Interview with STEFAN RUTSCHMANN, SWITZERLAND

Updated: Jan 15, 2018

Film forces you to think more about your photography.


Mind telling us about yourself and your story on how you got into film photography?


Stefan: My first camera was a Konica Autoreflex T3, which i inherited from my father. As a teenager I played around whit that camera before I bought myself a digital SLR. After this first steps with film, I started as a 100% digital photographer. I've done a lot of portraits and sports over some years and I never thought about film photography anymore. In the end of 2015 I was bored with my current photography and i needed some new input, so I started again to play around with my fathers old Konica, which was still in a box in my basement. I was immediately hooked and now I do the most of my photography with film.


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


Stefan: The most of my work I shoot in black and white with Kodak TriX400 and Ilford HP5 400. These two types are my most common films, especially for the portraits. For my other work I also use color film but nothing particular.


My portraits I do with a medium format Rolleiflex SL66SE, I love the square crop and the working process with this camera. I also have a Fujifilm GW690II, which was my first medium format camera. I like the simplicity of the camera and the negatives out of this camera are just amazing and extreme detailed! I also have some 35mm cameras like a Canonet QL17 GIII and of course still my fathers Konica.



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



Stefan: I think the biggest difference is the working process. With digital you can do a lot of your decisions afterwards, with film you have to decide everything beforehand. That forces you to think more about your photography.


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

Stefan: I have some lab stuff at home but to be honest, i used it just once. I have a really good lab in Berne, where i life and i bring them all my rolls. Photography is a hobby for me and I have a full time job, so I have no time to develop my stuff on my own. The only thing I do on my own is the scanning, so I can scan just the frames i need and in the quality I want.


What motivates you to continue making photographs with film?



Stefan: For me it's fun. I don't need to earn money with my photography, so I can do what makes me the most fun. And when I can enjoy my photography I can get the most out of my creativity. As long as i enjoy to shoot film, as long i will do it.


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


Stefan: There are a lot of photographers that influenced me, but no one in particular. Maybe the most important one was James Nachtwey. I saw the film "War photographer“ about him and his work at school and this was the reason why i got interested in photography the first place. It’s still one of my favorites movies and in my opinion a must see for every one who’s interested in photography.


Do you see any value or merit shooting with film? 


Stefan: I get an instant back up of my photography when scanned the my frames.



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


Stefan: I really don't know. I hope it will last as long as i will enjoy shooting film!


What’s your dream photography project?


Stefan: I have no special dream project but a lot of ideas I want to do. Some of them I will do sometimes but there are for sure some project I never will do.


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?



Stefan: Nothing. Just try it out! There is no magic mystery behind film photography. Buy some film, load your camera, and have some fun!


Stefan plans to work on a small book showing portraits with different topics. Let's wait for that special project of his.


Catch him on Instagram and check out more of his stunning photographs on his website.


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Be considerate. All photographs shown on this page are the sole property of Stefan Rutschmann. 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 Stefan Rutschmann. 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 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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