Interview with MARTINA KETTNER, AUSTRIA

Shooting film is mindful. Film taught me patience and how to deal with failure.


Please tell us something about yourself, Martina, and your journey into film photography?


Martina: Hey, I'm Martina and I live in Austria. I had my first encounter with film photography in my childhood. Back then, there was only film. My father shot quite a lot and developed film in our bathroom. Me and my brother had our own small cameras for 110 film or even 35mm. Later I was allowed to use my father's analog SLR and I shot a roll sometimes. I liked it but I never really got into photography. I totally forgot about it for years. Somehow I got back into photography. About 5 years ago, I found a very old box film camera online, then I ordered a Holga and since then, I never looked back.


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


Martina: I love black and white film and almost never shoot color film. Maybe this will change some day, who knows? When it comes to film format, I use medium format, 35mm and Polaroid or Instax film. I don't care which brand it is, I'm not picky at all. Ilford is always a good choice. My favorite brand must be Fomapan, I go through a lot of rolls! It's cheap and perfect for stand development. The camera question is hard to answer, I own more than 30 film cameras. If I had to pick only one, it would be my Holga.



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



Martina: To me, film photography is honest. I can touch the negative and when I put them into my archive I like to think: This will be left when I'm long gone. I also like the fact that I have to pick a camera and a film and that I need to stick to this decision for a whole roll.


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

Martina: Unfortunately, I don't have a darkroom. I develop film in the kitchen but when it comes to prints, I go to the lab.



What motivates you to continue making photographs with film? Have you learned anything about yourself through film photography?


Martina: I'd love to show other people how I see the world. I guess that's what keeps me going. As an introvert, film photography is also an easy way to connect with other people - offline or online. I'd love to attend a meet-up one day. Shooting film is mindful. Film taught me patience and how to deal with failure.


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


Martina: When it comes to landscape photography, Michael Kenna's work left a huge impression. I think the images he shot with a Holga were the reason I got such a camera myself. There are also plenty of photographers online which are a huge inspiration for me. The whole film community is a big source of inspiration.



Do you see any value or merits shooting with film?


Martina: Quality over quantity! You think twice before pressing the shutter: Do I like the composition? Is it worth the frame? You don't end up with 2000 images after a week-long vacation.


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


Martina: As long there's film, I'll keep shooting. There are some other things I also want to try, like wet-plate photography and other photographic processes. I don't think that film is ever going to die but if that would be the case, I guess I'd stick to digital and maybe drawing or painting. Not creating is not an option.


Do you have any dream film photography project?


Martina: There are some places in the world I'd love to explore for a really long time, not just for a few days on vacation: London, Death Valley, New York, Edinburgh - just to name a few.


Would you like to offer a few words of wisdom to those who want to try film photography for the first time? What must they learn before venturing into this format?



Martina: Don't be afraid, it's not rocket science. Buy a cheap camera at a flea market or online. If you don't know anything about photography, go for a compact camera, they are easy to use. From there you can always upgrade. Join a film photography group, read film photography blogs and chat with other film photographers. I can tell from experience that everyone is happy to help beginners.


Anything you want to add?


Martina: I'm currently in the process of planning portrait sessions. Usually I do landscapes and occasionally a few self portraits, so for me, this is quite a huge step.

If you want to see more stunning photographs from Martina, go follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and don't forget to drop by her website as well.


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Be considerate. All photographs shown on this page are the sole property of Martina Kettner. She devoted her time, and worked so 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 Martina Kettner. 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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