I am guessing that there won’t be too may people reading this who need much of an introduction to these three! Negative Positives is a long running film photography podcast that has been coming at us live from the Gutterman-cave for well over 300 episodes now. Mike Gutterman, Andre Domingues and Roxanna Angles are the dream team that bring us this slice of film-pie from all over the US of A each week. They have loads of guests, some of whom come on as presenters, co-captains, or “cocoa captains” due to some wintertime misunderstandings and have yet to run out of things to talk about.
They are a lovely bunch, and were all more than happy to answer my questions and send me over some of their photographs. Here they are, in their own words!
RD: If you were asked to sell “Negative Positives” to someone, what would you say to make them want to listen?
RA: This one is easy because I do it all the time! I would say something like:
The Negative Positives Podcast really just brings everyone in like we are hanging out in Mike’s man cave, or Gutter-man Cave I should say, having a cold one, and talking about film photography. For me it’s reminiscent of the days back in the late 90’s when we used to gather in someone’s garage and just hang out. I feel like our listeners are there with us. Seriously it’s just rad.Roxanna
MG: Someone told me once in the early episodes that Negative Positives was like hanging out in a garage with friends, drinking beers, and talking about photography. I was very happy to hear that! I hope we always put out that vibe as the show continues to evolve.
AD: If the thought of an entry-level employee at a film manufacturer, a veteran Ford factory worker, and a school counselor having a long, alcohol-fueled, dad joke-infused discussion about film photography sounds interesting to you, you’ve come to the right place.
RD: What do you think it has taught you, running a podcast for so long? (Roxanna I know you are relatively new, but I am sure you can answer based on your experience?)
RA: I have learned so much! I can’t believe I have only joined as a co-host last January, it seems like I’ve always been a part of it. Maybe because as a listener, I always felt right there with them, I sometimes still forget while recording that I’m a co-host and not a listener! So I’ve had to learn to speak up, instead of just listening to the conversation! I learn so much from the guests we have on the show. They bring so much knowledge and so many ideas.
MG: Several things, like how passionate and awesome the film community is and how talking to people all over the world has shown me how much you can have in common with someone on the other side of the planet through this hobby. Also, there is so much to explore in analog photography that you just don’t seem to run out of things to talk about!
AD: That nobody in the film photography community isn’t worthy of being a guest on the podcast. While we’ve had some heavy hitters in our time on the air, it’s the regular Joes and Janes who find a way to express themselves creatively through film photography that most intrigue me and teach me new things about shooting film in the modern world.
RD: What do you think the other two presenters bring to the show?
Mike: He’s king. I mean seriously, he can keep everyone on topic, handle any conversation no matter how sensitive or awkward, while being incredibly inclusive! He creates the perfect atmosphere for the film community.
Andre: Seriously Andre comes up with the most intelligent, thoughtful questions and perspective. He really takes everything in, sometimes he’s quiet for a while…then BOOM. He hits us with this amazing conversation point that makes my brain neurons light up!by Roxanna
I love them! Andre really helped me take the show to another level when he joined. He has a kindness and subtle wit that is just what the show needed and has been responsible for some of the show’s highlight moments (falling asleep when Em was a guest for example)! Roxanna brings the enthusiasm and she has really helped take us to another level and give us a different perspective that we needed. Who can’t help feeling motivated after hearing her excitement on an episode?! Finally, people can think whatever they want about me, but how can anyone not like Andre and Roxanna?!by Mike
Mike is unable to contain his child-like wonder for the magic that is shooting film and seeing the negatives come out of the reel. He’s also unable to contain his middle school sense of humor, but we love him for it nonetheless. Roxanna brings a level of experimentation and “screw the traditional photographic rules” attitude that reminds all of us that if you just stay positive and shoot some cool film photos you can create some amazing images. She also challenges me and Mike to actually do something photographically so that we have something to talk about next episode.by Andre
If you were allowed one camera and one film for the rest of your life, what would it be?
RA: Ugh!! This is the worst question ever. Can I have one camera for medium format and one for 35mm? I will pretend you said yes. I would have my Mamiya 645 for medium format and my Canon AE-1 for 35mm. I would shoot Lomochrome purple forever.
MG: I want to say some medium format outfit but carrying a Pentax 67 all the time would get pretty tiring!
AD: These days this question seems easier to answer. For me, it’d have to be my Rolleiflex 3.5F and Ilford HP5. Just versatile enough to be able to photograph anything, while having enough limitations to keep things frosty.
What is your dream camera and why?
RA: Let me start this by saying when I started film, I started collecting cameras thinking each was my dream camera. While I love each of them… I still gravitate to my Mamiya 645 and my Canon AE-1. The camera I would love to try is the Leica M6 (but seriously who knows, I thought the Hasselblad was my dream camera). I have yet to shoot it, but it is the one I would love to try!
MG: I already have it, the Leica R8, the working man’s Leica! 1/8000 shutter speed and fantastic Leica glass in an SLR, which I prefer over rangefinders. However, I would love a fully serviced Pentax LX one day!
AD: The Mamiya 6 ticks so many of my boxes. Medium format rangefinder with a built-in meter and only 3 lenses? Be still my ticking heart.
What is your dream location to shoot?
