Updated: Apr 19, 2020
Analog makes me feel at home.
I'm happy to have you here, Ines. Please tell us a bit about yourself and your journey into film photography.
Ines: My name is Ines Gadermaier, I am 21 years old and from Vienna. I first got into film photography when my grandma gifted me the camera she bought herself when she was 18. I didn't know anything about it, so my dad told me to contact far relatives who were photographers and owned a business to help me understand photography better. I did and that was the start for me. I explored, got back good and bad photographs, adapted, had highs and lows (still definitely do), and finally decided to go to photo school, which gave me all the definite instructions on basics so that my outcomes were more and more pleasing, which is probably why I held onto it. I also study art history which sets my standards higher than my knowledge, leading to motivation of self-improvement.
What type of film do you use and what camera do you use it with? Why do you prefer these?
Ines: I still preferably use the camera that gifted me my grandma, it's a Regula King RM (35mm) and I've always liked it because it can absolutely do nothing besides taking the shot. I really have to put in effort so that the photo comes out correctly. It doesn't have a lightmeter, the distance measuring is my job too, I have to decide everything and if the photo comes out bad, it's a hundred percent my fault. This camera has taught me photography.
Now I would like to change to a medium format camera to spice it up in quality and to have new challenges. As I am only a student, this decision is not final yet because of the money issue. But I don't have any pressure, as I always have my old Regula King, which is enough for now. My favourite film is by far the Fujifilm Superia X-tra 400. I like the color harmony it gives so much and it's not too expensive.
What do you think film has that digital doesn't have?
Ines: Primarily, it is a feeling: Film gives me a fizzy warm feeling - it's so much effort to shoot and develop, and the feeling of the outcome therefore rewards differently. I value film more and differently than digital, I generally hold on to old things and analog makes me feel at home. Also, it challenges me so much more which gives me more impulse for learning more. In contrast, when shooting in digital I always have the wish in the back of my head to make the digital look like if they were shot on film, because this is where I feel at home, where photography feels like me.
Do you print your own photographs or are you comfortable having them printed in a lab?
Ines: Generally, I don't print a lot because I don't have any need of prints, really.Mostly, my photos are developed (preferably self-developed) and then scanned, without making prints.But when I do need prints, I am comfortable to let a lab do the job.
What motivates you to continue making photographs with film? Have you learned anything about yourself through film photography?
Ines: I think ups motivate me an equal amount as downs do, but in different ways. Also, other works that resemble my artistic wishes motivate me and when I see a situation and think "That would have looked so cool captured on film". I have learned a whole lot about my likes and dislikes in art, through film. Also, everytime I choose my film camera over my normal camera when going out, as well as developing myself is showing me a lot about my general old granny brain.
Are there any photographers that influenced your way of making pictures?
Ines: This answer may be unsatisfyingly cheesy but I think every photographer I have ever looked at is influencing me by reflecting on how i react to the photos and why - what is attracting me, what is repulsing me.
Do you see any value or merits shooting with film?
Ines: Of course I value the analog, otherwise I wouldn't shoot film. I admire the mechanical process, the working with my hands (while putting the film in, while adjusting settings, while developing) instead of letting work be done for me by the digital.
What do you think your future is like with film photography?
Ines: I will definitely continue to try improving in shooting film, but would also like to work on my digital photography so that it resembles the analog more. As mentioned before, medium format is something I seriously consider, too. Also, color developing would be a next goal. Let's see where it takes me.
Any dream film photography project in mind?
Ines: I don't think that I have any, yet, but shooting more whole projects solely on film is something I am working on, in general.
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?
Ines: I think the first thing to learn is photography basics (light, adjustments on the own camera, why and how do the basics work) so that it doesn't frustrate you too much when you don't know why you're picture aren't coming out as you would like them to. Afterwards it is just trying over and over again, and when in doubt think of the reasons that motivated you to start in the first place.
Photographers around the world are finding ways to keep themselves busy during this lockdown, and coming up with activities to make self-isolation a bit more interesting. What are your ways to keep busy while you have to stay at home?
Ines: Personally I was in a down first doing not much really, but I somehow motivated myself to the point that this is a (hopefully) once-in-a-lifetime situation that should be documented. I started putting my last roll of film into a half-frame camera so that I could make a lot of photos with this last roll I have and document my quarantine. Afterwards I plan on making a little album with those photos. Unfortunately, film is very expensive right now so when this last roll is shot, I'm gonna go digital through this pandemic.
Anything you want to add? Future exhibits, projects you're currently busy with? Anything…
Ines: Currently I am on a big project, which I don't want to announce yet. What I can say is that it is a long-term project, combining art history and photography to investigate on a common topic of daily life. I plan on using both digital and analog photography for it and am dreaming of presenting it in form of an exhibition. Stay tuned!
Thank you for sharing your insights, Ines. Stay safe!
You can catch Ines' extraordinary work on Instagram.
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