Artist Spotlight: SimonKubiena

SCN_0029 Another weekend has come and gone. It’s Monday, and that means it’s time for another Artist Spotlight. This is a weekly feature, where we spotlight photographers and artist that are inspiring others with there instant film work. If you would like to be featured, or have someone in mind that you would like to see, reach out and let us know. You can email us or simply comment below.

Today’s featured artist is Simon Kubiena. Simon has recently been posting in the Flickr group and was part of our Featured Friday a few weeks back. Simon is fifteen years old, which makes him one of our youngest spotlights to date. Don’t let his age fool you though. Simon has a great eye, and an adventurous spirit. He has embraced instant film and is having a blast with it as he and his friends hangout. Oh, to be fifteen and carefree again…

You can see more work from Simon and keep up with him on Twitter at the following links.

Twitter | Flickr


A little about yourself, where you’re from and what you do.

Hello ,my name is Simon Kubiena, I am fifteen years old and I am from Austria. I am living in Vienna and on the countryside during the weekends, where shoot most of my pictures. Beside school I am doing a lot of acting in the theater and after finishing school I want to become a profession actor or a photographer – or even both. Actually, I don’t know much about the technic of instant, how to focus correct or about the proper light exposure.I just love having a vision of a picture,  pushing the red button and finally enjoying the result! Why instant photography? Because for one, it is a true challenge and something different. I think that through instant photography the pictures become something special, since each photo is unique.
How do you get into instant photography?
It started two years ago at christmas. I did not have a specific wish-list for christmas. I just wanted something special. Since I am in love with the 70s, the 80s and the 90s a polaroid camera came into my focus. I asked  my family but they wondered if something like this does exist anymore. But then I searched in the internet and found the polaroid 300, the one that is in fact from Fujifilm and has only small pictures. So my  christmas wish came true and I took my first polaroid on december 24th, 2011. Two months later I realized that the original polaroid cameras still do exist and I was lucky enough to find a photographer who sold me his polaroid 600 box type.

What is your favorite camera used for instant photography?

My favorite instant camera is definitely the Polaroid SX 70. It is an incredible engineering marvel which has the perfect size and design ever! The best is when you focus, pull the button, the mirror in the camera closes and the picture ejects! Wow!

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

I would love to try the polaroid land camera model 180. I have never shot with a pack film like that but I really want to!

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

The normal Impossible Color Film for SX-70 is my favorite film. It has great colors and it isn’t very sensitive to sunlight . But I love the Impossible Black and White film for SX-70 too. Black and white is in my opinion even more beautiful
because the pictures look ancient like having  been taken a long time before. In future I want to make more pictures with B&W.

How have you incorporated instant film into your regular workflow?

Well, I still attend school and  I can take pictures in the afternoons or at the weekends.

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

When I grow older ,I want to spend more money in films and maybe in a new camera so I can take more pictures and try some experimental photography. I think I want o find my own style for the pictures.

Any personal projects we should know about?

I really love polaroid portraits, so maybe I try to make a series of them. I am very interested in pictures of a body or part of it, like a foot,  just something like that. I had the idea of a B&W series in this field.

What other photographers do you look up too?

The man who fascinates me most of is Helmut Newton. I love the creepy and special style of his polaroid pictures. Furthermore I discovered somebody called Miky Arsenjev on flickr. Most of his pictures show beautiful faces or bodies,
just what I like.

What advice would you give to someone just getting into instant photography?

I would tell him to continue even if the pictures weren’t perfect. I would give him the advice to try  different lights and films and  not to be disappointed if it  doesn’t please at once. It isn’t easy to take a good picture. And it isn’t cheap. But that’s not bad! I think it makes photography even more special! You just don’t take 4 pictures of one thing. You really have to think before pressing the red button- it´s that one chance…!

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

With me it is like  sitting in the bus and suddenly I have an idea of a picture, write it down and in the afternoon I take it. Sometimes I see the world  “through-the-white-frame”  awaiting the right picture view. I am looking at something asking myself how this would look  “polaroid-framed”. Sometimes the frame remains empty- However, there is nothing more exciting for me than having an idea,  trying to realize it and at the end holding the result in my hands, close to my prior vision of it or – even more beautiful than imagined before …

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