Interview with HANNAH AARON, PHILIPPINES
Updated: Jan 14, 2018
You'd be missing out on the beauty and charm of it all if you don't allow yourself to just experience film photography as it is - even for just one roll.
I'm super thrilled to have you here, Hannah. Please tell us a bit about yourself and your photography.
Hannah: I fell in love with film photography because of the process of it. From shooting to processing my own rolls to printing them in a darkroom. It was fun and it made sense - such that what you see is what you get; what you'd like to get out of it comes out (also without the dubious intervention of the digital realm - I honestly dunno if that makes sense to you but that's what it's like to me).
What type of film do you use and what camera do you use it with? Why do you prefer these?
Hannah: I've gone through several rolls of film and have (at the moment) I'm loving Kentmere - it is cheap but does not fail when pushed or pulled (at one point I kept pushing it 4 stops and it didn't come out as noisy or as grainy as it should, or as any other film would have).
I alternate between a Minolta X-300, Yashica GSN and an Argus C3. I use the Minolta for documenting - you can't fail with an SLR. I use the Yashica for shooting random things, it's my first camera and I love how it has never failed me even before I learned about the technicalities of film photography - I mostly probably really just use it out of the sentimentality of it (and I mean, c'mon it's a rangefinder, you can't go wrong with rangefinders). I usually use the Argus C3 for night shoots or for long exposures (I know this sounds dumb but it has been great by far) - I like what comes out of it during long exposures; it is also a frickin' brick (literally) so I can just place it anywhere and allow for it to sit and shoot for as long as it has to.
What do you think film has that digital doesn't have?
Hannah: Control. I get it, it is so much easier to edit digital photographs but I really think there's more control in shooting film cameras such that every image really actually belongs to the person who shot it (not to mention overexposing to high limits!)
Do you print your own photographs or are you comfortable having them printed in a lab?
Hannah: Yes, I print my own photos. What I really loved in film photography is the amount of control it allows me to have with my photos and this includes processing and printing the photos myself.
What motivates you to continue making photographs with film? Have you learned anything about yourself through film photography?
Hannah: Again, control and the lack of it too - understanding the extent of what you can create with your hands and what is beyond you.
Are there any photographers that influenced your way of making pictures?
Hannah: I really am just looking for that one person who is Vivian Maier and Francesca Woodman combined. Tell me if you find him/her.
Do you see any value or merit shooting with film?
Hannah: I don't think it matters. It is enough as it is. Everything else that follows is the bonus.
What do you think your future is like with film photography?
Hannah: I think film photography is here to stay - it is a form of art in itself.
Any dream film photography project in mind?
Hannah: Yes! A 10x10 gum bichromate print. How I'm gonna do it. I dunno.
Also, I've been wanting to come up with my own 35mm film video camera - with the crank? I mean what are dreams for anyway? Might as well push it to its limits.. Haha!
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?
Hannah: It isn't anything like digital photography. Don't underexpose and then harass the frame via Photoshop. Allow to immerse yourself in the experience of it minus what digital technology can offer. This is not to say I am against any digital modifications, that's alright - but you'd be missing out on the beauty and charm of it all if you don't allow yourself to just experience film photography as it is - even for just one roll. ;)
Got anything else to share with us?
Hannah: Took a hiatus last year... just started working on a project... wait for it.
Hannah was right when she said, "you'd be missing out on the beauty and charm of film photography if you don't allow yourself to just experience it". Because sometimes the unfamiliar makes us nervous in a way that’s hard to describe. While it may not feel like it, this is normal—and it’s good.
Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us, Hannah. We can't wait to see more of your work.
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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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