This interview follows Sandy’s exploration of photography.
introduce yourself; how long have you been shooting film?
Hi, I’m Sandy, aka mrs scatteredimage.
I am a Classical pianist, cinephile and an avid chorister. My jaunt in photography began in 2008, particularly after my glorious pilgrimage to Latvia, where in desperation, I grabbed my husband’s camera to capture the strikingly beautiful images appearing before us. Each moment was replete with colour, life and exuberance, and for the first time known to me, I felt the need to preserve my recollection of this extraordinary experience. In music, I have always been a “scribbler”, preserving sounds on manuscript for future recall and development, but the notion of preserving memories became immensely important to me when visiting Latvia, because I was never sure if we would ever return. I fell in love with the beautiful people, the stunning, painterly landscape and sublime examples of architecture.
I haven’t yet mentioned the enormous influence of my husband, Roberts (Robbie) aka thescatteredimage. His immersion and passion in photography continues to inspire and inform my visual and musical imagination. I admire his creativity, his skill and relentless devotion to photography. Our daily lives are consumed with photography and music.
do you prefer colour or black and white? do you have a favourite film, camera or technique you like to work with?
My first film camera was a gift from my friend Rhys (Serge Marx) – a FunCam motor. I clearly remember one of my first “brazen” film pics: a tattoo of a scorpion on a male torso. I felt initiated twofold – firstly, I had managed to nail the focus, but most importantly, I had been able to convince the subject to reveal his tattoo!
“One aperture, one shutter speed!”
I believe Robbie gave me my first Holga 120N (Pretty in Pink) to include me in the close network of photographers we had befriended within the Melbourne flickr crowd and the MSM. It was nice also to be on “the other side” of the lens! Admittedly, any of my initial shyness of being photographed was overcome by very kind, lovely, patient and massively creative friends. Similarly, these friends have supported and encouraged my own photographic endeavours.
My favourite film camera is one of our many Holgas. I have a pink one, a purple one and two 120GNs. One 120GN renders particularly sharp images. No light leaks either! This is my favourite camera.
I prefer shooting B&W (Kodak Tri-X400) because I love the inky, velvety blacks and the contrast that can be extracted. Robbie is responsible for the developing, so all kudos to his “soup”! I have never developed my own film, nor have I loaded my own Holga. Robbie has done all of this for me, and without his patience and nurturing I would never have even seen my own work! He is always telling me: “You have to do this yourself!” And I have smiled, agreed, and handed over my Holga… One day I hope to learn technique…
My preoccupation is about the mood or expressed emotion of the image. I have endeavoured to achieve this with composition, double exposures (I refer to them as superimposition) and implied story-telling. My primary aim in film photography is to delve into the otherworldly, the imaginary or the inexplicable. Photoshop has been a marvelous means to enhancing the qualities of my film images, but I haven’t used digital means to manipulate an image into something that it wasn’t. My superimpositions have been conjured up intentionally in camera.
show us one of your favourite shots and tell us a bit about it – how did you take it? is there a story behind it?
“La croix engloutie” is one of my favourite superimpositions. As a child my dreamlife was periodically vivid, and perhaps for this reason, I can attribute this to a strong fascination with clouds, sky, sunsets and flying objects. Mostly the flying objects in a tangible reality are birds (or planes), but in a dreamscape…
I tried to recapture the mood of La croix engloutie most recently in North Melbourne, see Castle in a cloud
I repeated exactly the same concept I had three years before. I composed a church in full frame, didn’t wind on, and then shot the cloudage.
For me, the title is just as intrinsic to the story-telling as the image itself. Mostly my titles occur to me immediately, the first words that spring to mind, or as an allusion that reverberated when I looked at the image.
In photography, I am fascinated with reflections, mirrors, illusions and the inherent magic captured within a frame, and I believe a title can reveal, inform, suggest, evoke and invoke to a strong degree.
show us a favourite shot from the MSM pool. what do you enjoy in other peoples’ photos?
I emotionally connect with an image with either, its inherent, palpable beauty or its creative, imaginative “orchestration”. I can’t go past the stunning portraits created by Daniel Klaas Noppert (danielklaas) or the beautifully candid portraits and cityscapes orchestrated by Jes (mugley). I am awestruck by all the work of our Silverminers, our annual group exhibitions have enjoyed wonderful artistic success! I have thoroughly enjoyed our creative exchanges of ideas, our meets, our discussions.
I link to this photo because I love its immediacy and candour, or as Robbie tells it: “What we were doing at the moment.”
“Untitled” by Roberts Birze
Question from the previous interviewee Richard Plumridge:
If you could gain access to any space for a shoot (public, private; accessible, restricted) what would it be and what would you shoot? The space itself or another subject?.
This is an imaginative question, so I prefer to illustrate with an example. My most memorable location shoot was in a very cold, dark, abandoned building in Aradale, Ararat in August 2008. Here is one of Rob’s shots of myself.
For me, the excitement in an image stems from the placement of a living, breathing subject in an essentially disparate environment. The model must either embrace the surroundings, or create conflict. In my most memorable experiences (as the subject), either method resulted in an expressiveness or dramatic tension. A soundscape is important to me also. What kind of sounds exist in the space? What kind of sounds can be imagined? Can sounds or music be captured in a photograph?
please give us a question to ask the next person.
Looking at your photographic output, do you hear music?
Thank you Sandy, you can find more of her work on Flickr