WE ARE FILM FOLK: Anthony Larson

Anthony Larson is not a local but we are always welcome to people sharing their stories from anywhere in the world. Here's his film love story.

How many cameras do you have in your collection?

I'm not sure I even know that number anymore. My twin and I buy almost any film camera that we can find and for a short time we did make a serious attempt to log every camera that we found, but quickly realized how difficult of a task that was. If I had to guess, probably somewhere along the lines of 40-50 cameras.

How long did it take you to get to this point?
I've personally been collecting for roughly four years now. My twin would always snatch up any kind of camera he found while we were out shopping in thrift stores, and I guess I kind of just picked up the habit haha. 

What are your favorites subjects to shoot?
People! I love landscapes, architecture, and nature but documenting the human condition is something I've always been focused on. Whether its candid street photography or portraits of my friends. Everyone has a story, right? I might not capture an entire book, but I'm content in sharing a chapter in someones life. 

Which one in particular is your go-to camera and lenses? why?
That would definitely be my Minolta SRT201 with a 50mm lense. Its such a basic, easy to use SLR. I get the control I want, its reliable and I know it like the back of my hand. Changing the settings is almost muscle memory at this point, sometimes I don't even look away from the shot. 

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

Oh man. Why can't I save them all! I guess if it had to be just one, Mamiya/ Sekor 500dtl. Its a tank. I have certainly put it through some rough conditions, and it has never disappointed. The metering system is fantastic, and even if my batteries die I can still shoot as the rest of the camera is completely mechanical. 

What is your ''Spirit Camera" (If you were a camera, what would you be?)
I think I'd be a vintage Diana toy camera haha. I'm goofy, and fun loving but can be serious and focused when absolutely necessary.

What is your Holy Grail Camera?
Finally an easy one! The Leica M3, for sure. I just love everything about that camera, a small compact rangefinder that produces amazing shots.

What film camera can you recommend to newbies?
I'd suggest the Minolta SRT101, or one of the variants. Sturdy, reliable, and easy to learn the basics on.

What is your current film stash count?
I'm so terrible about sending my film off to be developed. At this point I should break down and buy the equipment I need to do so myself. I haven't even the slightest as to how many I actually have, this is just what I can find.

Films you cannot live without.
All of them! I'm honestly not picky, and love trying new films. Though, I do have a preference for Kodak Tri-X, Ilford HP5 and Kodak color plus.

You realized you were too obsessed with cameras when:

When I was budgeting my check to include camera finds. Also running out of space in my already small house to store all of the cameras.

Why do you shoot film?

I love how film photographers love this question haha. I fell in love with film after I had my first roll developed. It turned out awful, I don't think a single shot turned out halfway decent. None that I cared for, anyway. I grew up with digital cameras, maybe on occasion for a field trip or family vacation did I use a disposable film camera. After that first roll, which was purchased completely on accident, did I realize that it wasn't as simple as point at your subject and shoot. It made me slow down, think about my subject, really wait for that shot that you have in your head. I still burn through film like crazy haha. Its such a unique look, and every kind of film will give you a different one. There is something special about it all, it makes me feel more connected to my pictures. Each one is unique, its own special frame that was part skill, part knowledge, and a lot of luck.

Who do you look up to for inspiration in your photography?
Henri Cartier-Bresson, most definitely. John Baldessari, Ansel Adams, Robert Frank. Anyone that produces honest work. That is what matters most to me.

What is the worst thing about Film Photography?
Running out of film! It can sometimes be a challenge trying to guess your settings when stuck without a light meter. It isn't cheap, either haha.

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

That its a dying medium. I think that its alive and well, thriving really. I've seen a big shift in people going back to film. There is just something there that you don't get with digital. Quality aside, I think people connect more with their photography when shooting film. Every shot you take, you don't get back. That's it. 

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

Don't think, just shoot.

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

Don't think, just shoot. Capture anything and everything.

Instagram: @mr.twindian

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Do you have a story you want to share about your love for film? E-mail us at filmfolk@satchmi.com! We would love to hear from you.

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