German photographer Emily Gildenberg loves to marry various techniques into her analogue routine, with light being her most playful variable. She’d use all sorts of light sources to create techno fantasy-like compositions, and at times superimpose these compositions with each other. Whether in splashes of color or in monochrome, her multiple-exposures often reverberate the subject, creating visual echoes. Get to know the photographer with our exclusive interview!
Hi Emily! How are things with you as a photographer?
I have to admit that due to coronavirus and my job I have been taking fewer photos lately. It’s a roller coaster ride of emotions, but I have recovered and try my best. Things getting better.
How did you get into film photography? Do you remember the very first time you encountered a film camera?
I've been taking digital photos for years. When Corona started last year, I dealt with photography a lot more and was inspired by friends to try analogue photography and was not disappointed, on the contrary, it was the best that could have happened to me, because of the way I take photos has changed significantly.
The first time that I came into contact with analogue photography, in general, was actually several years ago. I often bought a disposable camera for vacations and parties and always had the pictures developed afterward to capture memories. I bought an analogue camera on eBay - it was such a great feeling - and when I held it in my hand for the first time, I couldn't put it down either.
Your work plays a lot with color and multiple exposure techniques, making them very ambient - can you tell us more about your aesthetic?
In general, I can say that I have not yet developed my own photographic style, if you look at my feed, you quickly notice that I am in the phase in which I just try everything: night photography, led lamps, photos with the beamer and just tried different films. What stands out the most are my double exposures and the different colors in my pictures as you mentioned earlier. And this is exactly my favorite way of taking photos right now because the colors that I create with an LED lamp can significantly change the mood of the picture. The color red, for example, has something dangerous, passionate, and exciting about it, we perceive such a color as 'warm' - the color blue has a very calming and harmonious effect, but unlike red, it can also appear very cold and sad.
Colors are such an important factor in the interplay with image design. Right now my heart beats faster for double exposure because this is where I get the most creative thoughts and in the end, I think the result is fascinating. It's a completely different way of taking photos for me because it encourages me to think differently and not create the conventional images that you see everywhere else. I'm still very far from the beginning, but it is the beginning of something beautiful.
May you briefly describe to us your photographic workflow?
If there is a shooting and I haven't known the person before, I try to establish a certain connection with the person beforehand, for example with good conversations.
Music is also an important factor because it can somehow ease the tension. I always have certain ideas in mind about what the shooting should look like, but I don’t get stuck on it, it is important to me that you just have fun and see what you can do.
When it comes to photographing myself, it is often the case that at that moment I feel very good and just want to try new things. Often the result is not what I had in my mind, but sometimes other beautiful compositions are created that I hadn't even thought of, which I can take up again at the next shooting.
We love the colors in your photos! When would you usually opt for black and white film over color?
Thanks! I would use black and white films if I want to create a special mood, especially for portrait shots. Switching to black and white can also be worthwhile if you want to do creative exercises, as you can concentrate more on the composition of the image using your colors.
May you give us some of your tips on multiple exposures and using color films?
Basically, there are two pictures that you put on top of each other. However, you should not forget that white or light areas in the first image allow less image information on the second picture. The situation is different with the dark areas in the image because wherever you have dark areas in the first picture, the image information from the second one comes through.
My tip for color films is simple: just try them out and also special films like the one from LomoChrome Purple 100-400, Kono! Original Candy Iso 200 etc .. and just play with the exposure time, the aperture, and iso.
Where do you get your creative inspiration from?
There are many profiles on social media that inspire me incredibly, but I get much more inspiration from everyday life.
It often happens unexpectedly when I walk around and suddenly discover something.
Lastly, what is next for Emily Gildenberg?
There is nothing specific in the future, I am working on new projects and I hope that there will be many, many more. It will be also a surprise to me, but good things are coming. :)
For more of Emily’s works, visit her Instagram.