Updated: Oct 7, 2017
Film photographers have the discipline to think first before taking a shot.
Before we start, Richie. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into film photography?
Richie: I am a largely self-taught photographer. I focus to capture perfect moments without aid from technology trappings, like filter usage, excessive retouching, and taking too many shots which are common in the digital age. I have worked on book projects such as Immaterial by Gus Albor, and Elpidio & Alicia: The Love Letters with Rene Guatlo. In 1990 after graduating from college, I was influenced by my cousin to take a course in Basic photography at Mowelfund in the Philippines. Using a borrowed camera, Nikon FG, I learned basic photography as well as darkroom techniques from Mr Louie Chong and Mr Rolfie Velasco.
What type of film do you use and what camera do you use it with? Why do you prefer these?
Richie: I use Kodak Tmax and TriX 100 and 400 ISO. Rangefinder cameras and medium format because of its ease of use, its durability, the quality of image, and it delivers what I envisioned the photograph will be.
What do you think film has that digital doesn't have?
Richie: Film for me is better, particularly, in black and white photos because it captures more distinct details of highlights and shadow. In addition to this, due to the limited number of exposure, film photographers have the discipline to think first before taking a shot.
Do you print your own photographs or are you comfortable having them printed in a lab?
Richie: From 1991 to 2004, I used to print and develop my own photographs. Perhaps one of my biggest regret is selling my enlarger and other darkroom equipment. All because of the advent of digital photography I thought that there would be difficulty purchasing chemicals and materials. At the moment, I have my photographs printed in a lab. Moreover, I plan to set up a darkroom again.
What motivates you to continue making photographs with film?
Richie: My motivation is the challenge to capture that one photograph that I have in my mind. And also after capturing the image thru film medium, there’s an excitement of waiting for the image to be processed. Unique and simplicity. Black and white photo line light and shadow.
Are there any photographers that influenced your way of making pictures?
Richie: Eduardo Masferre, Butch Baluyut and Edward Weston.
Do you see any value shooting with film?
Richie: Yes, because film creates photographs with more artistic value and the essence of the image being timeless.
What do you think is the future of film photography?
Richie: The future is looking good for film photography because more people are now challenging themselves to be better in taking photographs. I hope that more photographer will be enticed to develop their photos as well and to make the chemicals and materials be more available in the market.
Do you have any dream film photography project?
Richie: I dream to have a Black and White exhibit of Filipino Artists as subjects, and to publish a book of my work.
Would you like to share some advise to those who want to try out film photography for the first time? What must they learn before venturing into this format?
Richie: Challenge their passion and skills in photography. For first timers, it is important to familiarize themselves with the camera, and the should have lots of patience. Always keep in mind that It’s not about the camera but its about the man taking the photo.
Truly inspiring vision and wisdom, Richie. I'm certain you and your photographs will be a source others look to for motivation when they jump into film photography.
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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 everyone 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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