First of all it is my personal value. Moments that I have taken on film show not only the picture. There is also this mystical side. My emotions, external feelings and mood. It all gives picture a little bit of soul.
What do you think your future is like with film photography?
Edgars: I think I will continue to shoot as good as I can. I will try to experiment with expired films and double exposure. It will stay as my hobby for a long time.
What’s your dream photography project?
Edgars: I would like to participate in a trip to some remote place with fantastic landscapes.
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?
Edgars: I would strongly recommend to study theoretical side of photography. Buy simple full manual camera. Start to study what is ISO, shutter speed and aperture. Do not stop if after few canisters of film you feel like this is not for you. Find what you like to photographe most. People or landscapes, or street photography. Find your niche and start to shoot pictures for the pleasure of yourself and others. Find camera that will suit you most. It will become a part of you, your new best friend.
Cheers, Edgars! Excellent body of work. They are truly inspiring!
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