Analogue photography fanatic Calvin Ben has tried out a lot of film over the past years, so we asked him to test out the new LomoChrome Color ’92 ISO 400 35 mm film which he took out to the streets and beaches of Tenerife. He talked to us about the results and his hopes and dreams for the future of film photography.
Hi Calvin, welcome to our online magazine! Can you please introduce yourself to our readers?
Hey thanks for having me! My name is Calvin, I’m a film photographer, German by birth but born on Mallorca, and now living on the volcanic Island of Tenerife on the Canary Islands.
Tell us about your photographic background. What is your story? When did you start photographing?
I started shooting film on a trip to Northern Ireland in 2019 back when I was 15. A couple of months later my dad and I decided we should open an online store for film cameras and expired film. Ever since I’ve gotten to try out, test and repair a ton of old film cameras and this way, over time, I had the chance to become better and better by shooting all the time.
In an undeniable digital era you shoot mainly on film: why this choice?
As a kid my interests have always been the newest and best digital cameras. But I feel like I came to a point where looking at the newest gear becomes repetitive and overdone, so I started looking for something new and challenging. At this point I bought myself a second hand Olympus Trip 35 at a local market. Since then, I have stuck to film for the warm, grainy and vintage look of the images and also because of its unique feeling shooting with these old treasures.
Who or what inspires your work?
There hasn’t really been a specific photographer or person that has inspired my work. It has rather been capturing the atmosphere of the various locations and people I have met while traveling throughout Spain.
Can you tell us how you chose this location to test our new LomoChrome Color ’92 ISO 400 35 mm film?
I moved to the Island of Tenerife a couple of months ago and I am still exploring and finding new spots every day. I shot this film while scouting this magnificent island.
What features did you like most about the film?
The grain. I’m a huge fan of a grainy look and feel and, it being so notable in this film, makes me hugely drawn to shooting it again. Also the cold, blue-ish tones are unlike any other film on the market right now!
What do you think is the ideal condition for shooting this film?
I think that the film really shines on a sunny beach day and these circumstances result in a very cool retro charm.
What is your favorite photo from this series and why?
It would have to be either the one of the people enjoying a swim in front of the volcanic cliffs of Los Gigantes or the one with the group of ladies chatting while walking their dogs.
Which camera did you use?
My Canon F-1 alongside with the 50 mm, 28 mm and 70-210 mm lenses. I chose it for the variety of lenses I can use with it.
What do you think about the arrival of a new color negative film on the market?
I’m very excited that there are still film stocks being newly released and that there are still advances being made for the film community.
Is there one camera that you always carry with you?
After closing the camera store before moving to Tenerife I was fortunate enough to keep quite a variety of cameras for my personal collection. But on most days I try to bring something small and lightweight with me, like the Rollei 35 or an Olympus mju. I’m also a great fan of the Pentax Spotmatics because of their huge variety of m42 lenses you can mount on it.
Any upcoming projects you would like to share with our readers?
I moved to Tenerife a couple of months ago and would therefore love to discover all of the Canary Islands. But yet there are also still a ton of locations that are to be discovered here on Tenerife.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Hopefully continuing shooting film. I definitely hope that color film and c41 developing will stay as accessible as it is now. I’m also excited to see what else is still to come in the revival of film photography.