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My Friend kylethefrench

I met kylethefrench on Lomography.com when I stumbled on his home after seeing one of his pictures featured on the main page (that would later go one to win a White Stripes-themed Rumble). It was an example of his light painting at its finest, which is something that would endear me to his his photography forever. Let's see what this toy camera tinkerer extraordinaire had to say when I asked him a few questions!

How did you get started in analogue photography and what about it appeals to you?
For me I never wasn’t an analogue photography, I have never purchased a “real digital camera” with the exception I guess of my phone and laptop.

What was the first analogue camera that was truly yours and how did you come about getting it?
Actually I won a camera as a prize for selling a bunch of crap out of a weird cardboard box thing that the cub scouts called “a kit”. So I went around my neighborhood selling candles and ceramic mice and stuff. The more I sold the better prizes I could get. I was probably 10. I picked this camera that was a piece of crap but looked like it was all custom. I have bought a bunch of these at 2nd hand stores recently and they always have weird names and logos on them, like “Time Magazine” or some junk. The sad thing is I couldn’t figure out how to rewind the film and I ruined the whole roll and ripped it out in anger, then I cried and put down cameras for another ten years. I think the cam is sometimes known as Candraflex x-800. That was what mine was called I think.

What is your favorite toy/lomo/vintage camera you’ve ever owned, and why?
Ah the LC-A +RL is the pick. The thing is light, small and comes with a crap load of options, multiple exposure, accessory lenses, underwater housing, splitzer, it seems to never end. The best thing about the camera though is the perfect long exposure light meter function. You have a tripod mount, you have cable release option and all you need to do is go outside at night and the colors you get are insane, it is like slide film without the hassle, great, just great.

What is your favorite thing to do other than analogue photography?
Traveling, which has a similar kind of vibe to me as analogue photography. I get to see things I never have seen or will see again. I learn about the world, myself, other folk. It is all about learning and communicating till I turn back into dust I guess.

What five things you always have with you when you’re shooting?
Extra film, a film changing bag because with analogue you never know when a film may get stuck or some junk and you can’t risk losing anything ever. An extra flash, spare batteries, and yeah maybe a good attitude.

If someone off the street asks you, “Why analogue?” (or “What the hell is that thing you’re holding and why can’t I see the picture you just took?”), how do you respond?
Yup been asked this about a zillion times and I always say that there are things that you just can’t do without analogue film. Examples include slide film, long exposure and the joy of double exposure which the people always argue that you can put effects on your digital pictures to look like different film, set for longer exposure on your digicam, and merge digital images on the computer but my reply is that well you can’t send a roll to some guy in Brazil for doubling with digital merges. Plus this old cameras are history, this is how my grandfather felt when he took a picture at Skee’s Diner in 1936. He took a picture, crossed his fingers and waited a good while to see what became of it. Where is your patience friend? Sometimes life is about uncertainty and anticipation. Plus look how sexy I look with this thing around my neck. Have you felt the weight of this thing, it is in direct proportion to my own personal gravitas and I could smack a mugger upside the head with this.

What inspires your photography, or what is it that drives you to shoot?
I need to capture as much of my life before it ends I think. Everything disappears and I guess the pictures are my shot at the immortal. This may sound crazy but the first thing I do when someone in my family or friend group dies I go through all my pictures and pull out everything with them in it. They go into a DVD slideshow which is what I bring with me to the wake and I slip it to the main person in the receiving line at the casket. It is crushingly beautiful to me.

What is the one non-camera item that is essential to your photography?
Mini screw driver set. I use it to take apart my cameras and modify them. It is insane how many cams I have that do all kinds of crazy things that you haven’t seen. The long exposures, the multi exposures, the pinhole options, gasp. All of these changes you can’t really do unless you have the little screwdriver to take that cam apart.

What is your favorite type of film, and why?
Whatever 35mm color negative that I can find in the bargain bin. Despite my love of slide film of all kinds I just feel like the versatility of cheap ass film. You can redscale it, you can pinhole it, you can get it developed in a snap. I have never had a lab get nervous about doing your basic color negative in one hour and I love that security and freedom.

