“I approach all my work with a minimal frame set. Limited to focus on color pallet and simple composition. This framework allows for a exploration of color and specific focal points within storytelling.”
Timothy is a film photographer whose landscape work has been a big inspiration to me. The way he conveys movement, scale, and changing light is far and above where I am at with my landscapes. You can find his personal website here and his Instagram here.
JM – Tell me a bit about yourself.
TR – Growing up, my dad wouldn’t let me shoot on his digital camera until I learned how to use a film camera. As a high schooler, I wasn’t into that but ended up taking photography classes through the school. There I learned how to use a camera, develop and print black & white film. When I graduated, I was given a digital camera and didn’t pick up a film camera for a while. About two years ago I asked for my dads film camera (the same one I used in high school) and put a few rolls of Portra 800 through it on a trip to Washington. Up until that point I had never shot color negative film, and was blown away by the results. Since then I’ve let go of all my digital cameras and acquired a few film cameras. It’s been a super fun journey diving into the world of film and using old cameras. Film photography has become an important part of my process, and now I’m trying to find more ways to incorporate it into my professional work. Currently, I reside in Denver, Colorado as a Graphic Designer while I work to build a small creative studio focused on visual communication.
JM – Why do you shoot film?
TR – Film to me is a journey. It’s not a quick snap and upload in any way and is both predictable and unpredictable. Film requires you to first understand its history and processes. It has a way of connecting to different eras of work and time and presents itself in authentic ways. I have fallen in love with the learning and application that film provides in order to manifest an image.
TR – It is film that pushes the artist and tactical functions of the camera to produce imagery. For these reasons I shoot film.
JM – How would you describe your style?
TR – I approach all my work with a minimal frame set. Limited to focus on color pallet and simple composition. This framework allows for a exploration of color and specific focal points within storytelling.
JM – What is your favorite film? Camera?
TR – My favorite film stock is Kodak Portra 160 and I love shooting on my Contax G1 or my Fujifilm STX-2.
JM – Your colors are often so light, airy, and all around beautiful. Do you scan your photos? If not, do you know what kind of scanner the lab uses?
TR – I scan my film at home with an epson v550 and then use Negative Lab Pro to do all my negative converting. I will occasionally use my local Lab Mikes Camera who has a Fuji Noritsu.
JM – What drives you to photograph?
TR – Photography for me isn’t just about capturing the scenery or subject but the emotion they provoke. Capturing moments or places has become essential to my lifestyle. The medium itself drives me to share what I’ve created and I love building a collection of imagery that can represent a moment in time that can spark a sense of curiosity.
“Film has changed my outlook and approach to photography. I have noticed a shift in my desire to photograph certain colors and create dynamic images that emphasize the flexibility of film.”
JM – What is a personal goal you have for your photography?
TR – I’ve turned my sights this year to build a body of work that draws on my approach for landscapes into documenting people and life around me. I’ve been so attached to landscapes but have forgotten to capture and share what’s around me in my day to day life.
JM – What do you look for in a photograph? Is what you find compelling in a photograph different when it’s one of your photographs compared with one from someone else?
TR – I view other artists work very different than my own. Photography has a way of captivating something for everyone, and speaks to people so differently. For me I look for ways to imagine myself in the scene or try to think through how the artist framed the image. While there are also moments where I just admire the work.
TR – I find that the more I dive into others work, the tendencies of my own begin to shift. I see my own imagery beginning to draw inspiration from my favorite photographers and influence my style. I love that my style continues to develop due to the film community.
JM – What is your favorite shot you’ve ever taken? What’s the story behind it?
TR – This was the last frame on my camera as I drove out of Point Reyes National Seashore. I honestly didn’t even think the image would come out, due to shooting with Kodak Portra 160 and the heavy overcast. To my surprise it not only came out but captured the scene exactly how it felt. When I was leaving the park, the clouds were rolling in over the cliffs and creating a haze. The sun was poking through over the green pastures but the coastal waters seemed to fade into the distance. There was a sense of peace as the weather was changing slowly. This was one of my favorite moments from the trip to capture. It’s an image that I always come back to and love how it evokes the same emotion that I had while taking it.
JM – In what ways has your photography grown and improved since you started shooting film?
TR – Film has changed my outlook and approach to photography. I have noticed a shift in my desire to photograph certain colors and create dynamic images that emphasize the flexibility of film. My work has taken shifts in composition that has resulted in filling the frame fully , and become detail oriented.
TR – I have become more engaged with the community, and learned a ton about other photographers. I am very excited to see what the future holds for film and how my own work continues to evolve.
More of Timothy’s work can be seen below: