WE ARE FILM FOLK: Nate Punzalan


How many cameras do you have in your collection?

I’ve got three: a Canon AE-1 for my SLR, a Canon Canonet QL17 for my rangefinder, and a Yashicamat 124g for my TLR. Oh, and a point-and-shoot called the Nikon Zoom 310 AF, but I barely shoot with it. I’m still looking for an Olympus Stylus Epic.

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

I started shooting film in June 2016, so it’s been over a year.

What are your favorites subjects to shoot?

I shoot lots of architecture--in specific, building corners. I also like shooting trash, and friends.

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

My QL17 is my go-to camera for its portability and versatility. His name is Hunter and he’s kind once you get to know him.

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

Hunter. For sure. He’s my best friend and my favorite. Don’t tell the others.

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

I believe I’ve found my spirit camera in Hunter. He’s quick, always ready, easy to load, and has a short focus throw. He takes the focus off the mechanics and brings it straight to the subject and the story. I’m not really a gear guy; I just want the best camera for capturing moments seamlessly.

What is your Holy Grail Camera?

Give me a Leica M6 and I will never ask for another camera ever again.

What film camera can you recommend to newbies?

Get any SLR with an auto mode, but can be controlled manually too. That way you can learn how to adjust settings yourself to get the correct exposure. My first camera was a Canon AE-1 named Pedro, and he’s still going strong since 1976 or something.

What is your current film stash count?

Right now I’m at 7. I usually hoard about 10 at a time, but my neighbor recently bought a few rolls.

Films you cannot live without.

P O R T R A 4 0 0 (oh and a special mention to Kodak Ultima, my favorite cheap outdated film)

I shoot B&W on anything tbh. I like HP5, Tri-X, and Neopan Acros.

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

…I noticed I was spending thousands on this hobby. At least it forced me to eat less.

Why do you shoot film?

Stories, man. What an honor to capture moments in time that can never be retrieved again except through your photos—the way you took them, the way you saw the moment and portrayed it.

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

Mike Janik and George Muncey (from Negative Feedback), for sure. Go look them up on YouTube and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

What is the worst thing about Film Photography?

Running out of film on the field before golden hour.

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

That it’s for hipsters only. Nope. I believe film can produce some really great professional-looking results (and experiences!) that are hard to emulate on digital.

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

Mang Bebot’s number

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

Shoot more than you feel like, and you WILL get better. Oh, and it’s okay to start with cheap, expired film.


Website: youtube.com/natepunzalan


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