This is a special world of photography! It is valuable by the symbiosis of a pleasant process and the result obtained.
Glad to have you here, Igor! Please tell us a bit about yourself and your journey into film photography.
Igor: My name is Igor Kondukov. I am from Russia, from a small town called Pavlovo. In fact, I was afraid to film for a long time because I suspected that I would be sucked into the world of film photography. And since I have known myself for 30 years, I was not mistaken. I became interested in this about 2 years ago, having bought nikon f4 and the first reel of black and white film Ilford. Later I acquired a medium format (mamiyaRZ67) and after the first shooting on it I finally fell in love with a film photograph. I liked the 6x7 frame format and was very lucky to shoot the first films with high quality, without having much experience. It really motivated me. It became especially interesting when I decided to show films on my own - an exciting process. Of course, there were flashes, and an expired developer, and failures due to the lack of experience in capturing the image. But all this only warmed up the appetite.
Now film photography for me is a thrill process, plus a way to learn something new in photography and portraiture.
What type of film do you use and what camera do you use it with? Why do you prefer these?
Igor: Initially, I shot 35mm film on Nikon F4, but as soon as I tried the medium format and the MamiyaRZ67 camera, I immediately realized that this is my new tool in my work. in 2 years I haven’t managed to try all the films yet, but Ilford HP5Plus 400 and Kodak T-Max400 are the favorites for me. I like them for their contrast and features of the push process.
What do you think film has that digital doesn't have?
Igor: For me personally, this is primarily the process of shooting and processing negatives. Plus, it seems to me that the film gives a special volume and atmosphere in your photos.
Do you print your own photographs or are you comfortable having them printed in a lab?
Igor: The world of analog photo printing is still a mystery to me, but it’s for the better) I still have something to be surprised at and get positive impressions in film photography.
What motivates you to continue making photographs with film? Have you learned anything about yourself through film photography?
Igor: The film definitely had a big impact on my workflow. Taking hundreds of photos and then choosing the best among them is not the most effective way. It is much more interesting to spend more time preparing, communicating with the person whom I am photographing, and then making just a couple of excellent shots. What motivates me to do it? I don’t know, I just love it.
Are there any photographers that influenced your way of making pictures?
Igor: I looked closely at film photography for a long time and of course there are authors who influenced me. First of all, it is Sergey Sarakhanov , an excellent portrait photographer, it was he who inspired to try the medium format. I was also influenced by photography and the attitude towards film photography by Dave Le Page.
Do you see any value or merit shooting with film?
Igor: Yes! This is a special world of photography! It is valuable by the symbiosis of a pleasant process and the result obtained. They are not filming now because it is the only way. Now this is exactly the conscious choice of the photographer - and it is very pleasing. Plus film photography provides tremendous opportunities for creativity and expression.
What do you think your future is like with film photography?
Igor: I am filming more and more and just enjoy it, it’s not really important for me where it will lead me.
Do you have any dream film photography project?
Igor: Yes, now I’m interested in taking portraits of actors and delving into their personal experiences. So far, the project is only at the development stage.
Would you like to share some advise to those who want to try out film photography for the first time? What must they learn before venturing into this format?
Igor: Try as many formats / cameras / films as possible. Find what you like. And do not stop if something did not work out. And it will not be necessary. But fortunately, now there is a lot of information on the Internet about film cameras, the development process and printing.
Anything you want to add? Future exhibits, projects you're currently busy with? Anything…
Igor: Go film this weekend
These are just some of Igor's remarkable work. Do find time to stop by his Instagram page and get updates on his 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 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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