About me

Film photography has been a bit of a rabbit hole for me. I’ve always been into photography among many other visual and artistic endeavours. I have a background in graphic design and visual arts, but for some reason I didn’t consider myself much of a photographer until I got interested in 35mm film photography again in 2016. I had previous experience in film initially around the late 90’s and early 2000’s just before the world of photography went digital.

“I’m not a film vs. digital kind of guy. I’m film and digital kind of guy.”

I shoot both film and digital, but I’m definitely like film more. I certainly think about it more and it seems to teach me more about photography and it’s fundamentals. That is the reason I started writing this blog. Since I’m thinking about film photography so much, I want to print out my thoughts from my brain, as an open learning journal. I also want be part of the film community and help spreading the word about this awesome medium.

Approach and influences

I like straight photography and in-camera techniques. I use Photoshop in my daily work more than enough and want to leave that out of my photography as much as I can. I try to avoid editing and even cropping. Black and white images look beautiful as they are and I usually add just a hint of contrast or adjust the tones slightly.

My favourite genre is street photography, inspired by the usual big names of classic photo journalism, such as Cartier-Bresson, Doisneau and Alfred Eisenstaedt. I also enjoy very much the work and teachings of John Free. In addition to street photography, I very much enjoy anything nature related, as I am an avid outdoor enthusiast, which is probably less obvious judging from my photo gallery. But occasionally you can find me from a long arctic hike from Lapland with my camera. I’m originally from Helsinki, Finland, where I like to shoot most of my street photos.

My gear setup

I really enjoy simple, well-built, mechanical vintage cameras. I love gear just as much as anyone, but I try to keep my collection very minimal and I often give away or sell the stuff that I don’t need.

Leica setup
  • Leica M6 classic (black chrome)
  • Leica Summaron 35mm f2.8

I switched from Leica M4-2 to M6 very recently. The Leica is my main shooter that I take everywhere with me. It has to be the best and most enjoyable camera I’ve ever used. I absolutely love it!

Olympus setup
  • Olympus OM-1 md body (chrome)
  • Olympus OM-2n md body (black)
  • OM Zuiko 50mm f1.8
  • OM Zuiko 35mm f2.8
  • OM Zuiko 28mm f3.5

The original Olympus OM series is just the best! I’ve shot probably a million rolls through my OM-1, which is probably my all time favourite SLR. After hearing so much good about the OM-2 as well, I recently added that to my Olympus collection too.

Canon setup
  • Canon AE-1 body (chrome)
  • FDn 50mm f1.8
  • FD 50mm f1.8
  • FDn 35mm f2.8
  • FD 24mm f2.8
  • FDn 70—210mm f4

I bought the AE-1 body back in 2006. Even though I don’t shoot it as much anymore, it has a special significance to me. It is my first truly vintage camera. I used to dream about owning one as a teenager and after few years thinking about it, I saved my pennies and acquired one for 50€ in 2006. The same camera got me into film photography ten years later in 2016, after re-discovering it from my storage.

Film and developing

I develop my own black and white negatives at home. At the moment I mostly use D-76 and Rodinal for developing. I enjoy different kinds of films, but my all time favourite has to be Kodak Tri-x 400, that I usually push to 800.

 

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Email: pekka@pekkakeskinen.com

Your pal,
— Pekka Keskinen