WE ARE FILM FOLK: Reuben Muana

How many cameras do you have in your collection?

I currently own 2 cameras. A Minolta SRT and a Canon AE1. Both of which were given to me from my dad just as his father to him.

How long did it take you to get to this point?

I started taking photos out of my old flip phone camera since I was in high school skateboarding with my friends and hanging out. It would take me 5 years later to finally try out shooting film. I shot the whole roll, a commercial Kodak 36 frame roll, on one day. And on the following day was so excited I had all the shots printed out. I didn't like any of what I got back.

What are your favorites subjects to shoot? 

I like to shoot people when they're in their own environment. I don't do well with posed shots and I find it extremely difficult to take a portrait. Taking a portrait as Henri Cartier-Bresson says is like "putting the camera between the skin of a person and his shirt."

Which one in particular is your go-to camera and lenses? why?

It would have to be the Canon and a 35mm on it. Although sometimes a 50 would be better the 35 is much more flexible. 

I don't bring a bag when I shoot but I'll show you what I bring inside my pockets and my boots. 

Scenario: Evacuation. If you can only save one of your cameras which would it be? 

Definitely the Canon AE1. Though the Minolta has more sentimentality in it, the Canon would be the tool I could use better.

What is your ''Spirit Camera" (If you were a camera, what would you be?)

Hahaha! Definitely some old Leica. I would say an M3 but not so much because I shoot 35mm. Quit frankly just about any M. I like the modern minimalist design. Looks like it came out from an Architect's design.

What is your Holy Grail Camera? 

A black Leica M6 with a 35 or 50 on it. I don't know much about Leica lenses but just something that's fast enough is good enough. 

What film camera can you recommend to newbies? 

Hah! A Canon AE1-Program. Or a classy Leica Minilux if you want to be classy.

What is your current film stash count?

4 unprocessed HP5s. And another 4 HP5s along with 2 commercial pharmacy bought fujicolor 400s. It takes me a while to go through rolls. But I feel like I'll be sticking to HP5s for a long time. I do want to try out those pro grade color films and color reversal film too. 

Films you cannot live without. 

Ilford HP5+. Definitely. Especially when you push it to 1600. 

You realized you were too obsessed with cameras when:

When I realized I had watched all the episodes of DRTV. Hahaha! I stopped watching now, though. Just isn't the same without the classic team that they had. 

Why do you shoot film?

Because I like to. It's something different from shooting on a digital. The fact that I don't know if what I got is any good is a feeling that keeps me hooked. I know it's there. I know I took it and it's on the film. But not knowing what it looks like and finally looking through the negative, still wet from the fixer and wash, ... it almost feels like a ritual to make an image appear.

Who do you look up to for inspiration in your photography?

Henri Cartier-Bresson. Photographs that look like paintings. All very well composed down to the millimeter. 

Junku Nishimura. The most beautiful tones and printing outputs.

Shin Nugoichi. Funny and surrealistic color photographs

Josh White. I've seen him go through a lot of cameras. Hahaha! But I love his photographs and the way he's always taking photographs. Photographs of his friends and family and the street. Makes you realize how the camera is really a tool to capture a moment and not just for street photography or landscape or portraits. 

What is the worst thing about Film Photography?

Requires a good amount of space to fully experience it. You will need a darkroom if you want to fully drown in the experience.

What in your opinion is the greatest misconception about film photography?
That it is obsolete. One fact that any digital shooter can't contest is that when electricity goes out what's left? Only the mechanical, obsolete(?), relic of the past that is a film camera.

What's the Best advice you received from another film shooter?

To just do it. Telling me that I take good photographs and pushing me to keep on going. And that I shouldn't open the camera if I haven't re-winded the film yet. Hahaha!

What's the Best advice can you give to a new film shooter?

Wear that camera on your neck every time you go out. You never know what you'll run into.




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