Isaac Swartz is a Film Club Member whose photo was recently featured in our Member Show: Seasonal Reflections Winter. His images in the show and on Instagram caught our attention so we thought it was about time to get to know him and see a larger portion of his work. Scroll down to read our interview with him and see his photographs.
PL: What got you interested in photography?
IS: I’ve always enjoyed looking at visually good looking images and always thought, what if I could make good if not great images too? I started taking pictures at my church for our youth program and events and I really enjoyed doing it, which is what started my interest and love for photography.
PL: What type of camera do you shoot with, and what kind of film do you usually use?
IS: I use a Canon RP for my digital photography and a Minolta SRT202 for my film. I use Ilford HP5 Plus 400 B&W, and I’ve recently picked up some Portra 400 that I’m super excited to try out soon!
PL: What are some qualities that you like about film photography vs. digital photography?
IS: Though with film photography you have to wait and get it developed and scanned before you can see your images. There is something about not knowing what my images look like that gives me the freedom to explore and try new things when I’m shooting film, and of course film has many qualities like color and grain that are unique to shooting film that I love. And of course, digital is great because you can shoot hundreds if not thousands of photos on just one sd card and battery which is crazy. Another thing I love about shooting digital is editing my photos, I see it as a way for me to learn and to see the progress and changes I have made over the years.
PL: Some of your photos are portraits of people. What do you enjoy about photographing people? What is challenging about it?
IS: As people, we are changing every day and getting older, and when I’m shooting a portrait of someone I’m recording that specific second of their life. In doing so I hope that when they look back at their portrait it brings back memories of that time to them and is something they would cherish. Doing portraits is something more recently new to me, and with the job of telling people how to pose and what way to look and etc I would say is the most challenging part for me.
PL: This collection of images also has a nice variety of natural and architectural scenes. How would you describe your style of photography? What do you look for when you are out photographing?
IS: I’m actually still trying to figure out what my style of photography is, it seems like I’m all over the place with my photography so for me right now I just like enjoy making photos that people enjoy looking at. When I’m out shooting I look for shapes and how they would fill the frame and I ask myself is this interesting? Another thing I keep in mind is details, textures, and lighting. I’ve been very mindful of the lighting in my images lately because it can drastically affect and change the outcome of the photo.
PL: Out of all of these images, which photo is your favorite and why?
IS: My favorite photo is actually from the most recent set of photos I took, which is the one with the three guys with one pointing up. I took this photo on a trip I did with my buddies at the beginning of July at Bushkill Falls, PA. I love this photo because it gives me a sense of adventure and exploration, and also the scale of it I think really makes the photo of them being smaller in the frame surrounded but this huge rock wall and water.
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!