Author: Madison Hyer

Interview: Victoria Oliver

“I long for tangible connection and the creation of physical art from my heart and hands.  This is why I love film. It is magical, chemical alchemy.” Victoria is a film photographer living in the Blue Ridge mountain area. Her work is beautiful and often inspires me to get out, explore, and shoot more often. Her instagram dedicated to her film work can be found here and, in addition, her instagram showcasing all of her work both in front of and behind the camera can be found here. JM – Tell me a bit about yourself. VO – I live in the Appalachian mountains, just below the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, in a small town surrounded by forest service and national forest areas.  I have always laughingly called myself a Jill-of-all-trades, because my mind never wants to settle with only one project. I am always restless and ready to go. Seeking to reconcile my day job with my desire to be a gypsy born in another century. VO – Want to hit the open road, …

Innsbruck, AT: New City, New Film – Acros II & Ortho Plus

If you’re wondering why I decide to take my annual trip to the mountains between March and April, the answer is simple. It’s generally still very cold so the summer tourists haven’t shown up yet but the height of skiing and snowboarding is past. As a result, the area is bit less packed out and the trails have started reopening (if they were ever closed). Not to mention that at the times the airfare is a good deal less expensive as are the hotels. Anyhow – on this particular trip, we left for a couple week trip in Germany and western Austria just as the novel corona virus was troubling northern Italy but before it started being so widespread. On the day we were flying back, we learned there were several documented cases of COVID-19 in Innsbruck and luckily for us we were able to be screened a couple days after being back. With the self quarantine that we are still currently in, I’ve been able to get all the B&W and C-41 developed and …

Interview: Monika Murren

“I like to document moments and places that feel both intimate and otherworldly and magical.” Monika is a photographer that I met on Instagram like many of the other people I’ve interviewed but her body of work is uniquely personal. The work that she publishes on her instagram is inspiring and she even sells some of her prints on her website. JM: Tell me a bit about yourself. MM: I am was born and raised in Poland but have spent most of my adult life now in the US.  I currently live in the Hudson Valley, about an hour north of New York City.  I feel lucky to live in such a beautiful place, surrounded by incredible nature and yet so close to a big city.  It inspires my photography daily.  I have always been curious about the world having grown up in back-then communist Poland and not having access to the rest of the world.  I knew there was a greater world outside and it motivated me to learn to speak other languages and …

Review: Kodak TMax 100

Kodak’s TMax 100 has quickly become my favorite black and white film I’ve ever shot. The slow speed of ASA 100 does prevent me from using it much of the winter here in Ohio so I started using it more in a studio environment and that’s where I’ve really fallen in love with it. Tone Being that this is a black and white film, there isn’t anything to say about color but there’s a lot to say about the tones of this film. Compared with some of its more muted tone Ilford counterparts, this film does a great job of covering more of the zone spectrum. My first experience with the film was in Banff in 2019 when I shot a few rolls of it along side a surviving roll of Acros. At the time I don’t think I truly appreciated the quality of this film. The lights are so bright and the darks are so strong – the contrast have been truly wonderful. Portraits This is where I’ve really taken a liking to this …

Interview: Ioana Lungu

Ioana is a film photographer from Bucharest, Romania currently living in Ethiopia. Her work has a great personal touch that inspires me. Her instagram can be found here. JM: What got you into photography? IL: I’ve always been searching for moments that feel like home, and tried to make them stay. Mostly these were times spent with my friends, we were all a bit lost and trying to reconcile our full-time jobs and studies with a deeper yearning for moral and aesthetic ideals. This, and urban spaces or light-soaked afternoons spent at home, reading, talking or making food for loved ones made me want to reach out for the camera. There’s a quiet, muted poetry in mundane moments and I wanted to capture that in images.  JM: Why do you shoot film? IL: I got my first film camera as a gift and started using it because buying a digital one was, to put it simply, too expensive for my broke student life. The first rolls of film I shot were a disaster – getting …

