Member Moment: Ariel Bermudez

Film Club
Ariel Bermudez is a Film Club Member whose photographs are vibrant and are composed in a skillful way. This week we interviewed him about his interest in photography and his process for editing photographs. Scroll down to read the interview and view his images. 

Photograph of people lying in Rittenhouse Square

Photograph looking up at tree in bloom

PL: What got you interested in film photography?

AB: When I first bought my digital camera I was on YouTube trying to learn everything about it. The algorithm eventually started to recommend film videos, and I remember watching a video about Cinestill 800T and I immediately was in awe of the pictures. For months, I would watch film videos, until I built the courage to buy a film camera and try it out myself. I fell in love with that feeling of loading a new roll of film and seeing what comes out of each frame. 

Photograph looking up at magnolia tree branch in bloom

Photograph of daisies in a park

Photograph of flowers outside the entrance to a house

PL: What type of camera do you shoot with and what kind of film do you usually use?

AB: I shoot with a Nikon F3 and Fuji XT-3. I mention the Fuji because all my digital photos I usually give it the “film look.” When it comes to film I find myself grabbing Kodak Gold 200 and Portra 400.

Photograph looking across a store counter

Photograph of person looking at art in the Cherry Street Pier in Philadelphia

Photograph of store front "Flowers" sign

PL: All of your photos seem to be edited. What do you like about this edit? What is your process when editing? 

AB: One aspect of photography I love is being able to not only capture color but shift it in editing to elicit a certain feeling or mood out of an image. When I‘m editing I try to create images that feel warm or feel like scenes from a movie. As all photographers do, I appreciate very sharp photos, however, I also love the “softness” one can get with either lens filters or in post, so the hazy or soft look in some of the images is intentional. Fun fact: the image of the fruit stand is actually taken on my XT-3 and I just gave it the “film-look.”  

Photograph of fruit and vegetable stand

Photograph of antique car

Photograph of green landscape

PL: Many of your images seem to capture a variety of places you have traveled to. What does it mean for you to capture these places/moments on film?

AB: The photos I shared are a mix of shots from Philadelphia, Mexico, and my small town I grew up in Washington. There is a strong Latino community where I grew up and I have always wanted to create a book capturing my culture because I haven't come across anything like that. I’m currently in dental school and want to capture more of my experience on film as well. Capturing these places on film means everything to me because they represent the place and the people that helped create who I am. 

Photograph of store front in warm climate

Photograph of drive through sign to a taco restaurant

Photograph looking across a taco restaurant's store front sign

PL: Your photos have a strong composition. When photographing, what are you thinking before you click the shutter?

AB: I do my best to replicate the exact feeling and moment of the frame that my eyes have created. I believe that's what makes photography so powerful is that it's not just about what the camera's able to see, rather a reflection of what the shooter is seeing and feeling in that exact moment. Whether that is how light is landing on a coffee pot or flowers, there is always a feeling of wanting to freeze that moment and it's exciting to be able to do that on film. 

Photograph of parked cars in a tropical place

Photograph of parked cars in a tropical place

Photograph of blooming trees in Rittenhouse Square

PL: Out of all of these photos, which one is your favorite and why?

AB: The photo of the cherry blossoms in Rittenhouse is one of my favorite photos I have taken. There is so much love and warmth to this photo because there was a dad playing with his son and a couple on a date under the tree, which is in full bloom. I was looking through the viewfinder of my F3 and when I saw them in my viewfinder I knew immediately that I needed to take that picture.

Photograph of man looking through binoculars at ocean vista

Photograph of ornate white building


Every day, Club Members take exceptional pictures. If you are not a Film Club Member yet what are you waiting for? Join today to support the photo community in Philly and to start saving money on film processing!
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