| Nov 2, 11:00 AM
Welcome back to 8 Exposures, our ongoing instant film Q&A series. This week, we are pleased to bring you UK photographer Leanne Surfleet…
1) What kind of Polaroid camera(s) do you use?
I have a few different Polaroid cameras but the main 3 I use are my Spectra, 450 Land and non-folding SX-70.
2) Why do you like instant photography?
Well, I never thought of myself as an impatient person but when it comes to photography I like to see the results instantly! Then I feel that I can move on with my shoot and change things up. I just find it exciting and feel that it’s a great skill to master, to have a certain control over your instant photographs. I’ve been shooting instant film for around 6 years now and I’m still completely amazed and confused by the whole process! Only having a certain amount of exposures makes me think about each one carefully before pressing the shutter, I’ve learnt over the years to not get too excited about a fresh pack of film and waste them. I cherish each and every one of my instant photographs. Also, the colors and imperfections are perfect to me and I have never (and don’t think I ever will) found anything that comes close to the quality of Polaroid and Impossible film. I am completely in love with it.
3) What is your earliest memory of instant film?
My earliest memory of instant film would be a Type 80 Polaroid I have of my parents from the 1970s. I’ve always loved the photo because it’s small and square and the colors are just perfect, also because they look happy and I love to think of them using Polaroids before I was born and here I am now still using it in 2012.
4) What’s your favorite Impossible film type?
I think that my favorite Impossible film is PX 680, I just can’t get enough of those deep colours and sometimes random bursts of light, also the new color protection is wonderful! Another favorite is PZ 600 Silver Shade UV+ Black Frame. After getting such experimental results from the first flush Silver Shades I was so surprised at the clean whites and deep blacks from this film.
5) What are your favorite subjects to photograph?
I shoot a lot of self-portraits, but I wouldn’t say I was my favorite subject. I’m intrigued by the female form and the often mysterious nature of women. Lately I have a bit of a thing for shadows and light. So whenever the sun is shining I’m on the hunt for lovely shadows to shoot. Also, my cat!
6) Tell us about a project you’re working on.
Since 2008 I have been almost constantly taking self-portraits, so I would say that that is a long-term project I am working on, and will continue to do so until the day comes when I find something I didn’t know I was looking for.
In the near future I am hoping to work on a self-published book of my photographs. I love to see photographs in print and think that this would be a great thing for me to work on and to see everything together as a whole body of work would be amazing.
I’m currently in my final year of university studying photography so there are going to be a few projects lined up in the next couple of months, including documenting my health and hospital visits, a series of poetry inspired work, and I am hoping to shoot my first nude!
7) Who are your favorite photographers, instant or otherwise?
My favorite photographers are Francesca Woodman, Nan Goldin, Ana Casas Broda, Floria Sigismondi, Cindy Sherman, Duane Michals, and Diane Arbus. My favorite instant photographers are Stefanie Schneider and the Polaroid’s from Robert Mapplethorpe and Andy Warhol.
I am also greatly inspired by my peers and the amazing photographers I have met through Flickr, such as, Emily Hunt, The Gentleman Amateur, Annette Pehrsson, Michela Heim, Shelbie Dimond + lots more!
8) If you could take a photo of anyone or anything what would it be?
When I first started taking photographs I loved exploring old and dilapidated buildings, and I have always wanted to travel Europe and go to Berlin to photograph inside the Beelitz-Heilstätten. Other than this there are certain people that I long to photograph and hope to one day.
I’m from a small seaside town, Cleethorpes in England. I am a fine art photographer working predominantly with analog and instant cameras.
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