Interview with MUHAMMAD HAEKAL, INDONESIA
All I want to say to those who wanna try film photography is “Be careful, it’s addicting”.
Mind telling us about yourself and your story on how you got into film photography?
Ical: Hi everyone, I’m Ical. 23 years old from Jakarta, Indonesia. I’m a self-taught film photographer. You can see my work & film results on Instagram
It started in the end of 2015, when i was helping my friend to cleaned up his warehouse and found a pocket camera, Akica Primo BF-801. He said it was broken, yet I put two batteries in it, suddenly, the flash and the machine still working but i didn’t know how to use it that day. So I searched it on Youtube (Thanks Youtube) and put a film roll in it. And brought the roll to near film lab, and the results was hypnotize me. I keep shooting since it.
What type of film do you use and what camera do you use it with? Why do you prefer these?
Ical: Currently, I’m using two film cameras. Yashica FX-200 and Pentax PC-330. For me, every film roll has its own magic. But mostly, I always shoot with Kodak Pro Image 100, Kodak Colorplus 200, Fuji Superia 400, Kodak Portra 400, cause that’s the only film roll that I can find easily.
I love shooting film in color cause it feels so vintage and make me nostalgic about my portrait works. The color from the film roll, the grain and the tone are all mesmerize me.
What do you think film has that digital doesn't have?
Ical: Grain, flares, colors and double exposure. That’s all I know. This stuff is kinda addicting cause you’ve to enjoy the process before you see the results, whether it turns out perfect or getting burned for the whole negatives. Digital camera can be deleted instantly if you don’t like the pic you’ve shot, but film camera doesn’t. So, it teach you how to be patient and must appreciate every frames from the film rolls.
Do you print your own photographs or are you comfortable having them printed in a lab?
Ical: Yes I do. I develop and scan my film roll in my own lab, located in Jakarta too. It’s called Laci Lab.
What motivates you to continue making photographs with film? Have you learned anything about yourself through film photography?
Ical: The process. For me, film photography is more like sex. Good or bad, you’ve to enjoy it. I’m an impatient person but film photography teach me to be patient and I fell in love at the first sight with the results and keep learning since it. And because of the film photography, it helps me connect with more people with the same hobby and interest.
Are there any photographers that influenced your way of making pictures?
Ical: Yes of course. I have a bunch of my influencers in photography. Dean Martindale, Tom Mitchell, Andre Josselin, Grant Panier, Dai John and the legend Arbain Rambey from Indonesia. They influenced me a lot in photography.
Do you see any value or merit shooting with film?
Ical: Beside gettin’ some money from shooting with film I do enjoy it a lot. Once again, the process makes me enjoy to shoot more often. Appreciate every frames, because none of them can be deleted like a digital camera. And the last one is the negative whom keep the memories in it. That’s why I rarely throw away my negatives.
What do you think your future is like with film photography?
Ical: In my opinion, analog photography will never completely disappear. It’s kinda back to basic mode. Despite the technology is increasingly advance, so many friends of mine, back shoot with film camera for their clothing brands even though they shoot with digital before.
Do you have any dream film photography project?
Ical: I always wanna travel around the world with my lovely one and capture all the beautiful places with my film camera. Also, working with film camera and make a zine, join a local art fair with my prints in it, or held an exhibition and selling my prints in my website.
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?
Ical: All I want to say to those who wanna try film photography is “Be careful, it’s addicting”. Once you try it, you always want to shoot more and more. Appreciate every frames, and learn from mistakes. It’s okay to have a blank roll after shooting, or wasting money. If you love it, why not?
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?
Ical: I’m grateful that I can work, read books, write, make moodboards and doing some virtual photoshoot during this lockdown. And printing some of my film results. Stay safe everyone out there.
Anything you want to add? Future exhibits, projects you're currently busy with? Anything…
Ical: Lately, I’m doing a collaboration photoshoot with some models and honestly, i’d like to say thanks a lot to you, Mr. Melvin who sent me a DM on Instagram couple days ago. It was nice to share my own thoughts & point of view in your website. And thanks to everyone who want to spent their time to reading my interview.
Cheers for spending time in sharing your insights here, Ical! We really appreciate your thoughts and your stunning set of photographs. Please stay safe and stay healthy!
Do catch Ical on Instagram and check out more of his stunning photographs posted there. If you're down there in Indonesia and wanted to get your rolls of film processed, Laci Lab can give you a hand processing them.
Be considerate. All photographs shown on this page are the sole property of Muhammad Haekal. He devoted his time and worked hard on 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 Muhammad Haekal. Be mindful of your actions. 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 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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