FilmNeverDie Shooters - An interview with Sasha Pazeski

September 19, 2015

So, where do you come from & what do you do for a living?

I live in Adelaide and work for SA Water's maintenance contractor. I'd love to be a full-time photographer but Adelaide's quite a saturated market. Plus I'm a crappy salesman :P

How old are you?

I'm 43.

How did you become inspired to shoot on film?

A friend of mine gave me a Canon FTb QL about 20 years ago as I'd expressed an interest in photography. I shot for about a year before I realised the lens was stuffed (stuck open at f/1.8). I considered buying a new SLR but spent my money on guitars and amps instead. I joined a band with dreams of becoming a rock star. We had some moderate local success (including gracing a stage at the 2001 Big Day Out in Adelaide and medium rotation of one of our songs on Triple J), but I moved to Melbourne after my partner got an agent there. The rest of the band also moved to other states and overseas and we called it a day in 2003.

Six months after moving, my partner and I found ourselves back in Adelaide expecting our first child. Whilst in Melbourne I noodled around with a crappy Sony digital p&s camera we had and rediscovered my love of photography. It neatly filled the creative void I had when I stopped playing music. The eventual birth of our son prompted me to buy my first DSLR, especially after getting inspired by photographers on Flickr.

I still had my old Canon FTb, though, and liked the look of film prints more than what I was getting with my digital kit. No matter what I did in Photoshop, I couldn't accurately replicate the 'feel' of a photo shot on film. Further Flickr exploration of film photographers inspired me to shoot more film. And now, 10 years after buying my first DSLR, I pretty much only shoot with film (except for weddings and music festivals).Even everyday family stuff is shot purely on film.

Everything about it is so much more fulfilling than shooting digital: the smell of a fresh roll of film just popped out of its cannister, the beautiful engineering of old film cameras, the sound of shutter curtains, the feel of winding on to the next shot, the excitement of seeing your negatives a day or two after you've shot and realising you've nailed (or totally screwed up) the exposures without reviewing every shot on a small screen on the back of your camera.

The abundance of once pro-level cameras at prices cheaper than a mediocre digital p&s, and, most importantly, it's forced me to become a better photographer by slowing me down and making me think about what I'm shooting. Because it costs me up to $2 every time I click that shutter.

What format do you shoot? 35mm, Polaroid, 8 x 10 etc

Mainly 35mm, but I also shoot some 120 every now and then in one of my TLRs or Mamiya 645, the occasional Polaroid when I have a pack, as well as just beginning to delve into 4x5.

Why do you like this format?

I like 35mm because it's relatively cheap, accessible, and my Pakon scanner just eats it up. I get a lab to process and scan all my medium format stuff but it's expensive, despite preferring the results over 35mm. So laziness and thriftiness ensures 90% of what I shoot is 35mm.

Where do you see the future of analogue photography?

It's always disheartening when you see the big two film companies discontinue film stocks - especially ones I love - so the pessimist in me sees an eventual end to film photography in its current state. The film production business definitely isn't as viable as it was before the advent of digital cameras, and in this age of profit before people, I honestly can't see film ever reclaiming its glory days. Having said that, I definitely see a future full of niche markets catering to those of us still yearning to keep film alive (small back yard operators such as the Wright brothers with Cinestill, and the guys behind New55, for example). And there seems to be an increasing number of us photographers opting for film over digital. Which gives me a glimmer of hope.

Where can we find out more about your work?

My website's probably your best bet (www.sashapazeski.com (http://www.sashapazeski.com/)), but I'm also on Flickr (www.flickr.com/photos/owmyhands),and have a very sweary, opinionated, completely unrelated blog that I haven't updated in ages (http://stig-martyr.blogspot.com.au (http://stig-martyr.blogspot.com.au/)).




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