Q&A: Expired Eight /w Bastian Kalous

This is the second edition of a new Q&A blog series titled "The Expired Eight". Our aim is to highlight instant film photographers using expired film in a variety of formats. Today's Q&A is with Bastian Kalous. Connect with Bastian on Flickr.

Tell us about when instant film came into your life and what inspired to you to keep using it:
      It first comes into my life about 5 or 6 years ago. I saw an image taken with expired Time Zero film and i wanted so much to take pictures like that.
      I was looking for these kind of cameras and films but i always get told that Polaroid isn't producing these films and cameras and it would be the best way to think for another kind of photography. I didn't get any SX-70 camera and Time Zero film. I started to shoot Polaroid 600 and Image film. But this wasn't the same like the image i've seen so i started to rub or bend or "destroy" these films to get something creative but it wasn't what i was looking for.
      I always kept my eyes open on some auction sites to find these films and cameras and one day i was lucky and get a double pack Time Zero film. I kept it in my fridge and when i and my wife did a trip to the baltic sea i took these packs with me. I shot the first image and was so crazy about it. There where these flames and all the magic i was hoping for so much. This was the time i get addicted to it...
      I came from the integral films to the pack films and this was such a new and difficult thing for me again. There was a similar start for me with this stuff like it was to shoot integral films. I kept trying and searching and i get so psyched again. Now i kept my eyes open for integral and pack films now. And then i heard about 4x5 cameras and films. That's the newest magic i found my way into...
       Maybe these list can go on and on but finding film for all these different camera systems is getting harder and harder. It's so nice to see that the-impossible-project found a way to produce very interesting films for the integral cameras. Fuji is still in the production game and i hope they will be there for a while an new55 project is trying to create a new 4x5 55 film type. I keep my fingers crossed for all these companies that they keep producing their films...
      WE ALL NEED THEM!!!

How would you describe your work?
       I am not sure if i can describe my work.
      All i want is that people see my photographs, which i mostly creates on some hiking trips to the wilderness areas here on earth, and they see what kind of beautiful mother nature we have. They should see how beautiful it can be living in places where no mobile phone is ringing, where no car is waisting the air or no giant groups of people shouting and partying. I love the feeling of being "alone" in the wilderness. I love to sit there and listening to the gentle singing of birds or buzzing of bees. I love the fact that i am part of this very fragile system. Humans are also part in it like deers, bears or wolves but we have know that we don't rule these planet. We are a very little part and we have to think about what we are going to do...
     I want to take people with my images to beautiful places, maybe they can let their thoughts float a little bit and maybe they can hear the singing and buzzing too...

How did you decide what subjects to photograph? What sorts of things capture your attention?
    
I let myself being inspired by the beauties of mother nature. It can be that i walk a path for a few times and it wasn't looking so interesting for me the other times but now everything can be so perfect that i have to create a picture including this place. When the light is good everything can create such a very impressive mood in us. We just have to keep our eyes open for "common" things being so interesting for us.
      Walking, watching and feeling, these are the things which letting me create my images. Most of the time i find my inspirations in silent and wild places in the deep woods or on high mountains, at wild oceans or in hot deserts...

What types of Instant Cameras do you own?  Which One is your favorite and why?
     I own a few cameras. The most are some plastic Polaroid 600 cameras. The best cameras for shooting integral film is a SX-70 Land Camera. I own a few types of it. Some Sonar and some with the Sonar. 
      I also own some Pack film cameras. I love the 180 because of it's very good lens. The most i love a converted 110a Pathfinder Land Camera. It's converted to use pack films. Another good one is the 600 Camera for pack films.
      My best camera and the one i use the most isn't a real instant camera. It's an Ebony SV45TI 4x5 Field Camera. With it i shoot my 4x5 sheet films. I can use different lenses on it and there are so many possible settings i can play with. It's the best camera for my choice. I also love the look of the sheet films and the size too. It would be great owning a 8x10 camera but i this one would be too  big for me to carry around and bring it on my trips so 4x5 is the best choice for my work.

What attracted you to Expired Film. Whats your favorite to use?
      I love the expired films because you never know what they are good for. They are also similar to the unexpected things which are going on out in the wilderness. There are also no rules and everything that happens, happens with no stopping. If the dead tree should fall it will fall and that's what also happens to the expired films. When there should be an empty corner, where no emulsion should be than it is there. Sometimes there are flames in the images or other weird colors.  
      And when these unexpected film "accident" happens in a very special way, often these accidents fits very well to the images, i call it magic. That's what it fascinates me so much about these shots and films.
      There isn't a type i really don't like. Sometimes i wish i have another film type in my camera, but not because i don't like the one inside, it's more that i want to use another one at this time. If there is a b&w film inside and there are so amazing colors i want to use a color film a lot more. That's not that funny sometimes but it's also part of the game.

What are the main difficulties and hurdles obtaining and using expired film?
      The biggest hurdle is surely that the films are getting older and older and the prices are getting higher and higher.
      If you bought a film for a lot of money and the whole film is dried out completely i think about buying a digital camera... No not really, but it's frustrating a bit. This feeling is absolutely forgotten when you take another shot and film and i works perfectly.
      Another thing is that you have to carry them home safely. When i took some photos at a hike which could last 6 hours or more or if i stay in a cabin in the mountains over night i have to put them into a plastic box that they don't get destroyed on my walkings in wilderness. I also have to  bring the sheet films in such plastic box. I found one with the perfect size for the films. I also bring some sandwich paper in which i put the images that they don't glue together.
       Films with a film negative i have to protect off hot sun because this destroys the negative. Type 55 i normally develope at home when i can immediately wash the emulsion off them.


Do you have any upcoming exhibitions or publications?
      My current exhibiton is in Berlin:
      https://www.facebook.com/events/550717771711690/?fref=ts

      There is a very interesting instant group with a few of the best instant artists called "12:12 Men Project". 12 different artists with 12 different themes and it lasts 12 months. Every artist have to give one them and everybody have to photograph for this theme. You have one month to get a good image and then you have to post it on this site: https://www.facebook.com/1212Men?fref=ts There will be some amazing stuff coming up! Everybody should keep their eyes open for it. There will be two more exhibitions this year around here where I live. What comes up more, we will see...
 

Do you have any instant photographers that inspire you?
     
There are so many instant photographers which inspires me but to name them here all would take too much space and i don't want to forget any of them so it's better to not name them.

      You can find them at 

      www.polanoid.net

      www.flickr.com

      www.polaroid-passion.com

      www.polaroiders.ning.com