As a continuation of our celebration for World Photography Day, our next feature in our ‘Mediums’ series is where we explore Film photography. We took a look at Anton’s photographs to understand the process behind the medium and to get his advice on what makes a great film photographer.
Keep reading to find out more…!
Who is Anton?
Hello, everybody! My name is Anton Novoselov, I live in Russia, in the city of Yekaterinburg. I’ve been interested in photography since childhood, my parent’s FED-3 lured me since I was three years old, and I started printing my first films from the age of 7 in a dark room.
At school, I studied in a photo club, participated in exhibitions and won prizes. After graduation, I started as an engineer, and photography was (and remains) my main passion – to which I devote almost all my free time.
Tell us about your camera equipment…
I’ve always had my Minox GT-E with me lately, and I carry it in my bag or jacket pocket every day. You never know when you’ll be inspired and want to take a picture, so a small camera is always a good idea.
On the weekends, I take my Rolleiflex 3.5 E2 to shoot my family, children, or country stories. This camera is brilliant! I find it incredibly compact, lightweight, comfortable and absolutely versatile, suitable for all subjects.
My film is a color negative Kodak, either a slide from a Fujifilm I take abroad or a black and white film when I need high sensitivity.
Why is film your preferred medium?
I’ve been shooting film all my life, and there’s nothing like this classic technology for me. Beautiful and correct color that pleases the eye, which is better than in life, as it’s already laid by professional colorists in the emulsion. I don’t need to do any color correction by spending hours in front of a computer. I immediately get an image with the best color that can be.
I haven’t been thinking about how to store my digital archive for years, because I know that I can restore my images from the originals again at any time, and it has its own charm and pleasure – to bring back to life long-forgotten images from years ago. The film is incredibly disciplined because it ends quickly and is always never enough! It has one single sensitivity and color temperature and it imposes its own useful limitations to make you think carefully about each frame.
What is your process of developing film?
Shooting film is a ritual. Firstly, it is the amount of choice you have with film. Nowadays, it appears on the market more and more, so you can constantly try something new and experiment. Secondly is the process of shooting with a beautiful classic film camera… that waiting and anticipation of the result – this is the most pleasant of the stages.
Film development is a pleasure for those who like chemistry, to dilute solutions, to load a tank, to sit with a thermometer and a timer and to do everything with their own hands. Scan or print photos in a dark room – getting a finished image; film cutting and archive organization and for fans to structure and arrange everything on shelves.
If you shoot a slide: work with a magnifying glass on the viewing table, slicing the best shots and packaging in frames. Then, the most pleasant thing: the display of your pictures on a slide projector to relatives, friends, colleagues, accompanied by a long story with tea, cookies, or even better with a glass of wine.
Do you find it expensive to use film compared to digital?
Yeah, the film’ s not cheap, but the pleasure is worth it.
Somewhere on the Internet, I saw a comparison of the cost of ownership from film and digital, and, as it turned out, film is still cheaper. Film cameras don’t get cheaper over the years like digital cameras do. The cost of hard drives is also high, so the cost of owning film is lower.
I don’t see any alternative to film for myself. I am not satisfied with digital photography, so I am not interested in it.
Do you exhibit your photographs yourself?
Some of my pictures were at collective exhibitions in Moscow and Seattle, but I never did a solo exhibition. My site is a Flickr where I show my works to people from all over the world, some of them were distributed on social networks, I was surprised to learn about it not so long ago.
I also saw two online drawings based on my photos. For me, it was the best compliment.
What do you want viewers to take from your work?
My photo project is aimed first of all at the foreign audience. Our country is very interesting and beautiful but photographed very little, and poorly represented in the world network. There is an endless field of opportunity here, especially for genre photos. I want the foreign viewer to know my country through my photos, to come to us and travel in search of their own stories, which can be found here in great numbers.
Your work includes a lot of nature, can you tell us what attracts you to these landscapes?
I am attracted to any unusual condition of nature – beautiful clouds, sky, interesting light, the combination of colors, rhythmic pattern, perspective. All this awakens inspiration and desire to capture this feeling, share it with the audience.
How much does the weather affect your photographs? Which is your favorite to shoot in?
Of course, the weather has a great influence on the mood of the shots. Bright midday sun makes them boring and ordinary, while in cloudy weather you can get interesting results. The best time to shoot is in the atmosphere is before a storm, when the light is it’s most dramatic. What I like most is to wander the street and take pictures in wet, rainy weather, when heavy clouds hang low and the air becomes dense.
What best piece of advice could you give to a film photographer?
If you’re shooting film, you’re the luckiest person in the world. I advise you to look at as many inspiring photos as you can in books and online, to learn and improve your skills.
So, is it true that film is on the rise once again?
Film has gone through its decline and is now actively reborn again, and it’s a good thing. Film from more and more new manufacturers is on sale, as well as old and proven manufacturers reviving their production. There are more and more opportunities for instant photography which are becoming available.
Feel free to join the traditional photography, because it is pure pleasure and magic!
You can find more of Anton’s amazing work on his Lobster profile here.