Artist Spotlight: Andrew Bartram

Andrew Bartram on FP100CI know I keep saying this, but this has truly been an Amazing year for Snap It See It. As I look back over the past year, I’m overwhelmed by the talent we have had the privilege to showcase on the blog. It’s amazing how diverse of a medium instant film can be. With just a few film stocks to choose from, I think the creativity that  I have seen over the past year is inspiring, to say the least.
We are ending the year with Andrew Bartram as our Artist Spotlight. Andrew’s name pops up daily on my Twitter feed and his work always stands out in the Flickr group. Please be sure to follow along with Andrew’s journey in 2014. You wont be disappointed!
• A little about yourself. Where you are from and what you do.

 

I live with my wife and teenage son and daughter (my main model) on the edge of the Cambridgeshire Fenland (land that was drained for agriculture mainly in the 17th Century by Dutch Engineers), we’ve lived here for 13 years now and the flat landscape, long straight roads and drainage rivers heavily influence my photography both instant and darkroom work.I’ve been shooting film for 30 years now ever since my late Father gave me a Fed 4 rangefinder, I quickly caught the bug and within a couple of years was developing my own black and white film and printing my own work in my parents’ bathroomThroughout the 1980s and 1990s instant film completely passed my by…I just didn’t get it…and man how sorry I am when I think of all the superb emulsions I had available but just ignored.My main passion remains black and white darkroom work although since I got the instant bug a few years ago shooting with the 250 land camera and the SX70 has almost pushed aside my Bronica and Olympus film gear but not quite!So, film photography is my artistic escape from the day job which does not involve photography but does take me all round the UK, needless to say I have several cameras with me at all times.

How did you get into instant photography?

 

Detached Retina Surgery…..Spending 6 weeks recovering and listening to all the back episodes of the Film Photography Podcast – there followed an ebay BLITZ

 
What is your favorite camera used for instant photography?

 

Has to be one of my SX70 originals and the 250 Land Camera although just this Christmas I have shot some Impossible Color Film in a 636 box camera and really like the results (oh not to mention Instax which is quite special)

What instant camera have you not shot with, but would love to try?

 

I’m a lover of pinhole photography so some kind of pinhole with instant back – waiting for the Impossible guys to launch the pinhole attachment for their instant base.

What’s your favorite Impossible film or pack film type?

 

I continue to delight in the new films issued by Impossible whilst at the same time love using the older expired stuff. At the moment I enjoy shooting 669/690/125i and PX100UV+…also, although it doesn’t seem all that popular I do love shooting the Polaroid Blue film.

How have you incorporated instant film into your regular workflow?

 

They very much run alongside each other, as I’m typing this I’ve just returned from a shoot in North Norfolk with my 5X4 Pinhole, Holga, SX70 and 250 Land camera. To be honest so long as it’s film then I’m into it. Having spend over 25 years just shooting black and white 35mm and 120 these days I’m into all formats and film types up to 5X4 – all developed at home and either printed or scanned.

How would you describe your voice or vision with instant photography? (does it differ from your other work?)

 

Boy that’s a toughie….as a famous American photographer said “I like to photograph things to see what they look like photographed”  – and that’s the closest I get to a philosophy or photographic voice I guess.I think my traditional mono photography feeds into my more recent instant work and vice versa, the freedom that comes with using instant materials just blows my mind, it led to me buying a Holga 120 camera which is now my most used film camera for darkroom work.

Any personal projects we should know about?

 

I kind of have two or three at any time – longest running would be images from close to home, the Fenland landscape with it’s big skies and flat vistas interspersed with drainage ditches and electricity poles that cut across the landscape like arteriesAlso I just love making portraits with the SX70 and Holga (darkroom prints) – the close focus of the SX70 SLR allows me to get close and fill the frame.

What other photographers do you look up too?
 
I’m a fan of American urban landscape photographers from the 60s and 70s, and for strong people photography ever since I saw her exhibition in Bradford some years ago the Mexican photographer Flor Garduno.
I continued to be stunned and amazed at the quality of many of my Flickr contacts from around the world who produce just brilliant instant and darkroom work – far too many to mention so in case I miss anyone out I won’t mention names.
 
What advice would you give to someone just getting into instant photography?

 

Probably don’t get distracted by too much gear! (I’m one to talk!!) – choose one camera and get to know it inside out. That way at least the camera remains constant and any changes in image results will be down to film stock and lighting conditions.

 
 
Where does your inspiration come from? Do you seek it out or wait till it finds you?

 

A bit of both, if I’m looking to build on my Fenland body of work I’ll look for those dark black clouds with occasional bursts of sunshine – jump in the car and shoot off with the 250 or Bronica ETRSi
Looking on Flickr at my contact’s work is a constant source of inspiration

 

Comments

  1. Great boat lift!

  2. Love Andrew’s work! Great spotlight 🙂

  3. Herman elizabeth says:

    Great work , nice face Andrew 😉

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