Featured Photophile, our recurring segment showcasing talented amateur photographers is back with more photo inspiration for you.
Hi there – please introduce yourself.
My name is Paul Boccuzzi, I’m 24 years old and live in Hunterdon, New Jersey. I take photos and attend graduate school. On the weekends I drink beer at home or in other places. I enjoy to move around and often travel on with friends.
When did you start shooting? What’s your favorite camera, and why do you love it? What type of film do you use, and why?
Close to five years ago, I began learning about photography. At the time, I thought my interest was in videography but a particular youtube channel switched my interest to photography with the images they showcased in their videos. I began on 35mm film and my favorite camera has since been my father’s old Minolta SRT202. I love the mechanical nature of it and those beautiful Rokkor lenses. On a day to day basis though, I use the X-570 because of its smaller size and aperture-priority option. When it comes to film stocks, I like to experiment with various ones I haven’t shot before. My favorite however, is Kodak’s Tmax 100 because of its smooth look and push-ability. Pushed two or three stops Tmax could make the most beautiful black and white images I’ve ever seen.
What are your favorite subjects, and why?
My favorite subjects vary here and there but overall I enjoy taking photos of high contrast scenes, all kinds of light, and people.
Why do you shoot film? Do you also shoot digital? What do you think about the differences between film and digital?
I enjoy shooting film for several reasons. In my experience with the cameras I own, there are three controls on them and that’s it. No need to fiddle around with white balance, various modes, or checking a screen after every shot thinking how it could have been better. Film cameras put almost nothing in between you and the subject, that’s what i appreciate about it. And as a result I feel more present in the moment.
Film pushes you to see the image before you take it and allows you only a limited number of frames. There is something there that requires more skill than digital photography, in my opinion. I’ve consistently gravitated toward film photos over digital ones when looking at both, they seem to have greater ‘depth’ right out the camera. Of course digital has its own place and many good friends shoot digital. There are some distinct advantages and some camera models in specific are pretty interesting (Fujifilm). I think tilt-shift photography is something I would like to try, and makes sense only on a digital camera. At the end of the day though it doesn’t really matter what you shoot with, as long as you use what works for you. Great pictures come from the photographer, not the camera.
What is unique about your work?
I’m not sure what’s unique about my work or if there’s anything unique at all. I just like to make images the way I like to make them, to get the results I think are cool. But I suppose if I had to choose something unique about it, it would be the long process to the final image. Most people don’t bother.
How do you achieve your results?
I achieve the results that I do by using the same film stock and getting to know it, and by self-developing my rolls. Being there at every step in the process. I will regularly push film and so that helps me get more latitude out of it while simultaneously attaining the look I like.
Where do you hope your photography goes from here?
There is plenty I still want to learn and try out. Cameras, double exposures, maybe tilt-shift, and printing in the darkroom. Currently I’m working on a physical project. Whether it turns out to be a full book or just a zine is yet to be determined but look out for it!
Do you have any advice for new photographers?
Focus on taking photos and learning what makes an image great, do not focus on gear. Read books and articles, ask questions, and study other people’s photos. Take the images you like to take, figure out what photography means to you.
Where can people see more of your images?
Many thanks to Paul for sharing his work with us. If you’d like to have your photos featured on Casual Photophile, tag your photos with #featuredphotophile on any social media post, or send a message to Contact@FStopCameras.com.