Any advice you’d like to share that has helped you with your own analogue photography?
Yeah don’t feel weird about taking a wacky ass old camera out onto the streets. People are going to tell you that it is stupid and that they are gonna stop making film and then what? The truth of it though is that nothing matters in the long run and some people think everything is stupid. If it makes you feel alive and creative and beautiful then it is all that there is, so never feel bad about enjoying yourself.

Photographer Info:

kylethefrench"
nation_of_pornation

written by nation_of_pomation

21 comments

  1. leocardarelli

    leocardarelli

    Great interview and somewhat philosophical! =D

    about 4 years ago · report as spam
  2. eatcpcks

    eatcpcks

    somewhat beautiful also!

    about 4 years ago · report as spam
  3. tallgrrlrocks

    tallgrrlrocks

    Great interviewee and interviewer.
    My fave quote: "Sometimes life is about uncertainty and anticipation. Plus look how sexy I look with this thing around my neck. " Made me smile!

    about 4 years ago · report as spam
  4. kylethefrench

    kylethefrench

    u guys are somewhat awesome, great job nation!

    about 4 years ago · report as spam
  5. sidblack

    sidblack

    You are inspirational kyle :)

    about 4 years ago · report as spam
  6. gnarlyleech

    gnarlyleech

    I love the last question. The answer is so true. At the end of the day, no one is going to remember that dude taking pictures of park benches, grass, and pigeons. But if you missed a good shot because you were afraid of what other people would think, you will remember that for a while. Don't be afraid to be who you are. A Lomographer.

    about 4 years ago · report as spam
  7. reneg88

    reneg88

    i LOVE this! great great job guys!

    about 4 years ago · report as spam
  8. eskimofriend

    eskimofriend

    somewhat amazing article and lomographer!!!! :)

    about 4 years ago · report as spam
  9. coca

    coca

    great answers!!!

    about 4 years ago · report as spam
  10. disdis

    disdis

    The answer to the 6th is wonderful! Congrats!

    about 4 years ago · report as spam
  11. mikahsupageek

    mikahsupageek

    great interview and interviewee ! Even though i would have prefered some more pictures to look at !

    about 4 years ago · report as spam
  12. lomosexual_manboy

    lomosexual_manboy

    kylethefrench rules it up...like a boss. Great interview.

    about 4 years ago · report as spam
  13. herbert-4

    herbert-4

    Just about the best interview I've read on Lomography!! They could have posted more pictures, though.

    about 4 years ago · report as spam
  14. nation_of_pomation

    nation_of_pomation

    Sorry about the lack of pictures, this was submitted at the same time as I was submitting all my Top Ten Interview with a Photographer entries and I only thought to get five like they asked for for those articles. Thanks for the likes and comments, folks!

    about 4 years ago · report as spam
  15. kylethefrench

    kylethefrench

    and if you want to see more pix just come to my home, 25000 to explore

    about 4 years ago · report as spam
  16. maliha

    maliha

    Great stuff!!
    @nation_of_pomation Let me interview you and let me showcase those fireworks double exposures!! Love those pictures you took! They gave me some ideas that I'd like to try out! =)

    about 4 years ago · report as spam
  17. panelomo

    panelomo

    @kylethefrench = inspiration

    about 4 years ago · report as spam
  18. lonur

    lonur

    nice one, kyle, your answer to the question on what inspires your photography really resonates with what i believe in.. keep up the good, inspiring work.. @kylethefrench

    about 4 years ago · report as spam
  19. kdstevens

    kdstevens

    kylethefrench is really one of the gems of this group. Very good interview and photos. I always look forward to kthefs latest posting.

    about 4 years ago · report as spam
  20. brittany

    brittany

    @kylethefrench - Awesome outlook on photography my friend. Everyday I'm so glad to have found this site... Lomography isn't too popular where I'm from (surprisingly), so its awesome finding people with like-minded ideas and all this inspiration... keep up the awesome-ness!
    @nation_of_pomation - thanks for the awesome interview, rock on brotha!

    about 4 years ago · report as spam
  21. myloveletter

    myloveletter

    Love! Love! Love!

    about 4 years ago · report as spam