Analog Photography with Box Speed

Photo by: Sam Lee  @_ sle e_

Photo by: Sam Lee @_slee_

The smartphone in our pockets are fitted with cameras that capture moments with exceptional resolution. You can even customise images in the palm of your hands with filters and editing apps.

Not to mention, we can share these images with anyone in the matter of seconds.

The only limitations are our data plans and cloud storage memory.

We take the process of capturing moments for granted with how instantaneous snapping and sharing has become.

There’s something satisfying in slowing this process down by picking up a film camera — either purchased second-hand or if you’re lucky, passed down from a relative — and taking the time to compose your shot, wait for your film to get developed and hold something tangible in your hands (of course, you can get scans and share your photos electronically).

Katy and I picked up analog photography or film photography or as a summer hobby. I’m interested in learning photography principles — light, composition, and balance — and I wanted to play with a vintage SLR camera.

Our upcoming blog posts and Instagram stories will be focused on our learning process with analog photography and connecting with experts as absolute beginners.

My friend Nick Ross and his friend Sam Lee have an analog photography collective on Instagram called Box Speed.

Nick started shooting film in early 2018 and Sam started in early 2016. They were both drawn to the tactility of film and the analog process from shooting, to at home development and printing in the darkroom.

Their love of the analog photography community inspired them to build a platform to showcase some of the artists they love.

In this interview, we talk about how they got started, what gear they shoot with, and share some of their analog photography tips to help us (and hopefully you) get your creative juices flowing.

What draws you to the analog photography community?

We are creatives at heart that’s why we love to support things like Kitty Gang.

The analog photography community is vibrant and filled with talent.

We love the support and advice we can get and give to artists, and we take a lot of inspiration from the work we see online.

Who are some of your favourite photographers and why?

Some of our favourite photographers are also some whose work we’ve featured in the past.

Dani Brown (@xdani_brownx)

Jonathan Notley (@j_notley)

Jody Hill (@jodyhillphoto)

Lena Piatigorsky (@love.errs)

We’ve always loved their work and enjoy their aesthetic plus they’re all super nice people.

What is your favourite camera and lens to shoot with and for what?

We both have a preferred setup for casual photography and more serious work.

Sam’s go to setup for professional work is a Leica M6 rangefinder with a 35 mm Summicron.

Nick’s is a Nikon F3 SLR with a 50 mm Nikkor lens.

We also both have these cute point and shoots (Olympus Mju 1) for casual colour shooting!  

Photo by: Box Speed from blog post  “Nikon F3 Review: Understated Perfection”

Photo by: Box Speed from blog post “Nikon F3 Review: Understated Perfection”

What do you recommend is an essentials kit to get started with (camera, lens, film recommendations)?

We’ll allude it this if you scroll down a bit more, but some crucial things to have when you start are a fully manual camera. We recommend an SLR with some cheap film.

You can start out with colour or black and white depending on the look you’re going for.

Most people who develop at home will only develop black and white film — but maybe that’s a story for another blog!

Most camera stores will either develop film as well or know where to go for good development.

And to reiterate, starting cheap is a great idea because film can get really expensive and while you’re testing your gear/style why not do it with cheap film?

You can also typically find expired film on Craigslist and that’s fine to shoot — if it’s really old, just overexpose one stop (or don’t and see how it turns out, could be a cool look!).

What are some of the most helpful resources (books, Youtube channels, Instagram, courses, etc…) you found to help you improve your photography skills?

Nick Mayo (@nickexposed) and David Chao (@davidchao.film) are both really smart and talented photographers, so we’d definitely recommend checking their pages out.

For gear we’d recommend turning to something like Ken Rockwell.

What are your top 5 tips on getting started with analog photography?

  1. Start out with cheap film and shoot a lot. Nothing is more important than going out and shooting early on because that way you can test your gear, find your aesthetic, and figure out what you want to focus on to get better.

  2. If you can find a mentor, it will make things a lot easier starting out! Film can be a bit daunting but having a friend who knows the ins and outs can help with the learning curve. If that’s not feasible then check out the resources in the previous question or ask your local camera store guy as they are probably an expert!

  3. Buy a fully manual camera, so you can fail a bunch.

  4. But at the same time, don’t stress about the gear. A fully manual SLR will do you wonders while you get started.

  5. Have fun! There’s no better feeling than getting your scans back or shooting some awesome frames, go out there and find what you like. Oh yea, and use #boxspeedfeature when you share it ;)

What does the future hold for Box Speed?

We are working on our second issue of the Box Speed Zine and hope to have to have that out by the Fall.

Other than that we are always looking for new ways to engage the film community, be that Instagram takeovers of developing a stronger presence on our blog.

Outside of just Box Speed, we shoot/develop/print a lot of our together so we’re always challenging our photography and learning along the way.

Key Takeaways

One of my favourite takeaways from this interview is Box Speed’s dedication to the analog photography community.

I have their first issue zine and it’s amazing. It features work from artists all over the world, and it’s a beautiful source of inspiration — plus we love to support fellow artists.

I also wanted to shout out the Box Speed Blog is an excellent resource for all things analog photography. It has photo essays, favourite learning resources, and camera reviews. I highly recommend you pay it a visit if you’re interested in learning more.


 
Kitty Gang

Kat Lubiano
Katy Connan

We curate resources for inspiration and share stories of people killing it at their crafts — From artists, makers, entertainers, and educators.

Please get in touch
if you have a cool project
you’d like to share with us!