Allison Ward - American Film Photographers

Hi everyone, My name is Allison ( @aaward__ ) – I am a freshman filmmaking major at University of North Carolina School of the Arts. I have been doing film photography for almost four years and plan to keep improving upon my work.

When starting, I was interested in the ways different films and techniques affect photographs. I wanted to learn about the process and get better at it. It seemed like the film photography process was more pliable than digital photography.

My highschool photography class taught me how to shoot 35mm film, develop it, and make prints in a darkroom. My wonderful teacher let me borrow her Hasselblad 501cm occasionally and that got me hooked. The medium format process was so exciting to me. From there, I started primarily shooting film and developing and scanning black and white film at home. I hope to one day be able to make prints at home.

I enjoy doing portraiture and nature photography. Every person is unique and a photograph can tell a story about that person during that time. With nature photography, I think film has a great ability to capture the complexities in nature. I spend a lot of time in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina, so I always find opportunities to take photos of the nature around me.

I love looking at different film cameras, they all have interesting stories behind them. The cameras I am currently using are a Mamiya RB67 Pro S, a Nikon N6006, Zenit ET, and Holga 120. I only recently got the Zenit ET, but I can already see myself getting into more Soviet cameras.

My favorite outdoor film is Portra 160. It is fairly sunny in the region I live in, so the low speed is useful. The tones are accurate and warm, it is very fine grain, forgiving, and great for outdoor portraits.

My favorite indoor film is Ilford Delta 3200. The versatility of the film allows for it to be used in just about any situation. I love the grain, some may not, but I think the softness of the grain adds a lot to the image.

My advice to beginner film photographers is to take their time in the process. It is better to not rush through a roll of film so that there are more higher quality photos. A lot of the appeal of film is the process, rushing results in more mistakes and more wasted frames.

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