Member Moment: Jasper Macfarlane

Film Club
Jasper Macfarlane is a Film Club Member and frequent customer who we interviewed this week. He shared with us a collection of recent work from time spent in Philly, NYC, and elsewhere. Scroll down to see his photos and read the interview!

PL: What got you interested in film photography?

JM: At the beginning of March of this year, my lifelong friend Jackson was visiting me from Asheville, NC, where he and I grew up together. With him, he brought his Minolta rangefinder, which he got for $50 at a flea market in Spain. He had been shooting film for almost a year at that point, and he showed me some of the pictures he took on his trip and how the camera worked. After this, I became immediately fascinated by the process and results of the format.

Being 18 years old, I had never seen a film camera before, and it was so interesting to learn about the old medium. Recently, I have been in a physical format phase, switching from Kindle reading to buying my books physically, starting my Blu-ray and DVD collection, and now analog photography. For most of my life, due to the ease of technology, I have been flippant with how I consume and produce media. Starting to be more intentional with what books I purchase, what movies I watch, and now what pictures I take has greatly benefited my creative expression and has forced me to stop and think about what is and is not worth my time.

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

JM: I use a Pentax K-1000 with mostly Fujifilm Superia 400, although some of the work included here I actually shot on a 27 exposure roll I took out of a disposable camera (not sure what stock that actually is but it has some funky properties). I recently bought some Kodak Ultramax 400 and my camera is currently loaded with Kodak Gold 200. Having no experience with any film stocks other than Fujifilm Superia, I'm excited to see the results of the new stocks.

PL: What are some qualities that you like about color film vs. black and white film?

JM: Having grown up with iPhones, most everything I have seen and taken myself has been in color. I have shot one roll of black and white so far and it's definitely a whole other animal. For now, I greatly prefer color because when I take a picture, it's mostly about the color, framing and lighting coming second. I think this effect can be seen in my work. Most of the images you see here have very vibrant colors, and I found that in the past, when I shot on black and white, I was constantly frustrated that I could not capture the color of a scene. That being said, I have found that the worse you are at something, the quicker you make noticeable progress. That's why I intend to do some black and white exposure therapy, (pun intended) and force myself to focus on framing and lighting in black and white, and hopefully have that practice reflect back into my color work.

PL: Some of your photos seem to capture street scenes. What do you enjoy about this type of photography, and what is challenging about it? 

JM: Having a camera on you really changes your perspective on the scenes around you. I’ve found that the same roads I’ve walked through 100s of times over the last few years now have so many new interesting things about them I noticed for the first time recently. Not only does it change my perspective on the streets of Philly and New York, but the people too. The most interesting thing I noticed about photography in general since starting, is having the ability to remove context from a scene to tell a story better, or to tell it the way I want it to be told.

Probably the most challenging part to me, is being self conscious. Taking pictures of people without them knowing I'm taking their picture, and them never having access to the product is disheartening to me sometimes. 

PL: When photographing, what are you thinking before you click the shutter?

JM: Even though I would like to think I'm taking pictures because it's a fun hobby I'm doing for myself, in reality I'm always thinking of others. I'm hoping that the picture I'm taking is at least worth someone's time to look at. I hope it might look nice to display in mine or someone else's home. But what I hope most for is probably the same thing every photographer hopes for, the “wow factor”. When someone looks at one of my pictures and says “wow”, not to me but to themselves, that gives me the biggest feeling of accomplishment.

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

JM: Currently, my favorite picture is also my first picture ever taken on film—the one of Jackson drinking his americano. By most measurements it is quite a bad picture, but it's my favorite because it perfectly tells the story of my first interactions with the film format, and photography in general. This picture was taken immediately after Jackson taught me to load my camera, something I must have messed up because there was some bad light burn on the frame. I was so excited to start shooting that I took a picture of the closest thing to me; him drinking his coffee.


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  • Diana Macfarlane - April 17, 2024

    Jasper, if “Wow” is the highest compliment, then here’s a genuine WOW from me! I’ve enjoyed watching you learn from your new camera, and know your artistic talent will bring you much joy.

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