In this ongoing series, we have selected some of the most enthusiastic film photography fanatics and asked them 5 simple questions that gives us an insight into their passion for all things analogue. We also get to see some of their own photographs. Today, we talk to Wine Merchant Toby Mason.
Name: Toby Mason
Occupation: Wine merchant
Country: United Kingdom
1. Tell us about yourself in three sentences maximum?
I try to enjoy life, and see the best in the world and people around me (whenever possible). I love music, but have no talent as a musician, I think photography is the only artistic medium that I have found in which I can express myself and my view of the world. I feel very happy and lucky in my life.
2. Why do you still shoot analogue?
The best way I can describe why I like to use film is that I feel that it gives photos more character, in the same way that whilst listening to music on vinyl isn’t as “perfect” as CD or digital, it too has more soul. I enjoy and embrace the imperfections, as they are also to be enjoyed in life.
3. What photographic equipment (cameras, films, and accessories) do you usually have in your bag?
LC-A+, with spare Lomography Chrome 100 film (both are always in my pocket, in case I forget the bag!), plus probably an LC-A loaded with some Kodak Ektar 100, my Olympus OM10, my Lomography Fish Eye, and a Sprocket Rocket. And a Gorilla Pod, just in case. I’ll usually carry some spare Lomography Chrome 100, as I mentioned for cross processing, plus Kodak Ektar 100, and some Lomography Earl Grey Black & White, maybe even some Fuji Velvia for crazy x-pro results!
4. Share a trick of yours that will always result to a great photo.
Some of these shots work better than others, but I love tunnels and tubes, and the light and shapes they create. I pop my LC-A, loaded with slide film for cross processing, on the floor in the centre of a tunnel (or on a handrail). Keeping it steady, and usually pointed towards the backs of unsuspecting commuters walking away, I hold the shutter release down and let the LC-A’s light metre grab as much light as in needs, together with a hint of motion blur from the stranger(s) ahead. Vignetting, light shapes, distortions, reflections and a cinematic atmosphere will often ensue.
5. What photographers influence your work?
Initially, and on an on-going basis I am inspired and influenced by Martin Parr and Kevin Meredith. However through my Flickr contacts I continue to be influenced by plenty of wonderful amateur photographers from around the world, and inspired to keep trying new techniques. I try to log my favourite aspects of other peoples’ work, whilst trying to avoid too many clichés, and, somewhere along the line, my own style tends to be formed.
Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions Tony. If you would like to see more of Toby’s work you can visit Fotobes Flickr site , Fotobes personal blog and you can check even more of his work out at the Iyeda Cafe in Brighton.