Welcome to episode 12 of the Filter photography podcast!

First question for the photography podcast is from Neesh:

“Best advice for 35mm film?”

I don’t shoot film super often, but when I do I have a few different film stocks I like to use. For black and white I like Ilford XP2 because it’s processed using C41. That’s the most common film developing method so you’ll find more places offer it than E6.

E6 is used for positive film, like slide film. Most black and white film like Kodak Tri X, And Ilford Delta need to be processed by hand. That means it’s more expensive than C41 processing. Tri X and Ilford Delta are really nice films, but I find the Ilford XP2 is so similar in a lot of its characteristics, you should give it a try. If you love it, which I think you will, you’ll save yourself a boatload of cash.

All of the colour film I like to use is processed by E6. Which sucks because it’s far less common than C41 and a bit more expensive. I prefer E6, positive or slide films because they’re a bit more contrasty and the colours are more vibrant. You could always edit it after the scan to apply more contrast and saturation but I don’t think it has the same effect. After all, if you’re using film, you want the warmth that film brings, not an artificial edit.

I was a huge fan of Fuji Provia 400X when it was being made. One of the worst things Fuji has ever done was stopping making that film. Provia 400X wasn’t like a 400 ISO film, it was just as smooth as Provia 100F, which is ISO 100 obviously. If you’ve ever shot with Provia 100F you’ll know how silky smooth it is. There’s no visible grain at all.

400X had the same level of smoothness as 100F but was at an ISO of 400, meaning I could use it in almost any camera in more situations with a little less hassle. But since it’s no longer made, and Fuji still makes Provia 100F, I guess its still a good film. I’m probably just bitter!

If you want to get a lo-fi look, you can use something like Kodak Gold or whatever the cheapest film stock available is. There’s not much to that.

Other advice would be not to overthink it, and enjoy the slower process of taking photos and waiting for the film to be developed. Don’t worry if you missed a shot or anything like that, just enjoy the mystery.

I’d love to see some of your shots one day!

The second question is from Maddi:

“Do you take better photos when you’re sober or wasted?”

Interesting question, and I’ve done both and everything in between with mixed results. Listen to the podcast to hear a story about how I almost messed up an Amity Affliction shoot because of Violent Soho’s East Coast Crusher beer brewing day!

A user called A Marine Psycho asks me for the photography podcast:

“Not photography related, but how are you always keeping it real?”

That’s really kind of you to say! I don’t think I try to see things a certain way, but I try to remember that art is subjective.

There isn’t a right or a wrong way, and even though I feel everything I do is wrong, I try to think from an outsiders perspective. If I have that creative doubt, then other people surely do too.

If they don’t, then that’s great for them, but they’re probably not considering the struggles of anyone else because they wouldn’t understand the self doubt and the work that it creates.

When I first started with photography, no one helped me. People online judged my work even if I didn’t ask for feedback. I didn’t know any photographers so I had no one to ask.

I’m sure there were resources out there and given I’m totally self taught, there obviously is some good content around. But it was hard to find or hard to access. For whatever reason, I felt I was on my own with it.

I could use the time I spend doing this photography podcast or writing back to people on Instagram taking more photos, but I wouldn’t feel good. I wouldn’t feel like I was breaking a cycle if I didn’t make the time to help out others.

I still learn from others. Everyone does. So if I can pay it forward or backwards or whichever way I possibly can, then I want to do that.

But I think the key is that it’s ok to normalise the good and the bad that happens in life and more specifically, the industry. I always think about the people who give up on photography because of things that happen to them.

I could go through life not sharing the things that happen to me. But maybe if I always shared everything, as in the good or the bad in a fully honest way, then maybe just one photographer would know it is unfortunately normal to hit challenges in their journey.

And maybe that photographer would go on to be the next big thing in the industry. Or maybe they do photography for many years and allows it to be a creative outlet for them. I would hate to think I could have done more to share the good, the bad, and the ugly about life in photography. And I would hate to think I could have been more honest.

The reality is, good things happen to me and bad things happen to me. Like everyone. I think people who only share positive things on their stories and social media accounts cause a lot of damage to people’s self perspective. I refer to it as a highlight reel, and I think as long as we are being constructive with our challenges and setbacks, we can be far more helpful and a positive influence on our peers.

That was a hard one to answer so thanks for sending it in!

Filter photography podcast by Matt Walter

Final question for this episode is from Elle:

“What do you shoot with? Your photos are incredible.”

I appreciate the kind words, and I’ll tell you what I shoot with but the results are mostly in the editing. That’s where the individuality of photos really come through, I think. Before that, shooting the photo is like getting a clean canvas to work on and sketching the outline. Sure, you need reliable equipment but you can do a lot on some budget stuff too.

Anyway, here’s what I use:

  • Canon 5Dmkiii
  • Canon 24-70 2.8L IS II
  • Canon 70-200 2.8L IS II
  • Sigma 35mm 1.4 Art Series
  • Sigma 15mm fisheye
  • Canon MP-E 65mm
  • Canon 100mm 2.8 macro lens

I always bring a few other things with me in my bag, like a Canon 580EX speedlight and a twin light flash too for macro photography.

Macro photography tutorial

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