Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Interview with Allison Inge

Allison Inge, aka  dustbowl ugly, is a 27 year old photographer based-in Kansas, US. She shoots mostly film and just recently started processing her own c-41 at the end of 2012. Allison also owns over 70 cameras. Now take a look to the interview to know more about Allison Inge and her work.

Hi Allison, can you introduce yourself?
I'm Allison Inge, 27 years old, born and raised in Kansas. The only thing I like more than film photography is dogs, especially ugly ones.

How long have you been into film photography and how did you discover it?
I've always loved film photography--old family photo albums full of faded photos & captions showed me where I came from. I wanted to leave my own story behind someday, so I started shooting just to document my own life when I was 15 or 16. Toting a camera everywhere soon evolved into a steady obsession with self portraits, which I still focus on today.

What camera did you start with, and what are you shooting with these days?
My very first camera was a hand-me-down Pentax K1000 I got from my grandfather. Someone stole it out of my car last year. These days I've only got eyes for my Mamiya RB67.. I'm that idiot who lugs that thing out of the studio and shoots with it everywhere. I'm really in love with medium format.

Who are your favourite photographers?
Since I've never had any real "formal" training in photography or the greats, my favorite photographer list is cultivated mostly from independent research on the internet, and some of them I've even become friends with. Ash LaRose and Rebecca Tillett are two incredible women with work that I've admired for years off the top of my head. I also love Ryan McGinley, Fox Harvard, Kesler Tran, Damion Loble, Traci Matlock, April Lea Hutchinson, Francesca Woodman... but I'm really more the type of person that has a favorite photograph opposed to a favorite person who took the photograph.

Are you currently working on any projects?
Summer's over, and I just finished putting together ONE NIGHT STAND 2, my city's 2nd annual original erotic art show. That's always an incredible experience, we showcased over 15 artists this year, but it takes a lot out of me to just organize that one night event. After more than a month of being "too busy", I'm finally starting to pick my cameras back up to do something besides snapshots. I just scored a bunch of great expired Polacolor that I would love to do something wonderful with, but I'm just starting to get back to my regular life. I would love to do more in-depth portrait work.

What can you say to people who want to try analogue. Any tips?
DO IT! I meet so many digital photographers who tell me they just love film, they think it's awesome, but they just... don't do it. That they've NEVER done it. There have even been cases where I've actually provided people with a camera and film and promises to teach them to develop their first roll--that's how excited film photography makes me, I just want everyone to know what it's like--and they just never follow through, sticking with their DSLRs. It breaks my heart, but I get it. Digital is easy. Fast. Automatic.

But with the internet at your fingertips, everything you need to start shooting film is right there, and with a little digging and bargain-hunting, it can be done for cheaper than you think. Cruise craigslist for equipment and join photography forums for the classifieds. Join analogue/film groups (online, or even in real life if you're lucky enough) and make friends, trade things for film, do double exposure film swaps, try weird expired foreign films you find on eBay for 75 cents. Try EVERYTHING. Don't think that everything has to be perfect, shiny, Kodak branded and flawless. Shoot with old cameras and crappy lenses, get in there and rework an old cameras to shoot modern film formats. The world is awash in unused old analogue gear going to waste--don't be scared to break something or develop the occasional ruined roll.

I also encourage everyone who's already getting their toes wet in analogue to DEVELOP THEIR OWN FILM! It's easy and people who tell you different are just trying to scare you. I've been doing my own black & white since high school, and started doing my own color at the beginning of 2013 (with NO traditional darkroom, ever. I'm lucky if I've got access to a dark closet, running water and a can opener--seriously, if I can do it, anyone can). Having that kind of control is wonderful--It has totally changed the way/how much I shoot, and while the occasional "important" roll might be trusted to a professional, I'm going to be DIYing my own C-41 for awhile.

Allison, thank you for the interview.

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