Filmneverdie Shooters - An interview with Brett Sheehan

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

I come from Mittagong, NSW, which is about 90 minutes south of Sydney if traffic is good. I don't do much. I've got a lot of problems (I have Aspergers), which I am trying to deal with.

How young are you? even if you are old in age we believe you are young in heart, because you still want to shoot film :D

I am 29. Turn 30 in October.

How did you become inspired to shoot on film?

I have always shot on film. I first got into photography in high school, & we worked in the dark room. I do have a digital camera, but I don't particularly enjoy it much. I'll use it when necessary, but for various reasons, I prefer film. One of my inspirations why I still shoot film is I am a big film buff (cinema), & my favourite directors either only had film to use, or still championed film when digital started getting out. They created some real powerful images in their work on celluloid.

What format do you shoot?

35mm, but I would be interested in shooting in other formats at some point, but I've just not gotten around to it.

Why do you like this format?

For a few reasons. I love how different films get different looks. I find it fascinating how the shutter opens, the light enters the camera & creates a photograph on a strip of celluloid. The fact its physical media excites me. I love the texture & look of film grain. I like how you have to carefully plan your shots, & not seeing them straight away I find exciting. I feel like if I try something experimental, having to get the roll developed makes me excited & like I've achieved something if I am pleased with the results.

I like experimenting with multiple exposures, & honestly, they are much easier on film & look better. On my Nikon F4 (or Nikon F65, which was my old camera, but still use occasionally), I can just set the multiple exposure function on & take as many as I want. On my digital (Nikon D7000), I can only do three at a time, & there is a thirty second time limit to take the shot before the camera cancels the mode.

There is the image overlay function, but it only works on RAW files, which takes up a lot of space, & the camera is slow to load, particularly if I have a lot of RAW files. And I can only create one multiple exposure at a time.

I know there are digital cameras that can take more shots in a multiple exposure, but it is pointless to buy a new camera just for a feature that looks better on film. Also, apart from the digital not looking as good & a bit more of a hassle to do, the fact that on film, it really is two (or more) shots that are entirely on one negative, rather than editing images together.

Where do you see the future of analogue photography?

Unfortunately, I can't help but feel film will eventually die out, as there have been plenty of great films discontinued (Reala, Provia 400X, Kodak slides etc), but on the other hand, there are more varieties of experimental films from Revolog for example that I really love. There is also Color Implosion from ADOX which I've only recently started using & have had a blast, so with these companies, I'm hoping film can still stay around. I will shoot film as long as I can

What is a dream project that you want to work on?

Actually, I have been extremely fortunate to have been able to some photographic work I was extremely passionate about. I had a trip to London last April where I spent a lot of time photographing Jack the Ripper related sites in Whitechapel (the subject fascinates me). I have been to London before & photographed the area, but this time as I knew where I was going, I had more time to try out certain things (multiple exposures, or specialty films like Tesla & Color Implosion).

The other thing is I have been able to photograph my favourite actress, Sheryl Lee, who if you're familiar with the TV show Twin Peaks, famously played Laura Palmer. I've been able to meet & photograph her at two fan events.

To answer your question properly though, the only thing I'd love to do (that I've not done before), is to travel to Sweden & photograph filming sites from various Ingmar Bergman films (he is my favourite director).

Where can we find out more about your work?

I have my Flickr account

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