Published on 3. 4. 2012 at 3:14 pm
“My experience in photography is limited – I shoot just for fun. I have thought many times of taking photography and especially the use of film more seriously. Time is always at a minimum, but I know that I could make more.”
Reading this statement from Mike McGarty was a surprise to me. As I’m sure many Choose Film fans are aware, Mike is always uploading examples of his beautiful work with film, from photographs of his adorable children, to showcasing examples of his talents with black and white film.
“I became interested in photography by looking at all the great images on film from the past. I mainly enjoy using film cameras, mainly from the ’50′s and ’60′s as I find the interaction of film and the camera very appealing. I find many of the most inspiring images (mostly portraits) are from the 1930′s, 40′s and 50′s”
So what is it that attracted Mike to film photography? “By using film, I’m able to achieve an organic image straight from the camera that software just can’t duplicate. To me, the “look” of film is exclusive to film itself. I compare it to live music or recorded music. Most digital images seem “recorded” and flat to me.”
With Mike’s range of stunning photography on show, it’s certainly hard to identify a continuous theme or style, which I believe, is the beauty of his work, that level of uncertainty: “Usually when I set forth thinking of capturing an entire roll of “keepers”, it just doesn’t happen. I’m inspired by good light, textures, tones, expressions, everyday kind of things.
“As I shoot more film, that could change in regards to what film I’m using for a certain purpose or overall look that I may want to get.”
Anyone Seen the Cat?
“For this image, I used an Olympus XA2 with Kodak Gold. The camera is a quick little zone focus camera that is ideal for a quick grab shot,” says Mike. “The filtered light from the blinds and the cat’s shadow instantly caught my eye.”
“The technique for this shot is known to many people as “quick grab the camera before this moment is lost forever,” Mike explains, on the technical side of seizing this photographic opportunity.
And the real meaning behind this image? “It means to me the best camera is truly the one that is with you at any given moment.”
‘Overcast’ is a dramatic landscape which focuses on highlighting the magnificent shapes and textures of clouds on this overcast day, contrasted with the bellowing smoke coming out of the chimney.
“For this particular image, I used a Nikon Action Touch with extremely expired C-41 process black and white film,” Mike explains. “The texture of the sky was my inspiration for this image.”
Shrugging off his exceptional work, Mike has only one message to relay back to us on how to capture work like this: “Always carry a camera in the car, and always look for changing weather conditions.”
Contrasting his other images is this beautifully-executed image focused around the vividness of colour nature has to offer. What ChooseFilm fans may be surprised in is what kind of equipment Mike chose to take this shot.
“The camera for this was a homemade pinhole made from a cheap plastic 35mm camera. The film used was Kodak Gold.” To find out how to create your own, click here http://silverbased.org/plasti-pinhole-pt1/.
“I’ve shot that old bench in the backyard many times looking for an artsy image – the pinhole effect (no software used) is what I was looking for. This was honestly a complete roll of the dice. Exposure was a guess.”
“This image taught me to look at ordinary things with a different perspective and focal length. I find it a challenge to shoot “wide angle”.”
So what’s next for Mike? “No projects planned, but I would like to try medium format pinhole photography.” I’m sure we’ll all get to see the makings of his new venture very soon.