Author: Madison Hyer

Review: Mamiya 645 Pro TL

The 645 system was my second foray into the medium format game and it’s currently my most used camera. For those familiar with 120 cameras, a 645 negative is more than 2.5 times the size of a 35mm negative. It may not seem like much but it makes a huge difference when you print any of your work. The relative grain is much smaller and the perceived sharpness improves. When I was in the market for a new medium format camera, it was to replace the RB67 for my short-term traveling and hiking. I was torn between a Pentax 645 and the Mamiya 645 Pro. Ultimately, I decided to go with the Mamiya 645 Pro TL. The lenses are (relatively) inexpensive and are quite incredible. As of March 2019, my lens collection included a 55 f/2.8, 80 f/2.8 N, and a 150 f/3.5 N. In prepping for a trip to Banff, I’m looking into getting a longer focal length. For whatever reason, the longer focal lengths seem to be less expensive up to a point …

Interview: Peter Gotz

“I realized how important portraiture is in the grand scheme of things and how important it is to photograph the people you love“ When I first came across Peter’s IG account, I felt really compelled by his photos – they all feel so genuine. I hope that as I grow as a photographer, I can capture as many moments in such spectacular beauty as Peter has been doing. JM: Hey Pete! Thanks for agreeing to do this.  As far as film photographers that I only know through social media go, I’d say I feel most akin to your style.  I really look forward to getting to know more about you.  JM: Why do you shoot film? PG: There’s a comfort and confidence that comes along with shooting film. You have a certain set of skills and you have to trust in yourself when you pit yourself against a scene. You gotta trust your instincts and get into a flow where you are sure of your composition and exposure choices. Once you commit and capture your …

Interview: Matt Seal

Matt was one of the first people I met when I moved to Columbus. One of the first places I wanted to go was the local camera store and as luck would have it, Matt had started working there pretty recently. He was a talkative nice guy who was passionate about film. Eventually we became friends he’s been amazing about helping me get some ideas together for this site. JM: Why do you shoot film? MS: I feel like this is a pretty common answer, but I prefer the ways it limits me. Sitting down with a raw digital file and the seemingly endless directions I could take it just becomes overwhelming. I fully admit that this is likely due to my own indecisiveness, but having a solid starting place with consistent colors is just preferable. Other than that, I find I prefer the experience of using film cameras in general – waiting a while to see the photos, using waist-level finders to utilize the huge focusing screens, and so on. I think of many of them …

Guide: Getting your first film camera

To start, there are two kinds of people that get into film. Those that inherit a camera and those that don’t. If you were given one from a family member or friend or whatever, I would suggest moving on to picking out film stocks or general advice for film photographers. There is no real reason to replace a fully functioning camera for something ‘better’ for a first camera. For those that need to pick one up, please read on. The most straight forward advice I or anyone else could give on picking out a camera would be to consider first and foremost opportunity and cost. If you were to really think through what you need or want out of a camera and search around at camera shops, on eBay, craigslist, etc… you’ll probably find a great deal. Since this is how I suggest approaching all things of this nature, I’ll start to lay out some things that should be considered when identifying your first film camera. Cost Some serious consideration should be made for what …

Interview: Meagan Mastriani

“When I have a limited number of shots, I choose them more carefully, and I’m relieved of the pressure to capture everything.” You can find more of Meagan’s work on her Instagram.  When I was in college I met a guy named James who would become one of my closest friends. Years later he started dating Meagan subsequently we became good friends as well. Eventually, Meagan got James into film and then the two of them got me into film. There’s been no looking back. JM – Thanks again for doing this.  Without having you in my life, I doubt very seriously I would have have gotten back into film photography.  I’ve always looked up to James and I think you’ve been a huge influence to his creative side and between the two of you, a huge influence on mine.  I think it’s only fitting that you be the first person I ask to interview.  Hopefully, your love for film can influence others as it did me. MM – I’m happy and flattered you’d want me to be …

Flagstaff: New city, new film – Ektachrome and Provia

Similar to the story when I went to NYC, I went to Arizona in mid-late 2018 for Brittany’s birthday and we planned to go the Grand Canyon and Flagstaff for two days of hiking – two places I’ve never visited and was very excited to see. To make it even better, the quaking aspens outside of Flagstaff happened to be changing color.  It happens only for about a week a year and there was no way for us to have planned for that when we booked the trip.  As you can imagine, we felt quite lucky and wanted to take full advantage. I decided to do the best, most well-thought out thing I could do.  I was going to shoot through two stocks I’ve never used before and have little to no idea how they would behave.  I may well never go back to these places again and it is extraordinarily unlikely I’ll be there again at the time of year to experience those same or even similar experiences.  Obviously, if you want to make …

NYC: New city, new film – Kodak Tri-X

As you may have read in the review I did on Kodak Tri-X, my first introduction to it was on a trip to NYC.  As it happens, I have been to NYC a couple times before this visit but I had never taken a film camera; all but one trip I had taken my Sony a7 with me.  Generally, when I’m trying something new – like a new film – I try to keep the experimental conditions to a minimum.  At best, I would have my same camera, in the same or similar enviroment, taking photos similar subjects.  How else am I supposed to know if I really like the new film? If you’re me or like me, you don’t tend to shoot as much normally as you would if you were out and about – particularly if you’re on a trip.  As such, I don’t always get those chances to get out and go through a roll or two as an experiement before I go on a trip.  Instead, in some instances, I pick up …