WE ARE FILM FOLK: Allan ‘Curly’ Datoon Malubay

How many cameras do you have in your collection?

Around 30 I guess… I think? Hehe. I have Polaroids (where it all started), LOMO toy cameras, rangefinders, Mamiya MF, modern SLRs and mostly compact p&s.

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

2 years... yes, I've been busy.

What are your favorites subjects to shoot?

My wife, my daughter and Spanky, my dog.

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

Currently the Fuji Cardia travel mini since it has a 28mm perspective which covers wide frames which I like, and a Canon AF35 ML for portraits and for low light when I need it.

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

The Canon Eos 3… nope, I think the Mamiya m645. Wait, make that the Oly pen ee3 since it takes a lot of pictures, I can document the evacuation.

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

A ‘Polaroid’ camera, no doubt about that hahaha!

What is your Holy Grail Camera?

I would say an Olympus OM-2n! That camera is a thing of beauty. It's so cute, you can pretty much make it an ornament on your side table hihihi. However, that camera is a unicorn for me, it's either I can't seem to get a good copy or someone already beat me from getting it. And yes, I'm still looking for one.

What film camera can you recommend to newbies?

Often people would say Ae-1, Pentax ME or any prosumer SLR.. I say get something that is cheap, light and something you can bring all the time. Photography is not about the gear, heck u can't take nice photos with an iPhone but since you're using film then might as well get a point and shoot compact film cam. The first film camera that I got in high school is a Vivitar PS7 (yes I meant ‘is’ since I still have it) The only thing you can set on that camera is its flash.. but we’ve used it on our projects and it gets the job done.

What is your current film stash count?

Mostly YKLs since we got it for cheap and I think my stock is getting low…

Films you cannot live without.

Hmmm.. this is pretty hard. I would say Portra.. but since it's not cheap, I'm lucky if I have one :D

You realized you were too obsessed with cameras when...

2 months after I purchased my first Polarid Onestep..

Why do you shoot film?

I'm an event and wedding photographer by trade and everything about it is fast-paced. You have to perform what is expected by the client and you have to submit everything sometimes at the end of the day. With film you have the chance to slow down.. choose if you would take the shot or not, and if you don’t, it's ok, its all about what u think and feel what’s right at that particular moment. At the end, I think that’s what Photography is all about.

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

Jose Villa, I also have his book and loving it. Also Jeremy Chou. Both awesome Wedding film photographers.

What is the worst thing about Film Photography?

When your film lab screw up, and yes it already happened to me.

What in your opinion is the greatest misconception about film photography?

Common misconception is that Film Photography is so expensive, but if you think about it, it's really not. Let's say you bought a compact film cam at a thrift shop (P500) then two rolls of expired film (P85x2=170) went to a party, finished all the rolls and have it developed/scanned the day after (total cost P1K++). Where as if it was digital, you bought a used dslr {a Canon 70D since you like it fancy -P29K), went to a party, got drunk, went home and totally forgot about your fancy dslr. Next morning when you're all sober, your dslr will be loooong gone. See… film is really way cheaper. 

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

‘Samin kna mag pa develop mas maganda quality..’ –Kim Lim 

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

Nowadays it's easy to get GAS (gear acquisition syndrome) with Film photography. As I mentioned you can easy get those shiny analog cameras for cheap. However, you have to remember why you liked film in the first place. For some it’s the look, the feeling it gives you, and for some, the overall process of producing a single image using film. It's an art form, and like other artsy stuff, you would really need to spend some time to get better at it. But for now, just take it easy and have fun with it.


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