(analogue) Photographer of the Month (Feb '22) - Ashley Brown
How did you get into photography?
I enjoy a wide range of creative practices including design, painting and textiles but photography really hits that ‘instant’ creative fulfilment within me. I plucked up the courage and purchased a Nikon FG20 in a second hand store after being curious to try film photography for a few years. Naturally I had no idea what I was doing and didn’t expose the first 3 rolls. I find photography can sometimes be spontaneous, down to earth or practical. Being able to use the medium of film photography to its strengths motivates me, and embracing failure when it happens pushes me to explore more with photography.
You like to use alternative processors, what attracts you to these?
Weird, wacky and experimental is what really motivates me and inspires me. Thinking in new ways or perspectives. I thrive when trying something I've never done before, learning something new, or really disliking something but then seeing some beauty in it after time has passed. It's all just a bit of fun!
Your instagram has a lot of motion images, how were these shot?
Why shoot a camera with one lens when you can have 8! Naturally, videography is also something that I love to experiment with. It's also real fun to have a series of images that can result in a number of ways to showcase or display them. Those were shot with the Reto 3D and the Lomography Oktomat.
And the double exposure images, what’s up with those?
Creative and strange double exposures were initially what made me want to try film photography. I feel like the options are endless with multiple exposures. Creating surreal or eerie landscapes or playing with expectations are what I find the most joy in creating with them.
Given all of this experimentation, are you ever in the position where you’d really like to recreate an effect/technique and not be able to? Or are you happy with it existing in one space?
I’ve definitely not been able to recreate something cool I've done in the past, but I keep trying. Happy accidents are just the best, I do chase to recreate the 'successful’ results, but with film it’s all a bit hit or miss. Even if they’re expensive failures, I try not to be too hard on myself if it doesn’t work, hey, at least I tried!
Given your love of experimentation, do you shoot much digital? It kinda goes without saying that photoshop would give you endless possibilities for experimenting.
Occasionally I’ll shoot digital - mainly for documentation or event photography. I definitely find that film photography is a lot more creative for me, being able to shoot with intention and being more present when I’m composing the shot. But yes, playing in Photoshop is really fun to create other desired results - but I do usually execute everything in-camera.
Quick fire ten questions
35mm or 120? 35mm
Colour or B&W? Colour
Zoom Lenses or Fixed? Fixed
Portrait or Landscape (Orientation)? Portrait
Flash or Natural Light? Natural
SLR (or TLR) or Rangefinder or Point and Shoot? SLR
Must be razor sharp or more about the aesthetic? Aesthetic always
Favourite Camera? My plastic Split-Cam
Favourite Photographer? Cindy Sherman @cindysherman
- Favourite Photo Book? Wellington by Madeleine Ostoja @madeleineostoja