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DrewEnglish_Portrait_013

All images by Drew English. Used with permission.

I’m not afraid of people. I’m not afraid of talking to total strangers. But for years I have had an aversion to approaching people on the street and getting them to participate in my creative process point blank. Living in New York City, you’re consistently surrounded by seemingly unlimited human diversity, which I find very artistically inspiring. My eye is often drawn to an interesting face, look or style and my knee-jerk reaction is a desire to capture their portrait. Unfortunately, my nerves always held me back and I have missed out on countless opportunities.

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julius motal the phoblographer darkroom photo essay-15

If you ask most photographers in Istanbul about where you can find a good darkroom, they’ll tell you to talk to Taylan Bağcı. He’s got a darkroom on the second floor of a nondescript building on a side street in the Tophane (Tohp-ha-neh) neighborhood. It takes a bit of navigational know-how and perhaps a Turkish friend or two to help you find it, but once you do, you’ll find yourself in a space dedicated to film photography.

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Voigtlander 17.5mm f0.95 shot wide open. You're not going to get bokeh like this with the Olympus offering.

Medium Format SLR cameras aren’t incredibly expensive compared to their digital descendants, but some of them can be quite pricey if you’re looking for the very best. Indeed, there are some cameras that when mentioned will make a photographer’s jaw drop. Medium format can give a photographer better image quality than 35mm and 35mm digital while also providing them with a fairly portable camera to do their professional work. But amongst those cameras, four stand out as some of our favorites.

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03 - Wet plate photography class

All images by Jack Baldwin. Used with permission

Jack Baldwin is a journalist by day, and uses digital cameras for his work. But he began his journey into film photography when he moved from Australia to California and purchased a medium format film camera. When he moved back to Australia, he started his journalism career, which was about getting the shot and filing as soon as possible. But with film, Jack found something more.

“I shoot film because it’s the antithesis of that. I can take my time, I don’t have to stress, it doesn’t have to be something that sits nicely next to a headline.” states Jack. “It’s just the photo I want to take.”

It eventually turned into him going to workshops and experimenting with many, many more formats. Jack tells us that it makes you think that much more about composition and framing.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer LCDVF Fader ND Mamiya (8 of 11)

There is almost nothing better than having the benefit of a small rangefinder camera body and the large negative area of medium format film. While this isn’t available yet in a digital edition, lots of photographers want it. But those who want this also know how incredibly good lots of the medium format film rangefinder cameras are.

Indeed, most folks talk about the SLR cameras because they’re cheap; but there are lots and lots of film rangefinders that would possibly make you put down your digital camera and keep it in a box somewhere to gather dust once you see the incredible quality that these cameras are capable of.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer LCDVF Fader ND Mamiya (7 of 11)

With our focus being heavily on analog this month, we thought that we’d round up a collection of stories in order to educate those looking ot know more about the format and for those that are already smitten with it. 35mm, medium format, large format, pinhole, instant film: it’s all covered here. But beyond this, we’ve also got a couple of fun projects and inspiration for the photographer looking to simply try something new.

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