[Interview-Tuesday] Neal Thorley

On the day that one of the well known digital photographers of the world, Chase Jarvis, started an Open discussion we are releasing another interview. If you want to join in on the interview fun, just shoot us an e-mail at info@talesonfilm.com.

Today we are talking to Neal Thorley

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Can you introduce yourself in a few words?

Hi, My name is Neal. I’ve been making photo’s from the age of 12 when my late father gave me a Nikkormat EL. I still have that camera and it works great today. I’m passionate about my art and not only shoot, but home develop b&w, C41 and print in the darkroom too.

Why do you like shooting film?

Shooting film is so much more “alive” than shooting digital. It’s not so cold and static. The feel of film, the smell of the fixer, the ambiance of the darkroom safelight, the whole textile process fuels my passion for film photography!

Do you have a favorite camera and/or film?

I am a hoarder and collector of traditional photography equipment, I have too much stuff to list, however that being said, I use it all as much as possible and i’ve always had a soft spot for twin lens reflex cameras. My Rolleiflex is always close to hand, the zeiss lenses are just superb and with such history behind it, whats not to love. (photo of my rolleiflex)

As for film I mainly shoot modern traditional-grained emulsions such as Ilford HP5+, but have been known to shoot cheaper films such as Shanghai and Lucky from time to time. The speed and tonality of HP5 is wonderful and it’s certainly a go-to film for me. As for colour, you can’t beat the punchy palette of Fuji Velvia when it comes to slide film, Kodak Ektar for punchy colour negative and Kodak Portra for shots people.

What is your best analog photo till now and a little explanation about it?

Spiral Down

While not my most “interesting” as rated by flickr this photograph is one of my recent favourites. It was shot in a large inner city carpark, the mood was right, the light was perfect. I had to hang out over a ledge with my rolleiflex at arms length to get the shot, by the time I had finished framing the shot I was sweating but I knew that I had it. It has been a difficult negative to print from but is one of my favourites.

What’s your vision on the future of film photography?

Not so sure about the future of “consumer” film photography, but as far as i’m concerned film photography is going to be around for a long time, Kodak have released new emulsions, fuji continue to produce excellent films, Ilford are making film and paper, a host of companies produce chemicals. Film photography is as alive as ever. Whats digital? digital is dead!

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