My name is Fabrice Lallemand, I am 26 years old and I live in Montreal, Canada. I started photography more seriously a few years ago when I purchased my first DSLR camera. I experimented shooting different subjects from macro, portraits, landscapes, street and product photography. I even decided to change my career orientation and tried to live off my passion. I started a job for retouching photos at a large photo studio company. My job was to retouch and calibrate hundred of photos each day. Spending most of my time on Photoshop slowly decreased my interest in shooting with my DSLR in my free time because I ended up on my computer reviewing and editing my photos. Since my passion for photography was more than computer work for me, I decided to go back in time and started experimentations with my homemade pinhole camera. It was at that moment that I felt in love with film photography.
After experimentations, I replaced my pinhole camera with an old SLR Minolta and started to shoot 35mm films. Shooting film helped me a lot for inspiration and motivation for my personal projects. I felt that I reconnected with the art of photography. No more hundreds of photos to edit or delete and more time outside, shooting. After few years trying different subjects to photograph, I slowly started to shoot almost exclusively street photography. Inspiration was everywhere and at any moment, I could go outside and find interesting subjects to photograph.
Living in a city helps a lot. Montreal is maybe not New York or Paris but it has its own charm and people. A lot of great photographers, such as Henri Cartier Bresson, William Klein, Vivian Maier and the sense of humor of Elliott Erwitt inspired me in my photographs.
I am always looking for interesting people, funny scenes, contrast, details, geometry etc.
I really enjoyed the simplicity of not having a LCD screen with tons of options and settings – all I need is aperture, shutter speed and ISO. I’ve always been a fan of black and white photography, I discovered the beauty of film grain and the pushing processing to get exactly the result that I was looking for. No more tweaking in Photoshop. I am almost always shooting black and white for my street photography but sometimes I like shooting colour. I use Ilford HP5 Plus (iso 400) as my main black and white film and I push it to ISO 1600.
I develop my film at home with the Ilford DD-X developer. Shooting street photography with film helped me understand which photo I really wanted to take. Each photo, each subject has to have something unique and visually interesting. The excitement you have after a day of shooting and going home to process your film and see your images cannot be equalized by digital. I also have more satisfaction with the result. With my DSLR, I feel like every time I look down to my screen after a shot, a part of the magic is gone. Having my head up all the time with my film camera also made me appreciated the moment, the place and the people around me. Even if I really like film photography, I still appreciate all the benefits of digital for many moments that I need quick results.
I often shoot other things than street photography and my digital camera helps me for many of those projects. I purchased recently the Fujifilm X-Pro 2, which gives me that film camera feel with the benefits of digital. I rarely take it with me for shooting street but I use it sometimes as a backup camera. I am now using a Leica M6 as my main camera and really enjoy it.
I really believe that film has his place in 2017 for many reasons. If you haven’t tried film before, or maybe have lost inspiration and motivation in your photography, I suggest you to give it a try.
It would be a major loss in photography if film stops being sold. So take an old camera and go out shooting and don’t forget the most important thing, which is having fun!
This photo is a great example why I push my film to 1600 iso. The contrast is at its best on a sunny day to give deep black shadows which I use to isolate a subject and give a dramatic look. I also like the fact that we see my own shadow on the ground, it add an interesting element to the composition. Strong shadows also make disappear uninteresting elements in the environment to let the viewer focus on what you wanted to.
For this photo, I was downtown Montreal with my Minolta XG-1 film camera with a 28mm lens. I noticed this arrow sign and decided to stop there and try some shots with people walking around. Nothing catches my eyes and I decided to move on, it’s at this moment that these two women stopped next to the sing and started to chat. I knew that I could get something interesting out of this and started to get closer. With a 28mm lens, you really need to get close to your subject to fill the frame. While I was waiting for a decisive moment to capture, I was looking around me like a tourist to not catch their attention at the same time of keeping an eye on them. My zone focusing was already set to let me get a quick shot. When the women lifted their hands at the same time to point something in the opposite direction of the arrow, I couldn’t believe it. Everything was there for me and I only had to lift my camera and take the shot.
This scene was taken at the exit of a subway station. There is a park there with benches and in the center of this place, there were giant banana peels structures. I found this scene pretty funny with this woman probably taking a nap. Since her sunglasses cover her eyes, it feels like she is looking directly at me (but I am pretty sure she was sleeping). I did not frame the entire banana peel because there was too much visual pollution around. There was the street behind, people walking and buildings and I am pretty sure we would have lost her in the environment. I preferred to only focus on the woman to clearly show her face and body expression.
I was walking on a commercial street with my Leica M6 when I noticed a scaffold with these ‘’DANGER’’ banners. I started to try some photos of people walking next to the structure but nothing was visually strong. A woman started to look at a poster on a wall of a building behind the banners but it was probably too far away for her eyes. She quickly decided to pass under the banners to get closer to the poster so she could read it. That happened so fast that I missed my shot. I was really mad that I missed the scene and really hoped I could get a second chance if she could pass at the same place to get out. Lucky me, she did.