Gabe Scalise: Everyday Adventures in Analog Film Photography

All images by Gabe Scalise. Used with permission.

Photographer Gabe Scalise hails from Seattle, Washington, and has a particular affinity for analog film photography. He attributes this to growing up in New England and an uncle posthumously leaving a 35mm Pentax SLR camera along with a handful of lenses. “From there I began to experiment with polaroid and medium format film formats and always found the most inspiration in exploring natural and wild places, traveling internationally, and in meeting and interacting with diverse people along the way,” Gabe tells the Phoblographer in an email. “These travels and experiences, along with my love for cinema, have driven my work to what it is today wherein I seek to reflect on quiet moments of understanding, wonder, awe, and magic in our wild and diverse world.” Like most other film photographers, Gabe expresses that his love of analog photography is tied to his love of people.

Gabe also tries to educate folks about the world through his photography. “What has drawn me to this subject matter is ultimately my love for people and desire to create positive change in the world by creating some sort of understanding across cultures,” says Gabe. “The way I feel I can do this most effectively is by speaking towards the truths that we all as humans can relate to, feelings of wonder, awe, and understand.” Indeed, Gabe photographs his friendly interactions with the folks he meets and comes across in addition to showing off many scenes and people that most Americans haven’t seen.

To do this type of work, Gabe goes fairly minimal despite owning three cameras. He uses a Canon AE-1, Yashica T3 and a Mamiya 6. All sound familiar to you? The use of smaller cameras means that he has a lower profile and that the cameras are most likely not as intimidating as a big bulky SLR. The Yashica T3 is a legendary point and shoot, as is the Canon AE-1 and the Mamiya 6 is one of the best rangefinders ever made. But due to their smaller format factor, Gabe can shoot a photo carefully and then get back to life without needing to chimp the camera.

According to Gabe:

“People would perhaps find inspiration in my work as a means to get out and see the world. As a reason to hop that next sleeper train or to board that next airplane. Through my own photographic exploration, I have learned that it is not about checking items off a bucket list or accomplishing fixed goals while traveling. Rather, it is about the journey itself and if you can actively seek to find happiness and meaning in the commonality and goodness in every individual and place along the road, then ultimately the destination will fade and a never ending road of self-discovery and wonder will reveal itself.”

Gabe’s use of film traces its roots to the classics like Emmanuel Lubezki, Terrence Malick, Sebastiao Salgado, Reza Deghati, Stanley Kubrick, and Steve McCurry.

You can see more of Gabe’s work at his website and his Flickr.