I am Ante Prskalo and this is why I shoot film
I’m very pleased to be able to bring you the words and pictures of Ante Prskalo, previous contributor to EMULSIVE and dabbler in strange things with Rodinal.
Over to you, Ante!
Hi Ante, what’s this picture, then?
AP: Mom was burning a haystack and since I had my Praktica MTL5B with me (loaded with Efke 100), I just captured a couple frames. There wasn’t much time to think since the wind was blowing like crazy, and I had to move quickly. No posing whatsoever because mom was too busy to think about that and I feel like those spontaneous photos usually turn out the best. This is probably my favorite, and I feel like it represents a direction I’d like to go in.
Ok, so who are you? (the short version, please)
AP: My name is Ante, I’m 33 years old and I come from a beautiful small town in Croatia called Djakovo. Working as a freelance translator and finally got my MA so I’m looking forward to taking on more work in that field.
When did you start shooting film and what drives you to keep shooting?
AP: I started shooting film back in 2011 when I had my brief phase of experimenting with pinhole cameras. That didn’t last long, but when I bought myself a Golden Half toy camera in 2013 (a Hello Kitty model no less!), I knew I wanted to keep shooting film.
It’s something I’d always carry to my friend’s gigs or just regular hangouts, and there’s probably hundreds of photos just from that camera, let alone the more ‘proper’ ones I got later on. It’s the ‘making memories’ aspect of photography that drives me to keep shooting.
Who or what influenced your photography when you first started out and who continues to influence you today?
AP: It was mom, actually. She’s always been proud of her Instamatic 233 (now a glorified paperweight, sadly, since it’s almost impossible to get ahold of 126 film now) and I remember her taking pictures all the time. I think I have a small crate of her photos, and even though she never thought about her composition or photography in general, she actually had a good eye for photography. Her brother as well. I was surprised to find out it was my uncle who took most of the photos of her wedding, which were really well done. Might be a family thing, huh.
Are you a mixed medium photographer? What drives your choice to use film or digital from one day to the next?
AP: It’s 35mm film only for me. Not saying I’ll never touch a digital camera with a 10 foot pole, but at the moment I’m not even thinking about it.
What’s your next challenge…your next step? How do you see yourself improving your technique? What aspect of your photography would you like to try and master in the next 12 months?
AP: I feel like my anxiety pulls me back from stepping out of my shell and capturing something in the way I originally intended. That’s something I want to work on, and it’s something that’ll directly affect my technique. Shyness has no place in photography. Other than that, I’d love to dabble in medium format photography at some point, but that’s going to have to wait a bit.
Do you have a subject matter or style you always find yourself being drawn to? Why?
AP: I don’t have a specific specific, but I always prefer to shoot under natural light. Always goes well with 35mm film.
You have 2 minutes to prepare for an unknown assignment. You can take one camera, one lens, two films and you have no idea what you’ll be shooting. What to you take with you and why?
AP: Praktica MTL5B + Pentacon 50mm f/1.8 + Fomapan 400 all the way. Although not my favorite film, it’s the combo that worked well most of the time. I even managed to get usable results by shooting in @ 3200!
You have an unlimited supply of film to shoot in one location for the rest of your life. What do you take, were do you go and why?
AP: I’d opt for Ilford HP5+ which was such a pleasant surprise for me when I tried it this summer, and I’d just probably go to a bigger city and try to find inspiration anywhere.
You can never use film again. What’s your last roll of film, where and how will you expose it and why?
AP: It would most certainly be Efke 100, and I’d save it for the most special occasion. Bought three rolls earlier this year from a guy who still keeps a shipment in a fridge, and loved the way most photos turned out.
What do you think is the biggest misconception about film photography today and how would you set it straight?
AP: The one answer I hear most often is that film photography is too expensive and not worth the effort. The price argument I can understand, especially if one is not shooting that often, but it’s always very much worth the effort, even if the results don’t always turn out the way one would expect. That’s part of the fun, too, and one has to have a bit of fun with it!
In your opinion, what’s the future of film photography?
AP: It’s looking really good. Before 2016/2017 it looked shaky, but thanks to the efforts of Ferrania, Bergger, Japan Camera Hunter, Fomapan, and now Kosmo Foto Mono…I could go on and on, there’s plenty of available film nowadays and even brand new emulsions coming soon! And thanks to the wonderful #saveanalogcameras initiative we’ll even have a brand new 35mm film camera from JCH in 2018! Really exciting times for those who shoot analog.
Thanks for reading and thanks to Ante for stepping up. As ever, it’s really appreciated.
Please drop Ante a line over on Instagram or on Flickr where you can also catch up on more of his work. If you’re in the mood for something quirky, you should also head on over and digest his review of the Zorki 11 – it’s a cutie.
That’s all for this week but please tune back in next Wednesday for another fresh interview. In the meantime, why not catch up with news from Reflex about a brand new 35mm camera, a gorgeous look at classic American cars on Kodak Ektar 100 by Sandeep Sumal and Tom Rayfield’s 10th instalment in his Finding Film series.
Until then, keep shooting, folks!
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