Updated: Jan 16, 2018
It’s great film has made a come back. If they stop making film, I’m not really sure I would go back to digital.
Mind telling us about yourself and your story on how you got into film photography?
James: Hi I’m James Furtado. I live in the UK just outside London. I’ve been doing photography for 17 years. I started off using Film quite late so when digital came around I jumped on that pretty quick. I shot a lot of landscapes. I shot some weddings too but hated it so I quit doing them. After a while working in Jessops camera store, I started to get bored with digital cameras. There were so many cameras coming out and it seemed to get boring! So I sold all my digital cameras and used a Minolta Dynax 4 for a while. I shot a few rolls but never did much as I mainly shot on my iPhone. But as I started using Instagram I started to see the same thing all the time. Same cameras, same shots, same filters! So I started looking at film photography again and looking up photographers that were using Film and posting on Instagram. I decided to buy an Olympus om10 and start using Film again. I decided that within the year I would be using Film all the time and developing my own b&w.
What type of film do you use and what camera do you use it with? Why do you prefer these?
James: I use Ilford HP5 a lot. I love b&w film. I’ve used a lot of cameras this year. At the moment I’m using a Nikon fm10 with a 28 and 50mm lens. I did own an Olympus 35lc rangefinder which I loved and regret selling. I love focusing with a rangefinder. I’m hoping a can buy a Leica sometime soon, that is my dream camera.
What do you think film has that digital doesn't have?
James: I love the way you shoot with Film. It’s a slower process. You can’t see your photos straight away so there is an element of surprise to what you get back. When I’m developing the roll I know what I’ve shot so I imagine what they will look like and that hovers me more excited! Also I love the depth b&w Film gives you. It feels real and life like, where as digital it’s too clean and flat looking.
Do you print your own photographs or are you comfortable having them printed in a lab?
James: I develop my own film at home. I think taking pics, developing, printing is a complete process to your images. I don’t print as I haven’t space to create a darkroom but in the future I’ll probably buy a printer or start using a professional lab.
What motivates you to continue making photographs with film? Have you learned anything about yourself through film photography?
James: Just to keep shooting, and keep organising my film photography meet ups where I have met some really cool people over the last few months who also shoots film. I want to learn to print in the darkroom at some point so that is a future goal.
I’ve learnt to be patient and slow down. I can’t take a pic and instantly upload to social media. The whole process is slow and has really made me use my head and create pictures I like like rather then go out and take 200 photos without thinking.
Are there any photographers that influenced your way of making pictures?
James: Yes loads!!! Don McCullin, Annie Leibovitz, Henri Carter Bresson, Elliot Erwitt, Alec Soth, Martin Parr, Andre Wagner, Steve McCurry, Joel Meyerowitz, David Hurn, Jeff Mermelstein, Bruce Gilden, Fred Herzog. There are loads more but I get a lot of influences from the Magnum photographers.
Do you see any value or merits shooting with film?
James: It definitely makes you a better photographer. You really need to slow down especially when using a manual camera. When i take someone’s portrait and taking pictures I’m not checking the back screen on a digital camera. With Film I shoot and still able to engage the moment with the subject. Also each film camera is different so you can put one film in one camera, and the results are completely different if to another camera.
What do you think your future is like with film photography?
James: I think it’s great Film has made a come back. I think more photographers are going back to Film or digital photographers are making the switch. I’ve been back shooting Film for a year now and loving it! So hopefully it will continue. If they stop making film I’m not really sure I would go back to digital.
What’s your dream photography project?
James: I would love to travel around India for a year shooting Ilford HP5 b&w and Kodak Ektar 100 colour. Then publish a small book about it.
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?
James: Just buy a compact film camera if an SLR scares you. Buy a cheap roll of Film and just shoot. Make it super fun. Once you get more serious start looking into developing. It really isn’t scary especially black & white film it’s super easy. And if the cost of developing puts you off, developing at home is cost effective.
Anything you want to add?
James: ’m working on a Bicycle Series at the moment of abandoned cycles in the city. I’m hoping to publish the images into a zine by the end of February.
Also I’m a huge fan of Bruce Gilden's work and the way he shoots so at the moment I’m out shooting portraits with a flash.
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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.