Rikard Landberg: Falling in Love With Kodak Tri-X

All images by Rikard Landberg. Used with permission.

Photographer Rikard Landberg has been featured on the Phoblographer before for the humor he finds in street photography. He applied to be featured in our upcoming analog zine and we felt his work to be good enough to feature here on the website. So here’s his story.

My name is Rikard Landberg and I am 31 years old from Sweden. I have been shooting film Leica Ms for a while now. I shoot with a Leica M5 and a Elmarit 28 f/2.8 v.3. It is my all time favorite Leica M. I have owned the Leica M2, M4p, M6, CL and the digital M-E, but no one beats the M5. I use Tri-x 400.

I know that a lot of people search for the perfect picture or want to be a world famous photographer. Me, I just like taking pictures, it is that simple. My creative vision is therefore to shoot as much as I can and try not to take the same picture twice. Try to capture something interesting.

I will be honest. I shoot film because it feels cooler, at least that is how it started. In the beginning it was so frustrating to only have manual controls without the ability to see the pictures in the camera. I missed the P-mode, AV-mode and so on. But the more I trusted my camera and my eyes the better my pictures became. What first made me frustrated now became a release. Suddenly it was all about taking pictures, not my skills in photoshop.

Why did you get into photography?

I have always been taking pictures, mostly while traveling with my family. Later in life I studied to be a documentary filmmaker and I fell in love with the storytelling. But one thing I didn’t like was all the hours editing my movies. I started to take documentary stills instead. And that evolved in to my current street/travel photography style.

What photographers are your biggest influences?

Junku Nishimura, Matt Black and Matt Stuart.

Why is photography and shooting so important to you?

The answer is short but simple, it takes me places and motivates me to get out.

Do you feel that you’re more of a creator or a documenter? Why?

I am more of a documenter. mainly because I never ask anyone to pose for my pictures. I have been shooting weddings, bands and some commercial work but I never ask my subjects to pose.

What’s typically going through your mind when you create images? Tell us about your processes both mentally and mechanically?

I have a busy mind that I need to escape from once in a while. I try not to think that much, instead I just enjoy being out and shoot. I think that I’m looking for different things to shoot depending on my mood. I read the light every time it changes so that my camera is always ready.

Want to walk us through your processing techniques?

My processing is simple. I use Tmax developer and Kodak fixer. I then scan my negatives with a Plustek 8100.

What makes you want to shoot film over digital at any given time?

Because it makes me look cool, haha! No, I’m not sure. When I take my Leica I feel calmer and more at peace. I can’t focus at the pictures I have already taken, because I don’t know what I got. Shooting film allows me [to] think about the next picture, digital makes me think about the picture I just shot.