Cara Rose aka tumbleweed.in.eden on Flickr is a photographer based-in Hamilton, NY. She shoots film regularly. Her nickname "tumbleweedineden" was inspired by the great song, "Like a Tumbleweed in Eden" by Chris Robinson, describes rambling, wandering, dreaming, and remembering stories from the past. So that her photography allows her "to do all that, plus I kind of feel like a "tumbleweed in eden." I don't have the five and ten year plans everyone says you should, but it all manages to work out in the end, as I tumble along into good fortune and create my own luck."
Now take a look in to the interview to know more about Cara and her photography, especially film photography.
Hi Cara, can you tell us a little about yourself?
I never know how to answer these questions. Where do I live? What do I do? What are my favorite things? I'm an amateur photog who eats, sleeps, and breathes film: shooting it, learning about it, looking at film photography. My day job is in Student Services at the University level. The only thing I love more than film and photography is music.
How did you get started and interested in film photography?
My grandfather is to blame, he passed the gene on to all the females in my family it seems. Whenever I'd visit him since I was small I was either being photographed or given a camera. It was how he and I connected when I would visit him. And this of course was all before digital was really used. So film was my first entry into and love of photography. Like most, I switched over to digital, got into flickr, learned everything I could, which led me back to film. I went back to film maybe 3 years ago and in the last year I've been shooting predominantly film, thanks to medium format, with very little interest in picking up my digital.
Do you remember what was your first film camera, and which is your favorite camera until now?
My first film camera was probably one of those 110 format cameras, which I promptly lost on a field trip to the Statue of Liberty. My grandfather gave me a Pentax IQZoom which I took with me on a cross-country road trip in 2005, and a year or two later he gave me a Canon Rebel GII. Those were my firsts, and my favorite is impossible to choose and depends on the subject, but I guess I'd have to say my Hasselblad. I wanted it the longest, so I appreciate it the most, and can use it across the most situations because I've got a polaroid back and a close up filter.
Did you study photography or did it just start as a hobby?
I did not formally study photography, though I learned a lot from my grandfather, and when I was unemployed I basically "studied" all day what I could by practicing, asking questions, reading online, looking on flickr, etc. I also have taken a darkroom class.
Who are your favorite film photographers?
I'm terribly not well-versed in famous photographers. Obvious answers are Vivian Maier and Ansel Adams, right? I do really love Daniel Kramer's work with Bob Dylan and other musicians, as well as Jim Marshall because I love music and music photography. The people that inspire me are the ones who I can see myself attaining their same skill level some day. To me, there has to be an element of accessibility with still enough of a skill level I've yet to reach to keep me motivated in the photographers I admire. So I spend a lot of time enjoying the work of folks like Pei Ketron, Apasz, Cindy Loughridge, Andy Grellmann, K. Miller, Tim Robison Jr., all who can be found on flickr and tumblr and the like. I like people who show (or seem to show) what their lives are like in reality, not just people who hire models and do/show only professional work.
Can you tell us what made you want to pick up a camera, and what makes you want to keep shooting?
At first it was simply to document, and that still is the strongest reason for me. My family history is muddled and I grew up sort of without my mother and father, and so I've always been fascinated by old photos and family photos, and want to keep contributing to the stack that will someday tell the story of my life and this time in history. It helps me to slow down, appreciate things, and it is my way of expressing myself and the things I appreciate in life. Why do I want to keep shooting? Because I know no other way to live. It is the same as eating and breathing for me. I get itchy if I don't have a camera in my hands after a period of time. I guess it could be an addiction or habit at this point. I just can't imagine life without it, not like I'd shrivel up and die, but I just can't picture it (no pun intended there), me not making photographs. I love the process of setting up a shot, all the steps you take, the slow, deliberate process. Right up to getting the film back. It can be like a meditation for me, teaching me so much patience and the virtues of being present. Mostly it is a way to feed my need for mental stimulation and novelty. I am always learning something new, and never tire of learning about this subject. Also, light: it endlessly inspires me to shoot, just watching how it moves, changes, and falls on different subjects. It always seems new.
Is there any advice you can give to new film shooters?
Slow down. Take notes on your settings for each frame so you can learn what you did right or wrong when you get the film back. Try different films and formats. Use digital to help you preview/envision the shot if you need to or if it helps, and eventually ween yourself off of it.
Cara, thank you for the interview!