Behind the Photo: Andrew Koltek

Zeh Daruwalla

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Q: What drew you to pursue analog photography?

A: The process itself. It’s so labour intensive to get from scene to print that I have to be a lot more careful about what and how I photograph. I also love getting to use beautiful old mechanical cameras.

Where were you/what were you doing while taking this photo?

I was on a family vacation in Qualicum Beach with my wife, our daughter and her family, enjoying a walk among the tidal pools.

What part of this photo do you like the most?

The line that is carried from the bottom left to the top right, and the way it separates areas of contrast and texture.

What kind of films do you enjoy using most and why?

Tri-X is my favourite emulsion as it has incredible latitude and versatility, and I use it most of the time for 35mm and medium format. For 8×10 work Tri-X is prohibitively expensive, so I use whatever I can get cheaply. Currently that’s Shanghai GP3 from ebay.

Which other photographers or artists do you draw inspiration from and why?

My first inspiration was my wife who introduced me to art and photography.

My technical approach to photography is based directly on the methods developed by Ansel Adams and published in his seminal books The Negative, The Camera, the Print, as well as the Zone system. My interest in 8×10 photography and contact printing came from Edward Weston.

My aesthetic inspirations include the Bauhaus school, Arthur Erickson, and Modernist design.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given or have gave about photography and/or the creative process?

The only thing separating a good photographer from a great one is the volume of pictures you take. You have to shoot a lot. Most people never end up committing enough time and resources to photography as it takes.

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