Today, I am pleased to have a fellow film shooter, Elzi, from Russia. Read on to find out more:
Me: Hey Elzi! It’s my pleasure to have you here! Can you tell us about yourself?
Nice to meet you, Nicole! I am a 1st year pharmacology student at King’s College University in London and I am turning 20 in July. Whole life lived in Moscow, but also have close relations in Bulgaria and Turkey.
Me: How did you got into film photography? How long have you been doing it?
Elzi: I’ve always been interested in my sister’s Holga 120 CFN camera that she never used due to assuming that it didn’t work (one thing that didn’t work was the flash that I fixed). So, finally I had my hands on that camera and also my parent’s kodak s100 in 2015. After that I had a short break from film photography but resumed it in beginning of 2016. Now I am trying to shoot every moment possible.Me: I see that you are also using Lomography films but with some film soup like lemon & salt. Can you enlighten me about what is film soup? How did you do it?
Elzi: Basically you can film soup with every liquid that you find in your everyday life or something more specific like silica gel or some other chemical. Film can be submerged in liquid before or after shoot and left for a time that you would prefer (longer it stays – more visible the effect is). The biggest problem with film souping is finding lab that will take your contaminated film.
Me: I like to ask this, assuming if you are only allowed 1 camera, 1 lens and 1 type of film for 6 months, what will they be?
I’ve noticed that these days I enjoy using my canon A-1 with 50mm lens, however aperture numbers are getting off at f11 and above. For me it is more difficult to choose specific film, but I have a stack of expired Fuji Velvia 50 in the fridge.Me: What tend to attract you when you go out and have a ‘photo-walk’? What’s your goal in photography in general?
Elzi: Generally, I enjoy various things that will catch my eyes such as combination of architecture and nature, changing patterns, also people of the area and while walking in familiar places – a pop of colour. I think I try to improve my photography by having similar subjects but taking a distinguishing form in each picture.
Me: Is the film community in England and your home country very active?
Elzi: From my observations, England film communities are more active and I can easily find a lab, but it won’t be always a good place to develop or really expensive. In Russia, it’s cheaper to develop and I get similar results, but various films are harder to find in cheaper internet stores. So, I mostly buy film from London and try to develop in Moscow (however being interested in pictures I still develop in London).
Me: I had previously studied in England for 2 years. I was in Newcastle and the weather was always very gloomy, windy and too cold for me. Is weather a big factor/concern while you shoot?
Elzi: Of course, weather can be a massive factor for every photographer, for instance, if it is raining and you don’t have a waterproof camera or a bag. I tried to adapt to the gloomy weather or wind, and it doesn’t make me stop taking pictures. The same with small rain, if I don’t forget the polyester bag to cover my camera with.Me: Tell us your hope for your film photography?
Hopefully I will further improve my photography and start a website for my work. I am also interested in trying new types of film and find a concept for a photography zine.
Me: Have you ever been criticised for using film camera?
Elzi: When I started with film photography I was told that nobody uses analogue cameras and I had no idea that film community started rising again. Reading posts in Lomography and film blogs made me an advocate of film movement. My main arguments now is that film is not dead, you will always have fun and it is only the beginning for analogue photography.
Me: If one of your friends approaches you and says he/she wants to do film photography, which camera and advice will you recommend and give him/her?
Elzi: At first, I would be happy for them and if they like to build a camera – Lomography Konstructor or Kodak s100 (or any other point & shoot gear) as these cameras in my opinion are really easy to use and with 400 ISO film most of the time they won’t have any problems or black frames. Although, any other cheap camera with a good explanation and shooting practice will have enjoyable results.
Alright, thank you Elzi once again for your interesting input. Now I know I can perhaps submerge film into my leftover tomyum soup ha!
Most of the time, people around us just assume that film is dead. In fact, like what Elzi mentioned, film community is rising gradually. I am glad I am able to get another film advocate like Elzi to be featured in this blog.
You can follow her on Instagram: _elziboba_
I hope you have all enjoyed this post. Please share so that more people are aware of film community! Cheers!