UK based blogger, photographer, camera reviewer and all round film enthusiast Hamish Gill is now one of our TEN AND ONE AWARD judges. We talked to him about his obsession for compact film cameras and what inspires him to shoot with film.
Hello! Welcome to the Lomography Magazine. Please introduce yourself to our readers.
My name is Hamish Gill, I run a creative agency (F8 Creates) within which I work as a part time professional photographer. I am also a hobbyist with an obsession for cameras. Additionally to the day job I’m working on opening a creative/tech co-working space in my home town of Worcester (The Kiln). I also run a predominately film photography based website and blog by the name of 35mmc
How did your interest with photography start?
I was 9 and my grandmother bought me a Nikon RF10 point & shoot camera. I took to it with some enthusiasm, though mostly only used it on holidays and family outings. Spurred on by positive comments by a teacher at school my interest built throughout my teens. I then got a job in a camera shop in my early 20s where my technical knowledge about cameras and photography quickly grew through chatting to customers, collecting cameras and starting down a path of writing about my experiences. I left that job around a decade ago to set up as a professional wedding and commercial photographer and eventually teamed up with a local graphic designer and a website designer to start my creative agency. In 2013 I started my blog 35mmc - since then my interest (obsession) has continued to grow, somewhat exponentially.
How would you define photography? What makes it worth pursuing?
For me the most logical way to define photography is by what it technically is, capturing light onto a photosensitive surface. This thin definition of what sometimes feels like an almost infinitely broad pastime is to me what makes it so worth pursuing. For more than 100 years photography has been something available to even those with minimal knowledge of the subject. These days, a complete novice can open an app on a mobile phone and - perhaps through luck - have the chance of taking a stunning photo. Yet despite this, mastery of photography is something very few achieve, even with a lifetime of practice. I don’t think there’s a single other art form that offers a combination of ease of access and near infinite possibility.
What inspires you?
Quite simply, how much I enjoy it. There’s always something about photography I can occupy my mind with. I enjoy flicking through Instagram, Flickr, the odd book here are there looking at photography. I enjoy learning about it; discovering a new skill, or forcing my sometimes stupid feeling brain to try and understand a new area of previously uncharted knowledge. I enjoy writing about it - mostly because that helps my brain process and learn the latest thing I’m trying to get my head around. I enjoy playing with cameras; trying to figure out how to get the best out of them, and thinking about how and why the designer chose to add, or indeed exclude a feature or function. Ultimately though, I enjoy chasing those moments when you just know you got the shot - that feeling when you’re out with the camera and you press the shutter button at the exact moment that it feels like all of the pieces of the puzzle came together at the right time. Those moments are what make it all worthwhile.
What makes a good photograph?
One that’s taken. Every photo a photographer takes has the potential to mean something to someone, even if that someone is the person that took it. Even a photo that a photographer doesn’t like is an opportunity for the photographer to learn something. That being said, far too much emphasis is put on narrative, composition, technical skill etc, etc. To my mind, it doesn’t matter the reason, a photo just needs a single person to appreciate it for it to be good. Simple as that.
Any advice that you’d like to give aspiring photographers?
Carry your camera everywhere all the time. Get into the habit of looking for photos everywhere you are... and take more of them!