Jack McCaul is a Film Club Member and Student Ambassador for PhotoLounge. His photographs have been featured in several gallery shows at PhotoLounge as well. We have always been drawn to his photos for their color and the feeling of summer they convey. This week we decided to interview him to get to know him better and what he likes about photography.
Q: What got you interested in film photography?
A: I think it was a combination of things. My high school photo teacher Mr. Zeigler shot film and I was also blown away by his work and looked up to him as an artist. After the first few times I went through the darkroom process I was drawn to the beauty of film and the process behind it. It wasn't just a quick and easy photograph, it took time, patience, and care. I fell in love with the idea of film long before I got into it.
Q: What type of camera do you shoot with, and what kind of film do you usually use?
A: I experiment and jump around on all types but for the most part, I always fall back to my busted up Minolta point and shoot. It’s the first film camera I ever bought and carries a lot of meaning. The Minolta was a camera my friend Jayne introduced me to, and at the time, she was the reason I started shooting again. I think the reason I like it so much is because it reminds me how far I have come as an artist. As far as film stock goes, I try to consistently shoot with Portra 400 but sometimes its a little pricey so I will shoot Kodak gold as a backup.
Q: All of your photos are in color. What are some qualities that you like about color film?
A: It’s funny because I probably shoot about 1 roll of b&w every 3 rolls of color, I just never post or submit that work anywhere. Color to me is just so much more telling of a photo. I think color can do a lot of good for photos and there is nothing better than the colors in the summer.
Q: Many of your photos are taken of surfers. Some photos even seem to be taken as if you were in the ocean with your subjects. What do you enjoy about photographing this type of subject? What is challenging about it?
A: So for most challenging it is without a doubt not getting the camera wet in the ocean. Sometimes I'm jumping around like crazy just trying to keep my arm up. Eventually I would love an underwater film camera but I think most of the fun is in the risk. I think what I enjoy most about this type of subject is the intimacy. Anytime I am shooting in the ocean it is with my friends and family and its honestly the time of my life. It really is such a beautiful thing taking photographs of people you love doing something that they love.
Q: This collection of photos conveys a feeling of summer. What draws you to taking pictures during this time of year?
A: What draws me is exactly what you said, the feeling and warmth of summer. I love this feeling and the almost yellow haze over pictures taken in the summer. Summer is also a special time for me and I think taking pictures gives me tons of keepsakes of these people and places that have changed my life. It is also always my most creative time of year where I am constantly surrounded by my friends & family. Also, this may sound funny but I think everything just looks better in the summer.
Q: Out of all of these images, which is your favorite and why?
A: Oh wow, this is a tough one. I think I would have to go with the photo of my 2 cousins standing on the dock smiling. I can picture that afternoon in my head and it makes me smile. I don’t think it is even one of the top 5 photos I have ever taken, but I do think as far as feelings, it is one of my favorites. I can’t look at that photo without smiling.