Superstition Mountains: New City, New Film – Ilford FP4 & Fujichrome Velvia 100

This past trip to Arizona was my third time visiting and every time I go, I grow more and more in love with the environment. Last year when we went, we visited Flagstaff but this year we split our time between Sedona and the Superstitions. Prior to heading out, I picked up several rolls of Ilford FP4 and at a camera shop in Phoenix, I picked up some Velvia 100. In Sedona I was shooting through a lot of Ektar and Provia and didn’t manage to load up the FP4 or Velvia until we rolled into the Superstitions. Admittedly, I didn’t particularly love either of these film stocks. Since the trip to AZ, I’ve shot through some 4×5 sheets of FP4 and didn’t much care for them either. That said, I’ve started developing my own B&W at home and have found that for some reason I’ve getting a lot more grain than I’m used to getting from the Darkroom so it may well be my own fault for not liking it. In general, I expect …

Interview: Carl Fehres

” I absolutely love the process of shooting film, not seeing the results for days or even weeks.  I love the slower pace of manually focusing and the limit of photos per roll causing me to really think about every frame, every image before I press the shutter button.” Carl is a really talented portrait photographer out of Houston, TX. His polaroid work is the best I’ve seen and his other incredible work uses several other cameras including a Mamiya RZ67, Pentax 67II, and Leica M6. His website can be found here. JM – Why do you shoot film? CF – Man, how do I answer that… There’s so much I love about shooting film.  I love that I’m getting the look I’ve been wanting with almost no editing after I get the images back from the lab. I absolutely love the process of shooting film, not seeing the results for days or even weeks.  I love the slower pace of manually focusing and the limit of photos per roll causing me to really think …

Interview: Nevin Johnson

“I want to make photographs that inspire people. I want to be an inspiration for those who have 9-5 jobs and can’t be travel photographers.” Nevin’s work is an exceptional example of just how beautiful the east coast can be. His work includes film photography, digital photography, as well as some drone work. If you didn’t know he was just recently get into film, you would never know. His instagram account can be found here. JM – Why do you shoot film?  NJ – This is a tough question to answer. Like most people my age, I learned the basics of photography on digital cameras. It wasn’t until later on that I picked up my first film camera. By that time, I had seen a lot of really good film work. The tones, the colors, and the variation between film stocks is what really got me interested in film. The added challenge of shooting a finite number of shots mixed with the style that one can achieve using film is what attracted me to shooting …

Experiment 2: Kodak Portra 160 vs. Portra 400 vs. Portra 800

This article is going to compare Kodak films Portra 160, Portra 400, and Portra 800. For exposure testing data on Portra 400, Portra 400 shot and developed at 800, Portra 800, and 8 other film stocks, please refer to this article. For an additional reference of Portra 400 shot and developed at 800, please refer to this article. To ensure consistency throughout the experiment, all of the shots were taken using the exact same camera/lens combo. To accomplish this, 3 different film backs were used, each loaded with a different Kodak Portra film. The control conditions were as follows: Camera: Mamiya 645 Pro TL Lenses: 80mm f/2.8 N, 150mm f/3.5 N, 300mm f/5.6 N-ULD Lighting (Portrait Only): 2 Profoto B1X with diffusers Light Meter: LUMU Light Meter iPhone app All films were developed at a local lab here in Columbus, OH and scanned at home using an Epson v600. All provided images were the converted negatives straight from the scanner software included with the v600. Results As perhaps could have been expected, I didn’t prefer …

Review: Kodak Portra 160

To see reviews of the other films in the Portra family, go here for Portra 400 and here for Portra 800. To see a more formal comparison of Portra 160 with the other two members of the Portra family (Experiment 2), go here. In all honesty, I have a love-hate relationship with Portra 160. Every roll I’ve shot through is almost entirely full of shots I don’t much care for if not some of my least favorite I’ve ever taken. That said… The shots on a roll that I like are some of my favorite photos I’ve ever taken. So where do you go from here? I would really like to shoot through some rolls in a studio environment where I have much more control of the lighting. Perhaps there I will have more consistently desirable results… Color Compared with the other two films in the Portra family, it is by and large the least saturated when properly exposed. Even slightly overexposed and it gets a sort of a nasty looking warm tint to the …