Film Shooters Collective has sparked a photographic, collaborative friendship between two of our contributors, and in a couple of days' time they are embarking on what will hopefully be the first of many beautiful journeys! Here you can read about them in their own words, their hopes and intentions, and feast your eyes on the spectacular array of gear they will be hauling with them. Look for further updates in the weeks ahead!
Davide Maria Ferrari | Italy
My name is Davide Maria Ferrari. I was born in Italy and have spent a large part of my life travelling along Europe and South America, moving from country to country, switching jobs, leaving old friends and making new ones. Last year I decided to move back to Italy and to settle in a little rural town close to the Alps and Lake Maggiore, a place that suits my eternal need of peace and silence, far from what we used to call modern society.
Photography to me means responsibility, the ethical charge of making beautiful things in our lives: a way of liberating from time and space.
This trip is hopefully the first step of a longterm collaboration. Nils and I have never met in person before, but as soon as we started exchanging thoughts, we realised how strong was our common need to step out from the frenzy, to seek calm and peace, and to spend our days doing what we love: photography.
Actually the name of our project is “1nt0”, 1 and 0 represent the two of us: 10 in the binary system means two. The word “1nt0” (into) connects with our artistic path. It is not just about moving to a place and taking photos, it is about delving “1nt0” a new dimension, making ourselves part of places abandoned by the man and learning how human beings are miserable if compared to the magnificence of wild nature.
We will start on the last week of March, hiking for several days into the Val Grande, one of the largest wildernesses in Europe.
The organisation of this project started several months ago and we have been trying to plan out everything carefully. In terms of gear, we have decided that each of us should chose the medium that better suited our visual language.
I will use my 4x5 Gibellini folding camera and an old sx 70, both loaded with expired Polaroid Film: mainly polaroid chocolate, 669, type 59, 79, 55 and TimeZero. I love the effect of expired instant film. When I process the film and the chemicals get spread all over the positive, it is like I lose any control of what is happening and the solidity of the instant blends with the unpredictability of the long expired film I’m using.
Along with the cameras, I’ll take my trusty and sturdy Berlebach tripod, my Sekonic spot meter and the 405, 550 and 545 polaroid holders.
Weather could be very changing up there so that we will need to pack wisely to face rain, snow or whatever.!
Long life the 1nt0 crew!!
Nils Karlson | Germany
My name is Nils Karlson (Nils Olafsson on Facebook – I need to change that). I am 40 years old and live in a very densely populated area in the west of Germany. I started with photography with a DSLR in 2011, because I wanted some cute images of our cats and dogs, and moved to a medium format film camera in 2012, when I got interested in the landscape as a mere subject matter. From there, I evolved into the deeper meanings of the landscape and more abstract work. The idea of photography got serious in 2014, and I decided at least to try taking the path towards doing this full time.
Photography to me is the accumulation of factors which give me peace of mind and the sense of being in the now – I seek silence, simplicity, beauty... an overall easiness and lightheartedness which I hardly find in myself. In the end, the process itself might be more important to me than its result; being there, being fully aware of the now. Being alive and feeling alive.
After I had to abort my last photo trip to Britanny, in December 2014, the sense of adventure, getting out into the field again - exploring new territory in many ways, pushing comfort zones, creating something, pushing artistic boundaries, and working with some new gear - grew bigger and bigger, until I could not ignore it anymore. Around that time, Davide started some loose conversations online. We were in contact anyway, as we were swapping prints in 2014 after I saw one of his photos in the Film Shooters Collective, which knocked me off my feet! Back then Davide already invited me to come over, but financial and job issues did not allow me to do so, and I was just not ready for this. But a couple of weeks ago this changed, and since then we have been in contact, sharing plans, questions, and concepts. During the upcoming trip, I will get to know Davide better (and vice versa) and we will be working on a long term collaboration with substantial results.
This trip, which will hopefully be the first one of a series, is a lot about The Unknown. It is two humans who never met in person before, using quite unfamiliar equipment in an area both people have not wandered before. For me, it will also be the first time to photograph with another person, and even more exciting, one of my favourite photographers. Also, I have never hiked in the mountains before. During the days in the wilderness, it will be about gaining a feel for the area, a sense of its essence, and translating this into our personal visual language. We will dig es deep as we can into this as a team, helping each other out, and combining our strengths.
We are trying to keep the budget low by doing a lot of the work by ourselves, like developing and scanning, sharing gear and borrowing camping stuff from friends. Talking about gear: To keep weight and bulk manageable for traveling by plane and the hike itself, I decided to leave my usual kit - Mamiya RB67 with three lenses - at home (losing approx. 5000 grams), which also freed me of a heavy tripod (losing another 3000 grams). Instead, I decided to use my pinhole cameras: a ZeroImage 6x6, Natasha Series 6x6, and Ondu 6x12, as well as a tiny Olympus Trip 35 (a generous donation by FSC contributor Paul Sweeney). This will be my only camera having a lens, and only a few of the usual setting possibilities (fixed lens with zone metering, only two shutter speeds, automatic mode), which is quite the opposite to what I am used to. These four cameras and light meter still weigh less than the RB67 body – add a small and lightweight tripod (almost 1000 grams), and there you go, light and easy!
For film stock, I decided to use Fuji 400h for the Olympus, and Fuji Pro 400h and Portra 400 for the pinhole cameras. I have never used these films with the pinhole cameras before, so this is going to be exciting – also, I have not seen images from the Natasha 6x6 and the Ondu 6x12, so I have no idea how these render a scene, especially when it comes to fall-off.
So, Team 1nt0, let's go explore!