Analogue - Beauty of the unknownApril 3, 2020
"I first started when I was in high school..."
Cecil first took a serious interest in photography when she took an introductory course into the subject during her years at High School. “I first started when I was in high school, my parents bought me my first Nikon camera for an elective course – Introduction to photography.”
We conducted a Q&A with Cecil to try and get a better idea of how she expresses her creativity through the medium of analogue photography.
What type of photography are you interested in and what attracted you to analogue film over digital?
“I am between portraits and street snap. This is completely personal, only because I feel more inspired and connected when it comes to individual and urban atmospheres”.
And regarding her passion for analogue photography “Definitely the beauty of uncertainty and unknown, AKA – surprises. For film photography, you can never preview your work, all you can do is put all your heart into the shooting, and try to do everything right and hope for the best to come. It happened once or twice that I forgot to put film at all [laughter].”
Photography is all about light, the very word itself derives from two Greek words: phōs (meaning light) and graphé (meaning to draw). Regardless of whether it is digital or film, light plays an important role.
Light is comprised of particles called photons, these photons will bounce off of different objects changing their frequency, allowing our eyes and cameras to see the world, and all its colours and tones.
In a digital camera a sensor will identify the photons that are coming in and display the appropriate amount of coloured pixels.
An Analogue camera is slightly different, photons are diverted towards film, inducing a chemical reaction, and only in the development process will the image be finally be revealed.
Analogue photography therefore requires greater patience, not only because the photographer needs more set-up time, but also because their creation won’t be revealed until the end of the development process.
Do you develop the negatives yourself?
“I rarely develop them myself, because I don’t have a darkroom in my apartment, but I have only done it several times for black and white films. Negative colour ones I send to lab”.
“My most favourite park of that process is for sure the printing! It is the most fun part! How much time you exposed the film to the paper, what paper you use, or even the mix of chemicals can change the outcome”.
A Negative is essentially an image in reverse, where the lightest areas are shown as the darkest, and dark areas are shown as the lightest. This happens because the analogue film uses light-sensitive chemicals that darken when exposed to light.
Negatives can be used to create printed images by processing them a second time, reversing the image to restore the light producing lots of different and interesting effects.
How many cameras and lenses do you own and which are some of your favourites?
“That’s a very good question, let me go and find out now [laughter], Okay I had a quick count, I currently own about 8 cameras. And these 3 are my favourite that I use most often:”
• Ricoh GR1s, very portable, best for daily snapshot
• Nikon FM2, good company for travel
• Yashica Mat-124, mainly use it for portrait
And lenses? “In fact, not much. 3 so far and only for Nikon FM2. Favourite no doubt must be Nikon 24mm (2.8), the wide angle allows me to capture for multi-purpose.”
What’s your favourite film type and why?
“Tough one. I have not finished trying all the types I want to try.
But I do have couple films that I like, Cintestill 800 for street snap, Kodak Portra 800 for portrait, and Tudor 200(discontinued some years back but this was my best-loved when I first started film photography).”
What is the most recent photographic project you have worked on?
“I do have one in mind but still in planning. Black & white portrait project with all my beloved people using one selection of film and camera. And finish all processes on my own.
Final goal is to hold a small exhibition [laughter].”
What is your favourite photograph and why? (is there a story behind it?)
“This is my mother, and just like what she portraits in this photo. She has always been like a superstar to me.
She has great fashion sense and she inspired me a lot on aesthetics and style since young. I seldom do black and white photography so this is my favourite for black & white).”
“Another photo I love very much (my wallpaper for years), this was my work in early years of film photography back in 2015.
Only because sun flower’s symbol is almost like my motto, Have faith in yourself and a bright and happy heart like the Sun.”
What's your next photography purchase?
“A 3D retro film camera allows you to shoot 3 photos at the same time.”
Your favourite subject to shoot?
“My fiancée [Smiles].”