Thursday, January 24, 2013

Maggy van Eijk - 5 things I love about Film

Maggy van Eijk is a twenty-three year old writer and photographer from The Netherlands living in London. After her grandfather gave her his Minolta X-GE she hasn’t stopped shooting film. She has been featured across several online zines, at Rich Mix in East London and she was shortlisted for a Scottish analogue photography award.
"In University there was a time when I felt really disconnected with the world around me, I somehow convinced myself that I didn’t fit in and therefore I stopped making an effort. Photography kicked me out of that slump and it not only forced me to interact with my environment but it made me see the world and the people who inhabit it in a different way. From then on the mouldiest of graffiti became beautiful; things were no longer dripping in a dull shade of grey."
And here, five main reasons why Maggy loves shooting film

1. The imperfections: What makes me really anxious about digital is its no excuses policy. If you’re not happy with your photo it’s your own fault; you don’t understand your equipment, you haven’t set up the lighting properly or you’ve screwed it up in photo-shop. Digital is all about perfection, which is why it is so strongly associated with those misleading images of people in magazines. My film cameras on the other hand are far from perfect, they have a mind of their own and they are all slightly broken (I have to wind my Minolta with a 5p coin). However this suits me, as a clumsy photographer, much better.


2. The accidents: I am a control freak in many aspects of my life and my camera reminds me that some things cannot be controlled. The light leaks seem to occur at random, I can never recreate them they just appear like fiery shooting stars. In this shot of my boyfriend Ross on the beach the focussing is completely off but the blurriness actually creates a dreamy summer time feel and it softens the sharp edges of sunlight. In short, a beautiful little accident.


3. The grain: I love the dark granules of film grain, like a warm bowl of perfectly aligned oatmeal or fuzzy television static. It adds depth, intrigue and mystery.


4. The thoughtfulness: Unless you’re a billionaire, developing film is expensive and for this reason, unlike digital, you can’t just press the button over and over again and pray one of them comes out right. You have to take time and be thoughtful and specific which means ultimately a lot more care goes into the individual shots.


5. The thrill: I love it when I shoot someone who hasn’t worked with film before. Initially they’ll feel a bit uneasy about not seeing the outcome straight away. Did my hair look weird? Did I blink? They soon come to share my excitement when they realize there’s a certain thrill in waiting for the roll to be developed and seeing the outcome, much later. You get such a rush. At times I fear that I’m addicted to that rush but hey, it’s a lot better than drugs.


More of Maggy van Eijk's work on her Flickr photostream.

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