Photo of the Week: 'FROZEN' by MJ "This photo was taken in Abisko National Park, Sweden in December 2018. It was shot with my trusty Pentax K1000 as I needed a camera that can withstand below 0 temperatures"
Tell us about yourself and what draws you to film photography? "My name is MJ and I am currently based in Te Tai Tokerau (Whangārei). I am a “Pentaxian” and bought my very first K1000 from Trade Me in 2016. Pentakkusu ペンタックス is a nod to my favourite Japanese camera brand. I believe Pentax' 35mm cameras are "budget friendly" and deliver impressive photos in the right shooting conditions. I got into 35mm film photography because I wanted to improve my photography skills and techniques. Also, I love the look of film"
Are there any film photographers in Aotearoa that inspire you or influence your thinking or photographing?
"I’ve been following the work of Vanessa Green since I got into film photography. Her simple and understated approach to photography resonated with me and has influenced my photography philosophy to a great extent. Her exceptional ability to capture everyday people, places, objects and moments and turn it into a visual masterpiece has inspired me to appreciate more, find beauty in and capture the simple and ordinary. "
Do you have a favourite film stock you like to use often & would recommend?
" The Canadian photographer Ted Grant once said that “When you photograph people in colour, you photograph their clothes, but when you photograph people in black and white, you photograph their souls!” Having said that, the iconic Kodak TriX 400 is my favourite film stock. The classic look and feel, the fine grain, and just the right amount of sharpness! It’s such an amazing film to shoot with."
Do you have a subject or style you always find yourself drawn to? Why?
" I’ve always been drawn to symmetrical photography with shadows. From spiral bike racks to perfectly lined colourful wheelie bins, there is always something eye-catching and mesmerizing about it that makes you want to stop and take a photo. "
You said you were quite a Pentax advocate, if you were to use one camera for the rest of your life, which would you choose and why?
" I strongly believe that Pentax cameras are underrated and not as overly hyped as others. If I were to use one camera for the rest of my life, I would still choose my trusty old Pentax K1000. Built to last with its rugged construction, the K1000 is completely manual and can operate without a battery. Most importantly, having a fully manual camera forces me to think about the right exposure, among other things, before pressing the shutter. "
What do you think is the biggest misconception about Analogue photography today and why?
" The most common misconception about analogue photography is that nobody uses film anymore. Shocking I know, but there are still some places around the world where they don’t even sell or process films because they think that analogue photography is a lost and forgotten art. A friend once saw me taking photos and asked, “do they still make film for that old camera of yours. "
Do you have a tip or a life-hack advice you'd pass on to anyone from your experience so far with analogue?
" I’ve learned the hard way, to constantly check whether your light metre still works and in the event that you are out and about and run out of battery - to always apply the “Sunny 16” rule. My light metre battery ran out once on a hike to Abel Tasman and didn’t realise it until I had the photos processed. I didn’t even know back then that my camera can operate without a battery! There you go, another tip, get to know your camera better!"
To see or hear of MJ you can check more of her work : @pentakkusuペンタックス