The night is young and they are armed with film ammunition of various kinds. They scavenge for nocturnal people who, in turn, ravage the night's flickering lights. They love experimenting with lofiness and their ultimate dream is for everyone to get infected with the analogue fever. Ludovic shares with us the story behind his project, Analog Nights!
Tell us something about Analog Nights and its founders.
I’m Ludovic, a 23 years old dj/musician from Paris. I’m currently living in Portugal. I’m a big fan of wobbly and saturated audio, scratches, imperfections, general lofiness and unexpected results. I never had a thing for photography, until a friend of mine lent me his LC-A+ RL and I instantly fell in love with the results after shooting some rolls with my friends and family.
Analog Nights is a website that I created (previously joined by my girlfriend). It is dedicated to and patterned in the old analogue way. Right now we are focusing on photography: we provide inspiration, tips, cameras reviews, we interview experts and the talented and we organize events where we offer analogue cameras (our dream – getting everyone the analogue fever!). We write in Portuguese because there is no website in Portuguese which is dedicated to the analogue media.
How and when did Analog Nights begin?
I spent some time practising with the LC-A+ RL, taking pictures of friends at occasional parties and posting them on Flickr. One day I realized I could do a blog focusing on “party photography”, so I bought a domain and, with no coding skills, I started editing a blog template I found for Wordpress. This was exactly one year ago yesterday (5th April 2010) but my first post was in the 15th of April, so I consider this date to be the official start of the blog. My girlfriend was very supportive and quickly joined the project as well; today she’s like the PR of Analog Nights.
We sent some emails to promoters and we gained free passes to parties and access to backstages (oh the things I’ve seen) and we started shooting and posting the pictures on the blog, slowly gaining fans. We had a lot of ideas to promote the website but we were short on money (which eventually became a bigger problem, since we had no financial support from the promoters). But we kept shooting randomly, having lots of fun in the process, promoting analog photography in a culture (the club culture) that it’s getting more and more hi-tech.
What subjects or themes do you usually feature?
At the start of the project we focused on photo reports; but like I said there was no financial return. We got to a point where it was really hard for us to get content for the website, since we had no money to buy and develop the films. Promoters were constantly inviting us, but as soon as we talked about expenses they usually replied, “We can give you drinks for free.” We even sold some expired films to cover some expenses but that didn’t last long.
We took a break from photo reports for a while, my girlfriend got a job as a bartender at a local club (which made it harder for her to photograph) and I was focusing more and more on music and taking pictures with my recently acquired Zenit 122. Analogue photography was really growing on me, which made me start reading blogs about it and searching for good photographers to get inspired; this made me realize that there were no sites in Portuguese about the theme, so I started blogging about cool photographers I found, about the history of analogue photography and I even started making interviews – the first one was with the young photographer Mary Robinson.
What are your basic film ammunition when covering events?
Cameras: usually the LC-A+ RL + Colorflash or the RingFlash and my girlfriend uses the Canon PrimaZoom.
For films I use a bunch randomly: Lomography Color and X-Pro, Kodak Gold, Agfa Vista and Fuji Superia. We also use expired films: stuff from 1986 to 1999.
I really really love to use the LC-A+ RL in parties. It’s such a small and convenient camera and the people’s reaction with its combination with the Ringflash combination is priceless: I get asked frequently “what the hell is that??!” and this is a great opportunity to talk about the blog and to spread the gospel of analogue photography.
Analog Nights has been involved in the analogue fever for quite some time now, which is your personal favorite article/feature to date?
Hmmm, probably the article I did about Carlos Reinesch. He’s not an analogue photographer but he uses cellphones to photograph and he gets awesome results. For me he’s the perfect example that people’s creativity is more important than the value of your tool to photograph.
In the article I wrote:
“O trabalho de Carlos aparece como a mostra de que não importa a ferramenta que usamos: a boa fotografia estará sempre guardada por trás da nossa criatividade. É óbvio que Carlos manipula as fotografias, mas desde quando é que isso não envolve criatividade também?”
“The work of Carlos appears as one example that the tool that you use to photograph is not important: good photography is always hidden behind your creativity. It’s obvious that Carlos manipulates his photos, but since when this is not part of the creative process too?”
If your dream collaboration will take place, with whom will it be and what would be your theme?
I would love to have money to buy another kit just like mine and send it to a famous dj or electronic musician and ask him to document some events from a artist point of view. Richie Hawtin is one example: I’m a fan of his work and I would love to “lend” him a film camera so he could photograph the backstage of his events because they are always so technological and complex (the Plastikman shows…). The contrast between old and new would probably produce great results. Another artist is James Holden: his public persona and personal taste is so interesting that I’m sure it would show on his photography. This kind of collaboration would be perfect.
As advocates of film photography, how does Analog Nights influence and inspire people to go back and take part in the analogue movement?
We are not very technical when we write about photography. Usually Sol (one of our collaborators, his name literally means “Sun”) talks about the most complex side of it; he’s a camera junkie, constantly buying new cameras and testing them to review them later on the blog.
But I like to think about Analog Nights as a blog directed to common people that love to experiment, shoot some pictures with friends in funny situations and documenting their life. Photography is not only about winning a World Press Photo contest, so we like to keep it simple, telling people that analogue photography it’s not a “pro thing” and that it can be a very fun and creative way to express yourself and register special moments.
Because we are party freaks we often organize club events as one excuse to offer film cameras: our last one was at carnival where we had a costume contest!