Interview with FREDERIK ALEXANDER WIK, NORWAY
The grittiness of film could not be replicated that well with digital.
Hi, Frederik! Tell us who you are and how you got yourself shooting with film.
Frederik: It's beginning to be some years ago so I don't quite remember. But I think it started with an old Pentax ME super I found in my dad’s basement that caught my attention and from there it just escalated I guess.
What type of film do you use and what camera do you use it with? Why do you prefer these?
Frederik: For black and white I love Ilford hp5 for the open shadows and the range the film provides. Also tri-x and apx 100 is an easy choice for more contrast. For color I like Portra and currently Fuji 400H. The reason I think why I like these films is because the render the kind of colors in which I see with my own eyes. I love how the film render skin tones and the look you get on a cloudy. The camera I shoot these days is a Nikon fm2. It’s a light 35mm camera which is purely mechanical.
What do you think film has that digital doesn't have?
Frederik: Style and finesse. The grittiness you would get in grain that could not be replicated that well in digital. Also the unexpected you would get shooting film you don’t have much of in digital. Light leaks or the first picture of the roll that sort of thing.
Do you print your own photographs or are you comfortable having them printed in a lab?
Frederik: I have done some work in the darkroom, but I think with today’s technology you can get labs to do a really good job, depending on what service you use. I get all my color film developed, but the black and white I love doing myself. Printing on the other hand is a bit tricky because I think it is too expensive to have my own printer. Usually I try to print locally to support the local shops, but it is a bit frustrating if a black and white print have green or magenta tint.
What motivates you to continue making photographs with film?
Frederik: Experimentation and the curiosity to try new things. For instance, when I shoot film I have to focus much more on each frame and the process is much more interesting. You never know what you are going to get.
Are there any photographers that influenced your way of making pictures?
Frederik: I mostly shoot and try to find my own style, but I find photographers such as Ansel Adams, Sebastiao Salgado, Bresson, Fred Mortagne and Bruce Gilden quite influential.
Do you see any value or merits shooting with film?
Frederik: I hope there is value in shooting film and i think there is a big group of young people in the 20-30s which tend to prefer to use film instead of digital. I have noticed that there is a death and rebirth of a lot of film, as well as new film popping up. If you know how to scan film correctly and know the right ways to expose your film, I think you have come a long way to actually getting quality images. But that let alone does not give you a good photograph, but it is important to be aware of it.
What do you think your future is like with film photography?
Frederik: I will most likely always shoot film no matter what and hopefully I will get an exhibition showcasing some of my analog work. Hopefully I will get the chance to bring out my 4x5 and 8x10 camera for some portraits or landscapes. And for the winter its usually really nice and low sunsets, so then i need some good black and white film.
What’s your dream photography project?
Frederik: I have many, but most include expensive equipment or travels, but some I actually happens every time I develop a roll. It would be really cool to go on a trip to California and shoot some film. I seem like a good place to capture a lot of action.
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?
Frederik: It takes a lot of some practice, but is a lot of freedom involved. The important thing is to have fun with it and learn as you go. It comes down to your own preferences and what you like to shoot. I would not be disappointed if your scan is too flat or not sharp enough. There is a lot of ways you can turn a beautiful image into a great piece if you take the time and practice both technique and your own ability to previsualize.
Frederik is travelling to Belgrade, Serbia as well as Denmark. Stay tuned for his series of photographs from these places.
Hop on to his Instagram and check out his outstanding work there.
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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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