Over the past couple months I have been wanting to try medium format film photography. The main difference between medium format and 35mm film is the size. Medium format is about twice as big so the image has quite a bit more detail. I was at Moler’s Camera and saw a Mamiyaflex TLR (Twin Lens Reflex) camera. A nice simple camera as an introduction to medium format photography. I must say I do like shooting with the Mamiyaflex. I find myself taking more time. Really thinking about the shot before I take it. Also it is totally manual. So I want to make sure the exposure is on point before I click the shutter. Below are some scans from the first couple rolls I took with the camera shot on Ilford FP4 120 film!
Earlier this week I was in New York City. Had a blast taking photos while I was there. While walking through Central Park I came across a group of people, young and old, who were enjoying making huge bubbles. I could have stayed here all afternoon but decided to shoot a roll of film and kept it moving. Here are some of my favorite photographs.
A quick warning to anyone who uses color 35mm film. To save money I will buy old film that may have expired. I can usually get the rolls for pretty cheap. They usually sell them for around $2 a roll at a local photography shop that I go to. I usually luck out, but this time, I got some super old film. The photo below is one of the images from an expired roll of film.
Now I love how the images came out, but the colors are not as sharp as they usually are. I should have bought new color film and not decided to be cheap. So the warning is this… spend a couple bucks more and buy film that isn’t expired. You will thank me for it later. Luckily, I did have a couple of rolls that weren’t expired and I got some good photos that came from them.
Colton Van Ness is a photographer based out of the Wichita, Kansas area. I came across his work on Instagram. Like myself he shots and processes 35mm film. He has helped keep me inspired and has became a good friend. He is someone who keeps me motivated. We go shoot, bounce ideas off each other and talk street photography. Happy to introduce everyone to Colton Van Ness a.k.a. @coltonvanness!
What got you interested in photography?
The thing that got me interested in photography was definitely the fact that my parents always had so many cameras, prints, and processed negatives lying around. As a toddler they were more of a toy to me, but over time I understood the camera better as a way of documenting your life, so I ended up attached to looking at old photos as a child.
Who or what inspires you and keeps you inspired?
I’m inspired by just knowing that whatever I document and preserve on film, I can pass down as a physical artifact of my generation and my individual experience.
What camera and film do you use?
I’ve been shooting a Nikon F3 with a 35mm focal length for around 2 years now. Always on Ilford FP4 or HP5
How would you describe your photography? What is your style?
Determining my own “style” seems to be the biggest challenge. I tend to just shoot anything that catches my eye in the moment. Which is why it’s so important to always have a camera, even if it’s just your iphone.
What are you favorite places to photograph? (Around Wichita?)
My favorite place to photograph in the city is literally anywhere north of Kellogg between Ridge and Greenwich. That’s the area I’ve stuck to for years now photography-wise, and I still haven’t seen everything.
How much are you able to get out to shoot?
I’m not able to plan days out to hit the streets much these days, but the camera stays with me for when I feel like I need it.
Do you prefer color or black and white?
Black and white.
Black and white can come off to some as less exciting than color, but to me, reducing images to black and white changes the reality of the image. Black and white has a special ability to amaze and confuse me. I’m drawn to them quicker than I am photos in color, because I live seeing in color.
You are currently working on your first zine? What is the process like and when do you think it will be available?
The process of narrowing 3,000 images to 40 for the zine was harder than the 6 months of shooting. Every photo is chosen and ready for print. I’ll get a sample or two, decide on a paper and bind, then i’ll make the drop and announce it on my instagram. Expect it before halloween.
Everyone always asks “Who are your top 5” when talking about any subject. So... who are your top 5 photographers that keep you inspired?
These lists are always filled with Magnum photographers, so this list is just friends and instagram accounts i’m inspired by.
* Royce Stevenson -@double_r_the_superstar
* Geoff Haggray - @geoffhaggray
* Sam Youkilis - @samyoukilis
* Jonathan Walker - @kingofkodak
* Lauren Lepore - @35mm.mistress
For people interested in Colton’s work you can find him on instagram… @coltonvanness!
Let’s kickoff the weekend! Hope everybody has a safe and fun weekend! Any big plans?
Whatever you are working on. Whatever your goals. Keep your focus. Through the good times and bad, keep your focus!
There is no shortage of American patriotism around Kansas. No matter where you look, you will always see the American flag and the colors of the red, white and blue waving proudly.
The drought is over. I was doing so well with blogging and posting photos. But, I went M.I.A. for a bit. Not really missing just not writing. Went out to Los Angeles for a couple of days. The weather was perfect and the scenery was amazing. I was able to take some photos while I was there. I was staying in Hollywood and it is true what they say about homeless people being everywhere. I did enjoy the area though. Interesting people all around and so much to see.
The huge irony of the entire trip was the place I visited where the most interesting people were and the most action was I didn’t take one photo. Venice Beach is a street photographers dream, and I didn’t feel like taking any photographs while I was there. I was too busy enjoying it all and taking everything in. But that just gives me more reason to get back and visit. The longer I am away from LA the more I want to get back to visit. That is usually how it happens though. I go somewhere and can’t wait to get back home. As soon as I get back home, I can’t wait to get back to where I just visited. I’m sure it will always be like that.
Been slacking the last couple of days. Been traveling and working. Got back form Puerto Vallarta, Mexico last week. It was an amazing trip. The food and drinks were cheap. The scenery was beautiful. The people were friendly and warming. I am ready to go back! I was able to get some photo taking in while I was there. Shot ten rolls of film. Still processing them, but here are some of my favorites so far. You can also check out more photos from Puerto Vallarta by click the link right below this. IT is good to be back back blogging!