Last year we had the pleasure to get to know this photographer, who currently lives in Berlin. Back then the Holga used to be his favorite. But in November another beauty came into his analogue life — the Belair X 6-12 City Slicker. Learn more about Frank’s encounter with this lovely camera and take a look at his classy black and white shots. Some shots are going to be exhibited in our Lomography Gallery Store in Berlin in May.
NAME: Frank Machalowski
CITY/COUNTRY: Berlin, Germany
Hey Frank! We got to know you last year in our interview 5 questions on analogue photography. What happened since then? Are there any new projects?
Hello! I’m still photographing and I’m continuously working on some projects. I was also a finalist in a popular art competition in Venice this year. That was super exciting! Til mid-may you can see my series ‘Monster’ in Fenster61 at Torstraße in Berlin (http://www.fenster61.de/). A few weeks ago, I started a new project, though it’s too early to talk about it now. Just one thing: it’s very different to all my other projects.
How long have you been using the Belair City Slicker X 6-12? What do you like best about this camera?
I’ve been using the Belair since November 2012. To be honest I thought she’s pretty sexy and great, without knowing what functions this camera had — I just wanted to have her. I really like the handy light meter, so my pictures aren’t longer a result of mere coincidence, as the photos would be with the Diana for example (which has it’s own attraction). The possibility to shoot in 3 formats is a further reason to take it with me more often.
As we all can see, you really like the 6×12 format. What’s so special about it?
I’m familiar with the format due to my Holga WPC and I’ve always been fascinated by this panorama format. A cheap way to use a wide angle lens on a 6×12 format – I think that’s amazing!
Seems you also like black and white shots quite much. Is there a Belair film combination you prefer? What black and white film is your favorite?
Yes, I almost shoot exclusively with black-and-white films. As a matter of fact I can develop those on my own and by this I can influence the results. I don’t have a favorite combination, I like 400 ISO films quite much.
Where did you take these pictures shown along with your interview?
Berlin, Venice, Rügen, Bielefeld – nice combination, huh? :)
Is there a photo you like the most? Can you tell us the story behind it?
Photo 30 of my 6×12 shots. I started with my project “Wald//Stadt” (Forest//City) last year. I do doubles with forest and city subjects. Usually I do this series with my Holga or Adox-Gold in 6×6 format. This time I wanted to try this in 6×12 format. I think the results are quite interesting, though they could be better. Anyway I like this photo pretty much.
Whom would you like to shoot (dead or alive)?
Johnny Cash in the late 90ies.
How would you describe your photographic style? What subjects do you like? Do you prefer snapshots or planned photos?
Well, this depends. If I’m working on a project, I got images in my mind I want to realize as photos. Often I outline the setting when I’m right there at my photo location (without camera), looking for hotspots, I can later use photographically. While travelling or when I’m walking around Berlin, I often get carried away. If I like a place or situation I take a shot.
Some tips for using the Belair?
I’ve just been using the 58mm lens until now. I noticed the viewfinder and final image aren’t exactly the same. Before you hit the shutter, tilt the camera up, just a bit. This way the photo looks pretty much like expected.
In May the Lomography Gallery Store Berlin is going to exhibit your images. What can we expect?
You’ll be able to see a wild mix of plastic lens photos (Holga, Diana, Belair). Most of the images are going to be self-made prints I’ve made while travelling or in Berlin. Attractive things I think. I’m glad I’ve got the chance to do this and I want to say thank you for that.
Thanks for the interview Frank! We’re looking forward to your exhibition “Plastic international”!