As Leo Tolstoy mentions in his book, the artist should have an inner drive to express a feeling and, if it surrounds a genuine emotion, he will strive to express the feeling as he experienced it.
There’s a certain tangibility to the film process. The “cause and effect” mechanics of the equipment allow for a very simplistic shooting experience. Not to mention the mystique of the process eliminating distractions from the subject and photographer. I've been shooting with film for over 6 years and look forward to incorporating it into my work over many more.
After shooting through hundreds of 35mm film rolls over a series of years I felt like it was naturally time for an upgrade. I looked into medium format (120) photography and was pleasantly surprised by the overwhelmingly high quality of the photos.
Technically speaking the film has more than double the surface area than that of a 35mm film frame and, yes, that translates into overall higher quality images, but, it's so much more than that. To me it was like being able to step back and capture the whole environment.
Amazingly, it also has the opposite effect - you can dig in deeper into the photo and capture detail that one wouldn't have thought possible. This wholesome effect you gain is unrivaled by today's full frame digital camera.
Medium format seemed to be a logical next step in my photographic career, so I set out in the summer of 2011 to buy the medium format camera that caught my attention - a Bronica SQ-B.
The fantastic thing about this camera was that it was still unopened since the day it had left the factory in '95. From the factory to my hands it was a privilege to know that I would be the first owner of this camera. It's been my "go to" camera ever since.
Other than the nostalgia that comes with owning one of these cameras, this well crafted piece of machinery is paired with the sharpest lenses. Now my kit has grown to accommodate all types of shooting from portraits to landscapes to run and gun style shooting.
The use of light – being the essence of photography – can be the the difference between submersion or not. The importance of this was emphasized when I spent time in the film and television industries. There, thousands of watts of continuous light were used to accomplish those familiar high-end visuals, which in turn paved a path for the audience to escape reality. It truly took a full crew of people to make this happen and, from time to time, I led this crew as Director of Photography.
The main lighting model I used was centered on trying to replicate the greatest light source of all – the sun. This approach creates a familiar environment with natural shadows, which allows the audience to connect to the image and focus on the content.
Nowadays I tend to light my subjects with natural and available light in order to loose the weight of a full production crew and to still be able to produce a naturally beautiful atmosphere.