Updated: May 17
The poetry and patience of film photography fascinated me more and more.
Mind telling us about yourself and your story on how you got into film photography?
Thomas: I'm Thomas Cesaretti, I'm 22 years old and I'm from Sestino, a small town in Tuscany. I studied in an artistic high school up to the age of 18 and among many school courses, photography has always attracted me.
As a child, I saw my grandfather who spent all his salary to buy film cameras and cameras during those times were cutting edge tools. During school I tried both, film and digital. Obviously digital was overbear in school. When the "duties" ended, I kept my passion outside the school boundaries.
As the ease of digital began to bore me, the poetry and patience of film photography fascinated me more and more. From there I started my journey.
What type of film do you use and what camera do you use it with? Why do you prefer these?
Thomas: I started with disposable cameras where it was difficult to know what film they had inside, then I bought a super low-cost Yashica FX-3 super 2000. The rolls that represent me most are Ilford, Kodak and Fujicolor— all 35mm. My preferences are these both for the ease in finding them and for the most varied types of shots: Ilford for a good black and white, Kodak and Fujicolor for more vivid colors. Let's say a palette for all the nuances of the situations you want to capture.
What do you think film has that digital doesn't have?
Thomas: In my opinion, film photography has that patience of waiting that digital is programmed not to have. With film, the eye looks for perfection, once taken, the image is imprinted, that's why technique is important.
Of course you need technique also in digital but it can adapt with a click to all situations, while with film photography the way to adapt is quite different, considering the same ISO for an entire film and the mystery of the exposures that you will see only after development.
Do you print your own photographs or are you comfortable having them printed in a lab?
Thomas: I was able to develop my photos during school. Now that I don't have what it takes to create a darkroom, I rely on lab where I have always been very happy but the desire to have my own darkroom is a constant thought. I believe I will create it as soon as possible.
What motivates you to continue making photographs with film? Have you learned anything about yourself through film photography?
Thomas: I am increasingly motivated to use the analogue for all the reasons mentioned above, the search for the perfect moment, the discomfort of the lost shot, the cumbersomeness of the system and the search for the perfect exposure, all this trying to develop the ideal film , a film without some "to throw" photos. I learned a lot about myself, I have always been a perfectionist but film photography fully represents me (especially from this point of view), I learned to wait more, to observe more, to think a lot and sometimes even to give up without taking pictures . Film is the essence of photography in my opinion.
Do you see any value or merits shooting with film?
Thomas: Yes, taking photos with films is definitely an added value, it is what makes a photography enthusiast a photographer. It has added value both from an intangible and tangible point of view.
What do you think your future is like with film photography?
Thomas: Although I do this interview I can define myself at the beginning because it is very difficult to emerge, especially in Italy at the moment and when photography seems to be within everyone's reach. I only know that my future and my artistic projects will always be accompanied by film photography instead of a digital one. I would never change and I think that, who like me, loves film, can do it.
What’s your dream photography project?
Thomas: I have in mind a project on transparency, playing with different materials I would like to see how the subjects relate to different surfaces, trying to create different visions of the world.
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?
Thomas: In my opinion everyone should try. Probably in your garage there is an old dated camera to which you can revive or you can try buying a disposable only to grasp the concept of patience, limitation, reasoning and waiting. Film photography is not fleeting, it is satisfying and reasoned.
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?
Thomas: I've been in isolation for two months and I don't have a camera with me, the only things I have are sheets of photographic paper and liquids for photographic development, so I'm having fun making frames using the Rayogram technique, which consists in 'exposing objects in contact with a sensitive material, in practice you can take photographs without using a camera.
Thank you, Thomas, for your inspiring thoughts. We hope to see more works from you after this lockdown is over. Stay safe out there.
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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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