BeAnalogic.com promotes and spreads the idea of analog photography, that is why we want to learn more about our users! “Outside Fridge” is a section of our website, where we interview our users. Why “Outside Fridge”? Often, analog photographers save their films in the fridge, to maintain the quality of celluloid. Once put, you can “relax and chat” with us. Today we interview Miguel Mercado.
Sebastiano: Who is _Project35?
Miguel: Hello, My name is Esteban Mercado. Im originally from Puerto Rico, currently residing in San Diego Ca.
Sebastiano: When did your passion for photography?
Miguel: I’ve always been an admirer of the craft itself but it wasn’t until I recently, I decided to pursue it myself. Its been 6 months since I purchased my first camera, a Minolta SRT202 and have been evolving ever since.
Sebastiano: Do you remember when you took your first film roll pack?
Miguel: I do, as I still shoot the same film. It was a roll of Ilford HP5 I shot on my Minolta SRT202 here in La Jolla, CA. I’ve continued to try different types of film but, along with Kodak’s EASTMAN 5222, Ilford remains my go to.
Sebastiano: What do you like about film photography or photography in general?
Miguel: About film photography; it slows everything around me. I shoot manual, and I do so as a personal choice. It adds to what I love about film photography. Everything has to be “perfect”, and to have complete control of the procedure, from the moment you identify what will be your subject, to knowing your equipment to such level that you become one with it, knowing the appropriate aperture, to the shutter speed to obtain the result you already know will be the outcome…It simply doesn’t get any better. There is no instant gratification, which in turn allows you to immerse yourself in the “now”, rather than to look down at your LCD screen.
Sebastiano: What kind of photography usually you shot and what kind of film cameras did you use?
Miguel: I suppose street photography would be my kind of photography as thats what and where I shoot. In my opinion the streets are THE embodiment of the metaphor that life is. You got the good, the bad and the ugly and frankly, nothing will hit harder than life itself; the streets follow the same ruling. Though it can be harsh at times, it can also convey love, passion and joy. I strive to reflect that on my work. As for my gear, while I’ve shot both SLR’s and rangefinders over the course of the last 6 months, my preferred rig is a Voigtlander Bessa R3M, a rangefinder, paired with a Carl Zeiss Planar 2/50 T ZM. The 1:1 viewfinder of the R3M lets me shoot with both eyes open, which is an experience on its own, allowing me to capture a moment as I see it. By the time I release the shutter, the composition and the shot itself were already thought out.
Sebastiano: What are the characteristics that distinguish you as a photographer?
Miguel: This is by far the toughest question. Something I will say is that I refuse to edit my photos. In any possible way. Film is a thing of beauty. I refuse to tamper with it.
Sebastiano: I see on Instagram that you shoot street photography. Can you talk about your works?
Miguel: I’ve adopted the concept of street photography because there is nothing else like it. As life itself, the streets “just happen”. Nothing is premeditated. It’s raw, unexpected. The amount of emotions. What I love about shooting on the streets is the lessons that come with every shot.
Sebastiano: Who are the photographers that influenced your work?
Miguel: There are a number of photographers who’s work have inspired me. From the classics like Cartier-Bresson to the unorthodox like Bruce Gilden but if you know who John Free is, then you understand my approach.
Sebastiano: What is the future of film photography?
Miguel: While I wished I had the answer to this, it is hard to predict what is to come. What I can attest to is that film is not dead. Communities are getting bigger and stronger. The passion for analog photography is at an all time high. People like JCH bringing new film into the market, Casual Photophile spreading wealths of knowledge when it comes to anything film, local (here in San Diego, CA) groups like Beers and Cameras are testaments that people everywhere are coming together to keep this art going!. ( I am not endorsed with either but credit where credit is due. People are putting in the time and effort and it should definitely be recognized.)
Sebastiano: Your plans for future?
Miguel: There are plans in motion for a few projects (strangely enough) coming mid 2018. Personal website to a booklet and who knows, if everything goes well maybe even showcase some of my work. But for now, to continue improving my skills and continue to enjoy this amazing lifestyle.
If you want to know more about Miguel Mercado:
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