"I find peace of mind while encountering a photographic subject with humility"
Tell us about yourself.
Hi, my name is Nils Karlson. I am 40 years old, and live in Germany, where i make a living being a social worker.
When and how did the film journey begin for you?
The initial reason i got into photography in 2011 was to connect deeper with my surroundings, especially landscapes, seascapes – and my pets. Photography has become a means of meditation for me. I find peace of mind while encountering a photographic subject with humility. Film and the inherent slowness of the hardware – especially in medium format – are aides to achieve this.
What type of film do you usually shoot and what made you choose it?
Recently i started to restrict myself to Portra160 and FujiPro 400h.
i like Portra for its warmth, and Fuji Pro400h for my dog-centric images, as well as other handheld works.
What camera makes you click?
A Mamiya RB67. For hiking it is a pain, especially when i also carry my senior dog in a harness attached to the photo backpack, which adds up to 23kg. But i like the feel of the „Gojira 67“ as i call it. Another lovely camera is the Pentacon Six. Also, there's an attraction to pinhole cameras – these are incredibly quiet cameras, not only soundwise, but also in a visual sense. In the future i'd love to get a Mamiya6 for hiking, and explore large format.
Between black and white and colour film which would you choose?
Colour. There is a lot of b&w works i do enjoy, but my mind does not envision b&w.
And i just love colour – i almost can hear, taste, and smell colour.
What lenses do you use?
Usually there is a normal lens and a short tele in my backpack for the RB67 (90mm/180mm) while the Pentacon Six ist he first camera which makes me feel i don't need any other lens than the standard 80mm.
Do you perform any experiments on film?
I am not an alchemist, and all my film is developed and scanned by the lovely folks at UK Film Lab. Working with them has helped me a lot both on a technical and artistic level. However, i often work with intentional camera movements during long exposures. By doing this, i can concentrate on colour itself, leaving the world of sharp and clear shapes. I call this „listening to shadows“ - i don't know why, but it does feel like it.