Updated: Oct 4, 2017
With film photography, you connect your eyes and soul with the subject.
Please tell us about yourself and a brief story on how you got into film photography?
Riccardo: I'm 49 years old now. I got into photography when I was 13 yo. My father gave me an old Canonet T28, still own, and a roll of film. He told me not to waste it. And I answered "I won't waste it. I will take photographs". I began to take portraits of my friends in school, and some of them still have it. Then I started to take nudes of my girlfriend. From this, taking photos to the models was a consequence.
What type of film do you use and what camera do you use it with? Why do you prefer these?
Riccardo: I mostly use IlFord Hp5+ and I overexpose it at 200 ISO. Once I used to use Kodak Tri-x. I started with 35mm reflex. I have my Praktica MTL5b and my Canon AE1. My favorite lens is 35mm. I use it for all: set portraits, panoramas, street photography. I have also medium format camera: Mamiya 645e (6x4.5) Hasselblad 500cm (6x6) and Mamiya RB67 (6x7).
What do you think film has that digital doesn't have?
Riccardo: I think that shooting film slows the process; I must think carefully about every frame, studying the light, considering the composition and scrutinising my subjects before opening the shutter. At the same time, I rarely, if ever, plan much of a shoot in advance. Whilst I restrict myself with regards to my tools and materials, I also give myself the space to make mistakes, to improvise and to collaborate with my subjects.
Do you print your own photographs or are you comfortable having them printed in a lab?
Riccardo: Once I used to print them by myself. Now I send it to a lab.
What motivates you to continue making photographs with film?
Riccardo: I want my photographs to be seen as objects as well as images, with a physical and tangible presence.
Are there any photographers that influenced your way of making pictures?
Riccardo: Of course!! Avedon first, then Mapplethorpe, and Newton. Speaking about contemporary photographers, I love Gabriele Rigon, great mentor and friend, and Ryan Muirhead.
Do you see any value shooting with film?
Riccardo: I can keep my eyes and soul connected with the subject, without any distractions coming from the monitor of my reflex. The picture is in the room, not in the reflex.
What do you think your future is like with film photography?
Riccardo: I would like to be able to go beyond appearances, get really in touch with other people.
What’s your dream photography project?
Riccardo: Yes! I'm thinking about a project that involves normal people, much more than models, across the country. However I'm still thinking about a way to subsidise it.
Any good words you want to impart for those who want to try film photography? What must they learn before venturing into this format?
Riccardo: Teach a kid to shoot film and he will never have money for drugs! No, just kidding. The technique is learned in few days: expose for shadows, print for lights. This is the only things you have to know. But be honest with yourself and with others. Shoot what you love and put yourself in it. Never fullfill others expectations and never be comfortable but try to experiment and move in an unknown area.
Everything about film photography is fun, most especially when you take photos that resonate with you. Cheers for sharing your exceptional set of photographs, Riccardo!
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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.
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