Dylan Sheridan is a long time Film Club Member who we recently reached out to for an interview. His enthusiasm to be featured was so exciting that we could not wait to see a selection of his photos and hear about his relationship with photography. Scroll down to see it all.
PL: What got you interested in film photography?
DS: Back in high school I used to always love looking at the 3D film gifs on Tumblr. I discovered that they were taken on a Nashika N8000 film camera. I always wanted one. Eventually in 2018 I found one in an old film shop in Orlando, but it was a Nimslo, not a Nashika. I purchased it and they refurbished it. It worked for about a year and eventually broke. I tried to find others, but they are hard to come by. Especially working cameras. After falling in love with the idea of film photography I invested in a point and shoot two years later, and I’ve been using that mostly for film since then.
PL: What type of camera do you shoot with and what kind of film do you usually use?
DS: I now shoot on an Olympus Infinity Stylus mainly, and occasionally on a manual Pentax MX & a Reto 3D film camera. I shoot a lot of low light pictures, so I try to find 800 Lomography film when I can find it, but I usually settle for 400 Fuji film or Kodak. At this point it’s whatever is the most reasonably priced. Every here and then I dip into my expired 200 B&W Kodak film I got for free from my old college professor.
PL: All of your photos are taken in color. What are some qualities that you like about color film?
DS: Don’t get me wrong, I love black and white photography, but it is usually an afterthought. If an image in color doesn’t look right to me, I can always convert it to black and white in Lightroom. Also, as I said before, I occasionally revisit my black and white film, but maybe once a year or so during the fall when I’m looking to capture more haunting elements. Color has been and always will be my go to. The best thing about color film is the fact that so many colors trickle in. I want to look back and see what I saw when I took the photo. The contrast of a brown dirt road, to green hanging trees surrounding it. Or a dark room with a bright orange spotlight highlighting a crowd of excited faces. Something about the color speaks more words in each image I capture. It shows the blending of warm tones on sunsets and complimentary colors on stages. One picture that I always think of is one I took of a drummer that has red light on him, but the banner behind him is a soft complimentary green.
PL: Many of the photos you shared capture concerts. What do you enjoy about photographing this type of subject? What is challenging about it?
DS: Music is what keeps my life revolving. My goal is to make music look as beautiful as it sounds. Because of my love for music, I feel like photography brings me closer to it. It makes me feel like I am part of the creative energy that happens during concerts. The most challenging part of shooting a live show is the lighting. Attempting to capture musicians on film can be nearly impossible when they are constantly moving around and the lights are down low. When you’re in the pit for the first three songs of the set, sometimes they keep the lighting moody until halfway through the show, making all of your pit shots captured in lowlight. Only a few venues and artists allow flash photography and it’s usually only at house shows or small venues.
PL: The composition of your images is strong. When photographing, what are you thinking before you click the shutter?
DS: Composition is everything. Sometimes I’ll be in a random place with a friend or loved one and I’ll ask them to look a certain direction or to stand still in a certain place. I’ll go as far as running ten feet back or getting on the floor to get the perfect shot. Then other times the perfect moment just happens and I click my shutter and the rest is history. When I was in high school I took art class every year and we’d discuss about composition. I believe that those lessons carry over into my work today. Symmetry plays an important role in my shots. The image is usually split to reflect balance.
PL: Out of all of these photos, which one is your favorite and why?
DS: That would definitely be the most difficult question to answer. I wish I could choose five favorites, or even three. Although one does stand out, and that is the shot of the prickly pear cactus in Sedona Arizona. The way the flash enhanced the cactus, and created a shadow upon the rock formation is just such a happy accident. I didn’t expect it to come out this way, but I’m glad it did. Whenever someone asks to see my film photography, I have to show them this picture because I think it perfectly captures how film can have any outcome.