Shooting on film is a never-ending learning process for self-taught photographer Dee. Working with a tangible medium enables her to freely manipulate the photographs to suit the sentiments she wants to convey, during a shoot or afterwards in a darkroom. In this interview, our community newcomer from Scotland opens up about her inspirations and what it means to be film photographer in this digital age.
Location: Manchester, United Kingdom
Please tell us something about yourself and what you do.
I’m Dee, more commonly known under my artist name elegia. I’m a full-time photographer from Scotland, currently residing in Manchester, England. I use mixed media and film.
How did you find the community and who or what convinced you to join?
I was aware of the community for a few years but I don’t know why I didn’t join before. I thought it would be fun to see more work from fellow film photographers and sharing some of my own by joining this site.
Which among the 10 Golden Rules of Lomography applies in your everyday life?
Rule # 10—Don’t worry about any rules—is certainly my motto when it comes to photography. I’m self-taught and my learning process has always been just to try something out. I don’t think people should get too bogged down by worrying about things going wrong or beating themselves up about it when they do. Have fun and don’t be scared to give new things a try. Learning is the most exciting thing about photography for me.
In this digital age, why still film?
I use film because I enjoy the hands-on element of it. I tried shooting with digital when I was starting. As much as I love what other people do with digital but for me it just doesn’t feel the same when I use it. I love tangible imagery. I love creating effects with film before I shoot with it and in the darkroom afterwards. For me, it’s simply the medium that I feel helps me say what I want to say in my images.
Your favorite analogue camera of the moment? Why?
I go through phases with cameras so my favorites change quite often. I also select a camera depending on what conditions I’m going to be shooting in. Currently I have been shooting a lot with my Olympus Mju II at night. I like it because it’s compact and can be used in all weathers. It even survived a fall in a pond one evening. Most of my works are self-portraits, so sometimes being able to just pop a small camera in my pocket makes going out in the early hours of the morning a lot easier. It has a fantastic lens and it allows me to get creative and really use it to its fullest capacity.
What is the Lomography camera that you want to have someday?
I’ve owned most of the Lomography cameras but I guess I’d love to get my hands on a Zenit MF-1 or a Lubitel. I’m not really gear-oriented to be honest. You can get whatever you want out of any tool that you use. It’s down to you to be creative.
Any song or movie you live by?
I am a huge film buff, most of my inspirations come from cinema, so it would be very difficult for me to choose only one. Music is also a massive creative pool of inspiration. My artist name was actually derived from a New Order song.
Any Lomography community member you look up to? If so, why him or her?
I’ve followed Devin’s (@blaskovichs) work for quite a while as we’re fellow Polaroid photographers. I like that he uses various films like I do and that he’s creating work in a very different environment to the one that I’m in. It’s great to see someone else’s perspective and vision. I find that very inspiring.
What are you looking forward to in our Community?
There’s always been a fantastic sense of community and support from other film photographers so I’m looking forward to more of that.
Thank you @elegia for sharing your thoughts with us. Welcome to the community and we’re all looking forward to seeing more of your future work!