Daniel Khazanov is a Film Club Member who was featured in our Student Show and Member Show: Seasonal Reflections Winter earlier this year. We were impressed with the photos he submitted to both shows and thought it would be nice to get to know him a bit more. Scroll down to read an interview with him and to see a collection of his photographs taken with a Ricoh GR1.
PL: What got you interested in film photography?
DK: After my grandparents passed, they left me a Zenit-E camera which they had brought with them from Kyiv when they emigrated in 1994. In the past, I had been interested in cameras and would take photos of my sister and parents when we went on road trips or vacations, but it wasn’t until my freshman year of high school when I really found my passion.
PL: What type of camera do you shoot with, and what kind of film do you usually use?
DK: The light meter on the Zenit was broken, I wanted to buy a new camera, but was worried about the cost of processing film. The first camera I ever bought was a Fujifilm X-E3. I taught myself the essentials of street photography with that camera, and when I went to college and started to make some money, I purchased the Ilford Sprite, Olympus Stylus Epic Zoom 80, and my grail camera: the Ricoh GR1. I had been obsessed with Daido Moriyama, and loved his book How I Take Photographs and I think my film choices were definitely inspired by him. I love Ilford HP5, Tmax 400 as well as Tri-X, but my go-to color film is probably Portra 400.
PL: There are a mix of color and black and white images within this collection. What are some qualities that you like about both?
DK: When I first started taking photos, I was a bit intimidated by color. I felt that it was difficult to truly portray the emotion that I wanted and that the color would often take away from focus of the scene. As I became more comfortable with the process and confident in my ability to frame and capture moments, I started to experiment with color film. I think that color film is so expressive in the range of emotions and colors, that I was not ready for it as a beginner. As I continue my photography I want to experiment with a wider variety of color films to get looks that might not be something that I am used to, but that would push me out of my comfort zone.
PL: Many of your photos capture people in candid moments. What do you like about photographing people? What is challenging about it?
DK: I think street photography is special. Taking a split second image and freezing it for the rest of time not only reflects the emotion, context, and story of the individual or thing in the photograph, but of the photographer as well. Photographing people can be really scary, especially when you are in a new place, but it also gives you a different perspective on the place you are photographing. When I first started to explore New York City with a camera in high school, I got a completely different feeling of the city than I had when I was just existing in it. Truly observing people takes you out of the scene and makes you feel like a spectator or narrator of some sort. Sometimes it takes a lot of courage to take a photo, but I know that if I don’t get the shot, I will regret it in the future. Every time I don’t bring my camera with me I wish I had, and that can be quite the challenge as well.
PL: When out photographing, what are some objects or elements within a scene that inspire you to take a photo?
DK: Since I started out taking photos in black and white, I am often moved by contrast. I love seeing intense shadows and harsh light. When I look for subjects, I try to find people or things that mirror the emotion that I am feeling at the moment or something that feels unique. Something that makes me do a double take and I can’t not take a picture of. In a way, it’s esoteric.
PL: Out of all of these images, which is your favorite and why?
DK: My favorite image that I have ever taken is “Love on Ice.”It captured a moment that I am in love with. My friends and I were on a hike in Big Sky, Montana, and we had just found a beautiful icicle that created a tunnel of sorts. As my friend and his girlfriend went to get a closer look, it began to snow, and I ended up snapping a photo of them that I feel truly encapsulates their love for each other. Both of them love snow and nature, and the location of our hike holds a special place in all of our hearts.
Every day, Club Members take exceptional pictures. If you are not a Film Club Member yet what are you waiting for? Join the Film Club today to support the photo community in Philly and to start saving money on film processing!