One look at Patrick Clelland's work and you'd know that he's an old soul. He takes these contemporary scenes and transforms them into snippets of years gone by — it's like peering through a telescope that shows you memories lit by soft neon lights. Nostalgia, beauty, memory, and identity all wrapped into one. Read on to find out what makes him tick and see the images he's come up with in his journey of discovery.
Hi, Patrick! Welcome to the Magazine. Please introduce yourself to our readers.
My name is Patrick Clelland and I’m a film photographer from Sydney, Australia.
How long have you been taking photographs?
On and off for about five years. Then seriously for the last three years.
What do you like most about it?
The freedom you have with a camera. The endless possibilities for photos. The way [that] taking a photo places a frame onto a scene and this reduction can dramatically change the meaning of what you’re looking at. When you get deeper into it, photography starts to change how you view everything.
Why do you still shoot with film?
All my favorite movies and photos were made with film. While it’s obviously not the most convenient way to work, film just has that special quality that has always fascinated me. There are lots of film types available, and new ones are still coming out, all with different aesthetics. Having a limited number of shots per roll seems restrictive but you adjust to it by putting much more time and care into each frame, which leads to a pretty different outcome.
Why do you create images?
There are beautiful and interesting things to see every day. If just seeing them was enough then maybe we wouldn’t have invented cameras. To me, it just seems like a waste, not to document these things, so I do. But aside from that, I get a lot of inspiration from cinema and other photographers, and I just need to be out with a camera, walking around. It gets addictive — but in a good way.
Some of your photos feel nostalgic. It's probably the settings or the colors. Was this a style you were going for?
Yes, I’m a vintage enthusiast and I’m just into anything that looks or feels old. Cars, music, buildings, movies, all of it. So this is what I usually end up photographing. But I’m also pretty fussy with particular colors and textures, and when it looks right I have to shoot it.
We also get this cinematic connection in your shots, especially the ones taken during nighttime. What inspires you to hit the shutter?
I look for color and lighting, a sense of time and place, and a human element. But just these things alone won’t make a picture because there’s always some level of luck involved that you just can’t plan for.
For you, what's the greatest thing about being able to create images that you can share with others?
A good photo is often found in a peculiar place and time, and it really needs somebody to be looking for it. So I hope I can show people something they haven’t seen before.
Where did your handle 'dayzed and confuzed' come from?
It mostly comes from the Richard Linklater movie, which is one of my favorites. But it also describes a feeling you get when something mysterious or bizarre grabs your attention. This is what keeps me interested in photography, and for me, it’s a journey of discovery.
If given a chance to collaborate with any artist or photographer, living or not, who would it be and why?
I really admire the film work of Christopher Doyle and Robby Müller. Maybe collaborate is not the right word — just to see them at work would be inspiring enough.
How would you describe the state of the film photography industry/community now?
To me, it all seems to be trending upwards. More and more people are getting interested in film. The online film community keeps expanding. My local film lab keeps getting busier. Demand for second-hand film cameras is higher and prices are increasing. Companies like Kodak are bringing back discontinued film stocks. Who knows where everything will be in five or ten years, but it’s definitely an interesting time for film.
If you could have just one camera and film to shoot with for the rest of your life, what would it be?
That’s a tough one. But I would have to say an Olympus OM-2N with Kodak Gold 200.
Any upcoming projects you'd like to share?
I’m starting to pull together a photo book about Sydney. Though it still needs a lot of work. The photos here are a sample from the series.
Lastly, what would you say to all the people who follow your work?
Thanks for all your support and kind words!
We would like to express our gratitude to Patrick for letting us feature his beautiful images on the Magazine. If you're interested in his work, you may head over to his website and follow him on Instagram for more.