RA: Cuba. The colors. The culture. Not to mention that I’m part Cuban!
MG: I’d like to take a long road trip all the way across America, particularly what’s left of Route 66 even though it has probably been overdone. Second would be Hawaii because my dad was stationed there when he was in the navy and I grew up seeing his slide shows of that.
AD: The Scottish Highlands. Craggy mountains, deep lochs, colorful characters to share a dram of whisky with before taking their portraits with a 4×5 press camera. Sign me up once we can travel again!
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Who has been your favourite guest on the show or “cocoa captain”? Why?
RA: We have had so many amazing guests! It really is like choosing your favorite child. Tell you what, I will choose the one I most relate to. I loved having Eric and Vania from All Through The Lens Podcast. I really felt like they spoke my language. I love their humor and their laid back vibes. They were so fun, and it felt like a true film party with them!
MG: Oh I couldn’t possibly answer that!! I will take the safe answer… all of them! I’ve enjoyed and learned something from every guest we’ve had on! There has been highlights for sure but I’m afraid I will forget someone so I won’t name anyone in particular!
AD: I mean, after falling asleep during his discussion about major issues facing the industry I now work in, I’ve gotta say Em from Emulsive. Aside from my guilty conscience, I’ve genuinely enjoyed every opportunity we’ve had to chat with Em. Despite the fact that it still peeves me to not know his true identity. We should require visual confirmation of guests’ identity before hitting the record button…
RA: Who is your favourite active photographer and why?
RA: Another difficult question! I get so much inspiration from other photographers. Honestly most of my very favorites are of the past, mainly because I gravitate to that throwback vibe. I’m also attracted to dreamy esthetics. I am so in love with what artist Maya Beano creates. She just invites you into a beautiful alternate reality.
MG: I really only look at photos from people in our community and I’m constantly blown away by the work I see. It’s hard to just throw out one name but I will give props to Roxanna! She has a style and look to her photos and that is a hard thing to do.
AD: Kevin Terrell (@kevinlikeswhiskey), on the recommendation of Studio C41’s Bill Manning. He shoots the most beautiful, creative product photography of, you guessed it, whisk(e)y that makes me want to sit down, pour myself a glass, and finally learn studio lighting. Luckily for all of us, he’s now revealing some of his secrets through his behind the scenes account, @terrellphotographic.
RD: Who is your biggest inspiration, either in photography or podcasting, or life in general?
RA: I started listening to a podcast several months ago called, Don’t Keep Your Day Job. It has been so inspiring for me as an artist. It really put the fire in me to start and finish my book Mindfulness Through Photography, which I will be releasing this fall. I had the idea for this but was too scared to write it, and listening to Cathy Heller and her guests just helped me get centered enough to plunge into it!
MG: My wife, Manette, is probably my biggest inspiration through her never ending support of my creative outlets. It has been a huge blessing to have someone in my life who understands the need to pursue these passions.
AD: Total cop-out and obnoxiously emotional, but Michael Wayne Gutterman. He’s helped me follow my dreams in starting a career in the film photography industry, leads me by example on how to be a good man/father/husband/etc., and the guy takes a mean black and white photo of a fire escape.
RD: What film related YouTube channels do you watch regularly?
RA: I love watching Jess Hobbs. Her enthusiasm and energy are just infectious! I love the quality of work she puts out there.
MG: I have to admit, I haven’t used YouTube for photography content all that often. Of the ones I have, Dave Mihaly’s theoldcameraguy, Joey Ready’s AwesomeCameras, and Jess Hobbs stand out as some I’ve really enjoyed!
RD: What’s the future of film photography?
RA: I believe that it is indeed a niche community. I feel like it has moved into more of an art, as you have so much flexibility with manipulation. I have never put digital vs film in the same category. They each have a different place in the world. Film photography requires a more hands on approach. Though I also write in an old fashioned journal rather than on a computer, and write people postcards. It’s tangible. When I hold up my negatives, I see so much more than just an image. I see a very intentional photograph that I put thought into from selecting the camera, choosing a film stock and then framing exactly what I want to shoot. I see the film community growing and thriving.
I think the backbone of this community is the openness of sharing tip, ideas, strategies and even gear. So many people come through for you. When I started my film photography club at school, an influx of people supported my cause, and still do. I think what keeps us strong is our willingness to support each other. We are a group like no other.
MG: I was actively shooting film when things got really bleak for the industry around 15 years ago. I honestly thought it was going to go away entirely. It’s why I switched to digital for several years. When I returned to film and saw the new excitement about it and the growing film community, I realized it isn’t going anywhere! I think we are fine, even if there is a bit of a downturn in momentum. We may lose some players along the way in a worse case scenario, but there will always be enough interest for someone out there to keep making film!
AD: I believe that the future of photography is in products, processes, and presentation methods that demystify the analog photography workflow. Whether that’s smartphone lightmeter apps or full daylight developing tanks or monobaths or digital camera scanning film holders, make it all simple and more folks will shoot film. Simple as that.
RD: As I said at the top of this article, these three are a great team and awesome people. They make me think about what is best about the film community, that it really is a community! Every one of us is learning from all the others and you never know when you are going to see a comment or a photo that makes you rethink your own photography, how awesome is that?
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