Interview with STEVEN LEONE, USA
You can get away doing simple things with film that would otherwise just be a boring picture with digital.
Hi, Steven! Glad you made it here. Please tell us who you are and how you got yourself shooting with film.
Steven: Not that exciting of a story. Although I still do digital at times, I just got tired of the tack sharpness of digital cameras. It's too clean and too many details. I love the aesthetic and soul of film. The softness and dreamy quality. I wanted that old vintage feel so I got an old vintage TLR medium format camera and started taking film pics.
What type of film do you use and what camera do you use it with? Why do you prefer these?
Steven: Yashica Mat 124G and Kodak Portra 160 or 400 and for black and white I use Ilford HP5 Plus and Kodak Tri-X or TMAX. I like Portra for the flat colors that's not too contrasty. Kodak Tri-X for the deep blacks and Ilford for the more flat look and grain. Also, Ilford is much cheaper than Kodak so that factors into my using it.
What do you think film has that digital doesn't have?
Steven: Soul, spirit, substance. It's like microwaved food compared to slow over roasted.
Do you print your own photographs or are you comfortable having them printed in a lab?
Steven: I live on the road and travel a lot so I have labs do them for me, because it's not convenient carrying all the equipment needed for it.
What motivates you to continue making photographs with film? Have you learned anything about yourself through film photography?
Steven: The look of film is what makes me continue to use it. I learned that it's okay to take simple pictures of people that don't have to have an amazing set design, wardrobe or poses. You can get away doing simple things with film that would otherwise just be a boring picture with digital.
Are there any photographers that influenced your way of making pictures?
Steven: No. I'm more influenced by painters and cinematographers.
Do you see any value or merits shooting with film?
Steven: Quality and timelessness.
What do you think your future is like with film photography?
Steven: It has a bright future. Especially with so many young people getting into it. There has been a spike in film and film camera purchases over the past few years.
What’s your dream photography project?
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?
Steven: They don't have to learn anything. Just pick up a camera and start taking pictures that they love and speaks to their heart's content. My advice? Be prepared to spend some money because depending on where you're at in the world, film isn't cheap and it costs money to process and scan unless you do it yourself.
Anything else you want to add?
Steven: Be humble and never act as if you're better than photographers whose work you think is lesser than yours.
To see more of Steven's work, go visit him on Instagram and on his website.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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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