After striking up a conversation with one of our student ambassadors, @srz.photo,
we were intrigued to hear about a project she is working on and wanted to interview her about it so it could be shared with the community.
Q: What inspired this project?
A: This project started as just a test for a camera and style I hadn’t tried before. I am much happier with the result than I had expected and I am excited to continue to experiment with it.
Q: What kind of camera are you shooting with and what type of film?
A: The camera is a Kodak Duaflex III which was produced in the 50’s. It shoots 620 film, a medium format film that is a slight variation of 120 film. This was shot on Ilford FP4+ on a 620 spool. I bought the duaflex untested, created a makeshift film advance knob since its original was missing, and crossing my fingers there weren’t light leaks or any major distortion in the lens. I was surprised and impressed by the camera’s performance with the clarity of the images and how well it handles everything from direct sunlight to dark shadow without losing detail.
Q: What do you enjoy most about this project that differs from other projects you have worked on?
A: This was my first time shooting with this camera and any medium format film, so it was a very different experience from anything I’ve shot before. You only get 12 frames in a roll, so, even more than with 35mm, it really made me slow down, think about what I wanted to shoot, and pay attention to framing.
Q: Some of the photos seem to have a shaky quality to them. Is this intentional? What about this quality contributes to your goals for this series?
A:The shakiness in some of the photos is a product of the camera, its age, and my unfamiliarity with it. But although it was unintentional, I really like the effect it has on the final series. To me it adds a feeling of motion to the shots. The camera had a fairly slow shutter speed to start with, and it seems with age it may have slowed even more. What I love about these photos is that it showcases the camera, and just like the grain, and the slight warping of the photos at the edge of each frame, the shake is part of the experience of shooting with this 70 year old camera.
Q: Which photo is your favorite and why?
A: While I mostly like looking at these all together, if I had to choose a favorite it would probably be the shot of two bikes against a wall. The arrangement of the bikes gives it a sort of “seeing double” look to it which I think goes nicely with the distortion, shakiness, and double exposures in the project. This shot is also partially double exposed at the bottom where there was overlap with the next shot on the roll- another artifact of this older format where, when advancing the film, there was some guesswork and learning curve to advancing it the right amount.
Q: Do you have any plans to continue this project?
A: I would love to continue this series to expand more neighborhoods of Philadelphia in this format to eventually have a more complete look at Philly through this format.