István Pintér: Film never lies!
"Sometimes I just need to walk into the woods with my dog and inspiration finds me."
Tell us about yourself.
I’m 32 years old I was born in Hungary and lived there till last year, when I moved to Regensburg, Germany. I am a photographer, shooting mostly portraits, weddings and events.
When and how did the film journey begin for you?
I always wanted to be a painter. I started with painting very early. I had a lot of ideas but not enough time, because of my studies. I sold some paintings, but I think I was technically not good enough. I should have practiced more, but had a lot of exams and didn’t find the time, so I started photography with a small digital compact camera. In 2009 I bought my first digital slr camera and after a couple of months I began to use old manual lenses. I bought a wonderful Helios 44-2 (2/58mm) lens (still using it) and a Zenit-E body for about 10 Euros.
This was THE moment. I bought a couple of rolls of films and started to use this old Zenit. It was a lot more fun than my digital camera. It has an imperfect selenium light meter, and just 5 different shutter speeds, so sometimes I got bad, sometimes better pictures from the lab. Still, it was a really great feeling to create something analog, without pixels, with more planning and composing. I started to see things more organized.
What Could we always find in your gear bag?
When I have a shooting, I have my Pentax 67 always there. A couple rolls of films, light meter, my Moleskine notebook, and some other smaller 35mm cameras, for example my Olympus XA, or my Canon EF („Electronic F1”) and the new F1. The problem is, that it is mostly huge and so heavy...it is a real physical challenge. :)
What camera makes you click?
I worked with lots of cameras, but my Pentax 67 is my all time favorite. I remember as I first saw this camera in a picture, a man on a sunflower field, and this big monster in his hands with the wooden grip... It was awesome! Back then I didn’t know what type of camera this was, but I already liked it somehow. Actually, I had the oldest 6x7 version, but I sold it, because I got the newest one, the 67II. Now I can make double exposures easily with it; that is one function I really missed in the old 6x7.
Who are your models? How do you interact with them before shooting?
The right model and the right place for the shooting...always the hardest parts in portrait photography. :) But I can ask friends, and friends of friends, or write a post on Facebook, so there are always a lot of possibilities. My girlfriend is my best model, she already knows my working process, this why it is much easier for me. We can experiment and try new ideas. She is more patient as someone at their first film shooting.
What inspires you most?
Lots of things. I like the old classic masters like Cartier-Bresson, Andre Kertész, Martin Munkácsi, but there are now good ones too. I like the works of Ryan Muirhead and Jan Scholz really much. Or one other Germany based, Hungarian photographer, Roland Flinta.
But a nice music, a good book, a new place, or a holiday trip can be very inspiring too. Sometimes I just need to walk into the woods with my dog, and inspiration finds me.
Do you have any advice for film photographers out there?
Advice? Maybe just a wish... Keep shooting film! :) And if you’re planning to start film photography, buy a good working camera, it doesn’t have to be expensive, or good looking, just 100% functional. And buy some new films, not the cheapest, expired ones. Because in this case, the chances are smaller that you will make mistakes... after you are totally familiar with the process, you can experiment, and try the older films. Sometimes you’ll make mistakes for sure, but that’s alright. If you shoot digital, you make a lot more mistakes, you just don’t care, and nobody has to know.
Film never lies, there are 36 frames (or 24, 15, 12, 10, 8...) on the negative in the envelope. You can see it, I can see it, and learn from it, find the beauty in it.
Do you think you will still be shooting film in 20 years?
I hope so! If there will still be a factory producing film, like Kodak, Ilford or Fuji, and there will be such wonderful films as Tri-X, Portra or Acros, then I have no doubt. It would be great, if pro photographers would work more on film. I know, digital is more cheap and easy, but at a portrait or wedding shooting, you are able to use film too. You can also see the difference - there are some very good examples.
You can find István Pintér here: