Back in October we did a short feature on Chisinau, Moldova-native fine art and portrait film photographer Eugene Levinta, focusing on his beautiful double exposure portraits. We recently got in touch with him via e-mail, and so we present to you our exclusive interview. Read on to find out his thoughts on analogue photography, his inspirations, and most memorable photography project, among many other things!
Hello, Eugene! Please tell us a bit more about yourself.
Hi! My name is Eugene Levinta, 24 years old, and a conceptual film photographer. I was born and raised in Southeast Europe, Republic of Moldova.
We read that you started with film photography back in April 2011 after selling your digital equipment after using them for just 11 weeks. Why/what made you decide to give up on digital to focus on analogue? Why do you choose to continue shooting in film?
Film photography felt very close to me – the feelings, the process, the time, and sometimes the smell. Then when I decide to start shooting only film, the only reason why I sold the digital one is to not let myself shoot digital at all.
How would you describe your photographic style?
I am not sure how to describe my photographic style, but I like to experiment with different styles and try to find my own. I try to be as creative as I can so that I can stand out with my photographs.
But If I really have to describe it in very few words it will be: surrealistic, mystical, dream-like, and emotional.
Apart from your double-exposure portraits that we’ve already featured on the Lomography magazine, what other subjects do you typically take photos of? What inspires you?
I started by taking pictures of everything. But as each day passed I’ve realized that I have a limited number of frames I can shoot per roll. And so I start to create concepts, which include models, landscape, lifestyle, couples… But my favorite ones are love story-themed shoots.
One of my biggest inspirations is the human body. I always wanted to combine the human body with natural lines. Maybe that will be one of my next concepts.
Have you ever had any experience shooting with Lomography cameras? If so, kindly share your story with us!
Yep ! I own a Diana camera but mostly I use the 120mm Lomo film, especially the B&W! I just love it!
What are the cameras that you use? What’s your favorite, if any, and why?
My first film camera was a Nikon EM. I had no clue about film cameras then, so I got the one I could afford at that time. I also have the Nikon FE2, Nikon F2, Mamiya RB67, Mamiya C33, Mamiya 645 Pro-TL. But if I had to choose just one, I would go with Nikon F2 because it’s a beauty; I would go with it anywhere.
Are there any photographers and/or artists that you look up to? Who are they and why?
Of course I do! Plenty of them and they all inspire me. But I can list a couple of my favorite ones: Micmojo, a film photographer from Germany, and his black and white photos; and Oleg Oprisco and his dreamy fine art film photographs.
You mentioned that you were named one of Google’s top 100 young photographers in the world. When was this, exactly? Please tell us more about it.
Yes! This happened in winter 2012. One of my friends told me about the contest so I decided to join it. And it was during one of those cold mornings that I received an email about getting in the top 100 young photographers around the world. Submissions were from 20,000 students across 146 countries.
What’s your favorite project that you’ve done so far? Any interesting and memorable story that you could share with us?
I am not sure if I can call it a project, but there’s an experience I had that will stay with me forever. In 2011 I decided to move to Seattle. I was living in New York at the time. I didn’t own a car and I didn’t want to take a flight. In two days I packed all my stuff, one big luggage and two camera bags, and jumped on train.
It had taken me three days on the train to get from New York to Seattle. I had a whole new life on train. I met new people, made new friends, saw amazing places. And of course, I spent most of my time in the back car of the train, waiting for the perfect moment to capture the pictures I wanted to.
Your dream project?
20+ rolls of medium format film and the Burning Man festival.
Aside from photography, is there anything else that you do?
If I don’t shoot I ride.
If I don’t ride I hike.
If I don’t hike I read.
What has been keeping you busy these days? Any ongoing/upcoming projects that you’d like to share with us? Exhibitions you’d like to promote?
The past months I’ve been busy with my photography business which includes weddings, couples, and fashion. But I am working on some concepts for a while and hoping to start creating them this year.
Any advice that you could give to other aspiring photographers?
To create, create, and create. With every creation we learn more and more. Then we find it easier and easier to express ourselves.
Any last words?
Thank you guys a lot for giving me an opportunity to be part of Lomography magazine! It was a huge pleasure for me.
Related article: Double Exposure Portraits by Levinta Eugeniu.