Interview with GABRIEL TITUS HORDEA, ROMANIA

I believe film photography gives a more personal experience than digital.


Mind telling us about yourself and your story on how you got into film photography?


GABRIEL: My name is Gabriel Titus Hordea and I’m an analog photographer based in Deva, Romania, member of the Romanian Photography Artists Association (AAFR). I’m living in a region called Transylvania and for those who don’t know, this is the land of Dracula :). I’m addicted to flea markets and everything vintage. (Mostly vintage watches and sunglasses and recently film cameras).


My film photography adventure started a year ago when I decided to buy a film to shoot with a Nikomat EL camera which I bought from the flea market a few years earlier. I initially intended to use the camera to decorate my living room:). I’ve sent the first roll to a lab in Bucharest and when I got the scans I was charmed by the results. I felt in love with the look of those pictures.



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


GABRIEL: I started with color film but soon changed to b&w because in my opinion, b&w pictures leave more room for imagination suiting my personality better and also because I wanted to develop the film myself. After trying different emulsions from different brands (Foma, Kodak, Ilford) I decided to stick with Ilford Hp5 Plus from Ilford. I like this film because it’s very versatile. You can pull it or push it and it will still deliver incredible detailed images. I actually made a huge print from a 35mm scan for my first exhibition and the details were incredible. My main camera is a Leica M2. Besides being a beautiful made thing I like the fact that it has no batteries, it’s very reliable and the Leica lenses... Oh boy... the lenses are amazing.




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



GABRIEL: I believe film photography gives a more personal experience than digital. It makes you think more, and after all this is the way it all started so in my opinion every photographer should try it.


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

GABRIEL: Recently I managed to build my own darkroom in my garage so I also started printing. I’m very pleased with the results, and seeing the image appear on the paper from nothing is almost magical. The whole process is a pure joy even if it takes time and practice. It’s like and analog photoshop and everything is done by manipulating light by hand. The final photograph is actually 100% handmade.



What motivates you to continue making photographs with film?



GABRIEL: I don’t know what’s keeping me doing analog photography but I try not to think about this and just enjoy the ride. This road was a good teacher. I learned many things but the most important lesson was “Patience”. 


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


GABRIEL: Henri Cartier-Bresson, Fan Ho, Vivian Maier,  Ansel Adams are just a few photographers that influenced my way of seeing the art of photography.


Do you see any value or merits shooting with film? 


GABRIEL: Of course there is value in analog photography as well as in digital. The only difference is that the analog results are handmade.





What do you think your future is like with film photography?


GABRIEL: I actually don’t know what future will work for me but I will still doing this as long as it gives me satisfaction.


What’s your dream photography project?


GABRIEL: My dream photography project would involve unlimited time for shooting and processing and a lot of traveling but unfortunately I have nothing planned in the near future.


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?



GABRIEL: For those who want to try film photography for the first time, my only advice is: Just do it! It’s better to have a bad start than no start at all. And it’s actually easier than it sounds. Of course, it would be great to read a couple of books about analog photography before you start shooting film but who started like this anyway? Start shooting and the rest will be an awesome ride, I promise!




GABRIEL: Thank you for reading this and remember that a bad start is always better than no start at all! Good light to all!


Check out Gabriel's outstanding body of work on his Instagram.


Thank you for sharing your photographs with us, Gabriel.


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Be considerate. All photographs shown on this page are the sole property of Gabriel Titus Hordea. He devoted his time, and worked so damn hard in making 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 Gabriel Titus Hordea. 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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