Tell us about when instant film came into your life and what inspired to you to keep using it:
For me it all started with a DSLR I received for my 30th. To get the best use out of it I decided to do a couple of workshops at the Australian Centre for Photography in Sydney. The tutor I had was Michael Waite, he brought to the class his film & instant film work. I fell in love with the format there and then, it was unique to digital work, to me the images were “alive”. That is when you could say I ditched the DSLR and moved over to analogue, have not looked back.
What inspires me to continue using Instant is the simple fact that you have a tangible image within seconds right there in your hands. There is something about Instant film that stands out from other mediums, to me the image is imperfect, its the imperfections and the unpredictable results that I love about it. There are also the creative techniques, emulsion lifts and transparencies.
How would you describe your work?
To be honest I have never thought as to how I would describe my work. I don’t try to fit it my work in a particular style or context. I guess its a moment in time, from a short (very short) road trip to an abandoned building.
What types of Instant Cameras do you own? Which One is your favorite and why?
I would love to say that I have a vast collection of instant cameras but unfortunately I don't. However my first instant film cameras were the Polaroid Land Camera One Step (boxed rainbow) for integral film and the Polaroid EE66 for pack film. After a few months I purchased an Original SX-70 and the Polaroid 600SE with a Packfilm back which then followed with the CB-70 back (have yet to modify it). I slowly added to that various SX70’s and the Minolta Instant Pro.
My favorite cameras ( I can’t pick just the one) that I always take with me is the Polaroid SX70, Polaroid SLR680 and my Polaroid 195. All 3 are beautiful cameras, they are compact and easy to use. The SX70 has the manual focus and the SLR680 has the option of manual focus, I recently purchased the Mint Lens set to use with both cameras, it is by far my favorite accessories for both cameras. What is great about the Polaroid 195 is that its a manual camera, complete control of aperture and shutter speed.
What attracted you to Expired Film. Whats your favorite type to use?
The attraction to expired film is the unpredictable rests. No 2 packets are ever the same and no 2 images are the same. Light, temperature, storage and expiration date have an effect on the final image. Expired 669 tones vary with temperature, I prefer using it in the cooler months.
My favorite expired film has always been chocolate, i love photographing old abandoned buildings and I find that for me chocolate film works the best, the closest “new” film is old Silver Shade from Impossible project.
What are the main difficulties and hurdles obtaining and using expired film?
The most obvious is that there is not much available (especially in Australia) and any film that is available is expensive to purchase (and to ship to Sydney). The less that is available on the market the higher the cost is unfortunately. As for difficulties using expired film, you have no way of knowing how the film was stored, the first couple of images are sometimes wasted, you can meter for the films ISO however most times adjustments to the exposure need to be made. The biggest disappointment with pack film is when the whole pack is stuck or when the tabs rip and the image has not gone through the rollers.
Do you have any upcoming exhibitions/publications?
No, I don’t have any exhibitions (though I would love to exhibit my work) or publications. I have been thinking of publishing a book, its something I would like to work on in the coming months.
Which instant film photographers that inspire you?
The whole instant film community, they love the format and have a passion for it, especially the experimental work. Its great. When it comes to pack film the work of:
-Bastian Kalous https://www.flickr.com/photos/bastiank/
-Ludwig west https://www.flickr.com/photos/ludwigwest/
-Sean Rhode https://www.flickr.com/photos/sjrohde/