Updated: Dec 13, 2017
Shooting with film simplify my life and makes me happy.
Hello there, William! Please tell us who you are and how you got yourself shooting with film.
William: I am an Indonesian working as radiologist in Jakarta with a 6 years old daughter and 8 months old boy. Started photography in 2011 to capture life’s little moments of my daughter and fall in love with film photography ever since.
What type of film do you use and what camera do you use it with? Why do you prefer these?
William: I shoot with various combination of 135 and 120 film camera depends on what I want to achieve. Mostly I always carry and shoot with a Leica M camera with 35/50mm lens and Rolleiflex 3.5F for my daily life documentary needs.
I shoot more in black and white film. The favourite film is Fuji Neopan 400, I keep lots of them in my freezer for low light documentary (push 2-3 stop beautifully). For daily use, Rollei RPX400 and Ilford Delta400 are my choice, both in 135 or 120 format.
For color, I simply use and love Kodak Portra 400.. and sometimes Kodak Ektar 100 in beautiful lights.
What do you think film has that digital doesn't have?
William: Each film has its own characteristic and limitations. Knowing them, pre-visual the results, measuring the exposure and take the photograph. Writing notes to each roll for the development process without information on the content. Randomly developing the film with the sweet surprising amazement seeing the developed results. I really enjoy all of that journey with film.
Do you print your own photographs or are you comfortable having them printed in a lab?
William: For black and white film, I develop all my film by myself using Rodinal with the same technique for everything. For C41 color and slide film and print needs, all is sent to a film lab in Jakarta.
What motivates you to continue making photographs with film? Have you learned anything about yourself through film photography?
William: Film photography makes me a better person. It teach me to slow down, enjoying the scene, carefully deciding the exposure, waiting, enjoying pressing the shutter. After a while (maybe a long while > 1 year). I enjoy the developing process and be reminded again of the vision I had when taking the photograph. Even to embrace mistakes, laughing at my own foolishness and move on after a mistake.
Are there any photographers that influenced your way of making pictures?
William: I enjoy the photograph from Vivian Maier, Elliot Erwitt, Daido, Saul Leiter, Fan Ho, Salgado, Kertesz. I still keep learning and reading many more to come. Also influenced by many local journalist works in Indonesia and some talented fellow photographers.
Do you see any value or merits shooting with film?
William: Shooting with film simplify my life and makes me happy. Somehow it felt limiting in a way yet liberating at the other end.
What do you think your future is like with film photography?
William: In my opinion, film photography will be around for many years to come. Big manufacturers like ILFORD and Kodak with more new film users at the corner. Some film will be discontinued and merged in digital palette by big company like Fujifilm. That maybe one day, will resemble the actual selluloid film. But the process of taking the photograph will not be the same, naturally. Both film and digital will fill each other gaps.
What’s your dream photography project?
William: I dream of making a curated photography personal book for my daughter and son. From the moment they were born, moments of happiness and bad time; from 0-17 years old. For myself, I am dreaming of a published photography book that documenting life in Jakarta for a certain time. For example, 2014-2024, so the future generations know how things going in those during era.
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?
William: Learn a good basic about metering and exposure. Composition is a fun thing to learn. Practice. Practice. Practice. Anytime you feel the urge to shoot, shoot! Having one functional healthy camera and a calibrated meter is important. Always carry the ready to shoot camera. Develop your own film (if you can) or find a communicative film lab.
William plans to travel more and take photograph of Indonesia's culture and places. This is something to look forward to in the coming days. All the luck, Will!
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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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