Welcome back to another great Artist Spotlight. This is our weekly feature that showcases people making beautiful images with instant film.
Today on the blog, we have Australian photographer, Eva Flaskas. Eva has been featured a few times in our Featured Friday post and is very active in the Snap It See It Flickr group. Personally, I love her emulsion lifts and I’m always impressed with the work she has posted.
With such an impressive collection of shots, I hate we cant just show you her entire Flickr stream. Oh wait, we can! To follow Eva online and see more of her work, just click on the following links.
• A little about yourself. Where you are from and what you do.
I am from Sydney Australia, have lived here most of my life. I won’t bore anyone with what I do outside of photography as it has nothing to do with photography.
Since I was young I loved photography, I loved looking at photos (family photos and books filled with photography). I never really took many photos, it has only been the last 2 years that I have been shooting film ( 35mm, 120, 4×5 and instant film). I wish I had picked up a Polaroid Camera 15 years ago to have had the chance to use and try all the available Instant films at the time, and maybe by now I could have had a nice supply in my fridge. Unfortunately it did not work out that way, better late than never I guess.
When I first started photographing I was (and I guess I still am) a bit shy. I spent most of my time (and still do) at Rookwood Necropolis, Sydney’s old overgrown Victorian Cemetery. I had always loved walking through the old headstones, I could spend hours there and never get bored or tired and with not many people around I had the area to myself and could photograph what I wanted and how I wanted.
Im not a people shooter I guess, very rarely do I photograph someone. It is always something old and abandoned or the vast ocean.
How did you get into instant photography?
Unfortunately I do not have vivid memories of people using instant film around me while i was young. It wasn’t until I did a short photography workshop at the Australian Centre for Photography and the tutor, Michael Wait, brought in his work, a mixture of film and polaroid. I fell in love, I knew at that moment what I wanted to shoot with, that was in mid 2011, by November 2011 I purchased my first polaroid ( a tan SX70) and I have not looked back since then. If it was not for that moment, I don’t know what I would be doing with myself.
What is your favorite camera used for instant photography?
My favourite camera would have to be my Polaroid 195 for pack film, love the complete manual option on it. For integral instant film there is nothing better than my SX70.
What instant camera have you not shot with, but would love to try?
I have a Polaroid 600SE that I use a 120 (6×9) back on it, I still need to modify it to fit a CB-70 back that I have had for some time, I would love to have more control over my choice of aperture and shutter speed.
What’s your favorite Impossible film or pack film type?
I love B&W film so for me it would be the Silver Shade. The Black Frame is a beautiful film for the change of frame, it compliments the film, the UV+ is also one of my favourites too. I also love using the Old Generation films, I still have some silver shade, I love the brown/chocolate tones of the old Silver Shade. Impossible Film has come a long way, the colours in the latest Colour shade are amazing.
When I first used Pack Film my favourite was Sepia, it still is but Chocolate & 669 is by far my favourite now, if only I could have a life time supply of it. I love the tones of the chocolate film and the pinkish sky, I love shooting abandoned buildings and I find the chocolate film works well with it.
With how scarce pack film is now Im happy with any type of pack film.
How have you incorporated instant film into your regular workflow?
I find every opportunity I can to shoot film, about 70% is instant. It is having that tangible image in my hand that is so appealing. I also love the unpredictable results from instant film, especially expired film. The remaining 30% is traditional film, 35mm, 120 and recently 4×5. I process my own film and print my own photos in a darkroom. I love working in a darkroom.
How would you describe your voice or vision with instant photography? (does it differ from your other work?)
I think with instant photography I am more spontaneous. If I I am out with a instant camera I won’t leave until I have used the entire packet, sometimes it can be 2 or 3 packs. I don’t look for perfect images either.
Any personal projects we should know about?
In the next month I will be taking my instant photos into a darkroom. Something I have been looking forward to for some time now. I will be scanning them and using a digital enlarger to make darkroom prints of my instant photos. That is my first “project” for the year.
What other photographers do you look up too?
Firstly I would like to say that the whole instant film community is amazing. All part of a group keeping instant film alive. A majority of the photographers I look up to are part of the Instant Film Community. There is a handful of photographers whose work I do admire, Ben Innocent, Toby Hancock, Bob Merco, Gian Guido Zurli, Ina Echternach, Amanda Mason, Marisa Mouton, Meredith Wilson I know there are many more.
I have always loved the work of Ansel Adams and Simon Marsden, both masters in their domain and recently Francesca Woodman and Andrei Tarkovsky.
What advice would you give to someone just getting into instant photography?
Patience, I found there were a lot of errors I made when I first used Impossible project film, and still make errors to this day(though I do like some of them, today I forgot my tongue for my SX70, but I still used it). The first pack was a disaster. I remember pressing the shutter and the film sliding out holding and watching it turn to a orange colour. I did not realise you had to shield it. Most importantly have fun with it. That is what it was there for from the very beginning and I think that is what makes Instant Film great.
Where does your inspiration come from? Do you seek it out or wait till it finds you?
I think it comes from both, I have always had a fascination with History I guess it is reflected in my photos, Im always on the look out for anything old and abandoned (before it gets torn down for apartments).