Back to timeline
Film Photography Tips: Dave Swift

To keep you driven to submit more content to our #CapturedOnFilm challenge, we asked our dedicated Lobster user, Dave, about his experience with Film Photography… keep reading to be inspired and get some great tips about working with film cameras!   Q: Hi Dave! Tell us a bit about yourself, including where you come from, how you…

To keep you driven to submit more content to our #CapturedOnFilm challenge, we asked our dedicated Lobster user, Dave, about his experience with Film Photography… keep reading to be inspired and get some great tips about working with film cameras!

 

Q: Hi Dave! Tell us a bit about yourself, including where you come from, how you started as a photographer and how long you have been doing photography.

A: I was born and raised in Philadelphia Pa. I started taking photos when my parents gave me a Kodak Brownie camera for Christmas when I was 9 years old.

When I was a teenager my Grandfather gave me a Yashica Twin Lens Reflex and an Argus 35mm rangefinder. Shortly after that my Aunt gave me a Konica III rangefinder which I used for several years. I still have the Konica and the Brownie. When I was 18 years old I bought my first 35mm single lens. A Cavalier made in East Germany. I used that camera for many years and recently gave it away (for the second time).

    After starting a career in the motion picture and theater industries, and having a family, I lost my interest for the most part in taking pictures.

   In  2009 I was injured while working on a movie. During the long recovery process, I decided to dust off my cameras and start shooting again with the intention of being a working photographer. Since 2009 photography has been my main vocation.

dave swift 4

Q: Do you use film as a challenge or just because you enjoy it?

A: After buying and using a digital camera in 2010 I decided that I just didn’t like the look of digital and returned to film. I love the look and texture of film. To me it’s magical.

 

Q: What camera, lens, and film do you use?

A: 3-My main cameras are 2 Nikon FM2’s – one for color film and one for black and white. I like that they are light in weight and very versatle. I also use a Rolleiflex Twin Lens Reflex, Hasselblad 503cw, and a recently acquired Kiev 60. I like the Kodak Portra 400, and Kodak Ektar 100, Kodak Tri-x, Ilford XP2, and Fujicolor Pro 400. 

I use different films for specific subjects. Ektar has a vintage look. Portra and Fujicolor are great for landscapes and portraits. Ilford I use for street photography.

dave swift 3

Q: Why do you use film camera’s over digital?

A: I like film over digital. Just a matter of preference.

 

Q: Do you expose your photographs yourself?

A: I take my film to a lab. They do a great job.

Dave swift 2

Q: You use a mixture of B&W and Colour film, do you have a favorite? Is one better for a certain kind of shot?

A: I like using both. I believe black and white is more dramatic and tend to shoot more in b&w. I like light and shadows.

 

Q: Your Lobster profile contains a mixture of human photography and landscape shots, which is your favorite and why?

A:  I like shooting humans the most. I like telling little stories or photo poems. The body, especially the eyes can reveal so much emotion.

dave swift 1

Q: What do you want viewers to take from your work?

A: I want people to feel something when they look at my work. I want the camera to be an extension of my heart. When I’m able to achieve that, my work is successful.

 

Q: What best piece of advice could you give to a film photographer?

A: With film, you learn discipline. You don’t want to overshoot because the process is expensive. You need to develop your 3rd eye so you see the photo before you look through the lens.

 

Through photography, I’ve learned to see the world in a different way. It’s a wonderful and powerful form of expression. Keep shooting.

 


To find more of Dave’s amazing film photography, you can find his Lobster portfolio with a vast amount of film photographs here!

If you liked what you read and have a sudden drive to give Film photography a try, why not submit your shots to our current challenge #CapturedOnFilm – you could be in with the chance of winning $30 worth of film to kick start your new-found talents! Check out the challenge here.

RELATED ARTICLES
AI and UGC for marketing and media professionals: Join us in Vienna!
12 June
Meet the winner of our autumn photo competition. The #LobsterFall is here!
11 November
Our Winner’s from the #CapturedOnFilm Challenge!
16 September