Interview: Barbara Fischer

Next up is Barbara Fischer, one of our long-standing members.


introduce yourself; how long have you been shooting film?
I’ve been using film for most of my life for holiday snaps and the like. I only started taking an artistic interest in photography when I got involved with Flickr eight years ago. I shot digital for the first two years of flickr and then changed to film when I realized that I really loved the look of it. This is not a nostalgia thing for me, I just prefer how film photography looks and appears in print.

do you prefer colour or black & white? do you have a favourite film, camera or technique you like to work with?
I love both colour and black & white, but black & white that little bit more. A well taken black and white image is hard to beat, the focus is just on light, structures and composition without the added information of colour. Colour adds another layer of complexity to an image but can also mask shortcomings.

I find it harder to shoot in black and white. The image needs more structural integity to work well.

I haven’t got a favourite film per se, I’m quite happy to use most types, including whacky stuff like redscale. When I go out on a photo walk, I take an SLR such as the NikonFE and some plastic, such as a Holga or some other simple point and shoot. For me what I take a picture of is always more important than the gear. I can make most cameras work for me.

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?

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I’m really fond of this one, it kind of fell into my camera like magic. I had the camera out and and it just happened. I like pictures of people with their faces obscured, this was a lovely street grab.

I usually look for this harsh light, I like the hard shadows and rich colours it produces.

show us a favourite shot from the MSM pool. what do you enjoy in other peoples’ photos?

I love getting suprised. I’m always delighted by photos that that show me a new aspect of a familiar scenario, I’m less impressed by a regular photo of a “sensational” scenario, a spectecular landscape for example. Having said that, I’m fond of landscapes too.

For some reason I don’t quite understand, I’m getting a lot of my pictures in Flickr’s Explore, and because of that I’ve looked at a lot of the photos featured in there. I noticed, that they seem to fall into one of the these categories: “wow”, “sexy” or “cute”. It’s safe to say that I don’t really like any pictures that can be summerized with one of those tags.

This is a beautifully atmospheric portrait by Ahmad:
light leak

A gorgeous street shot by Vinnie Piatek.

A bar portrait I love by yeled.

I love ziz‘s and lonely radio‘s photos too.

question from prev interviewee Hasan Ibrahim:
What does photography mean to you?

One reason I like film photography is that it makes me slow down, and that gives me photos I’m happier with. I try to take pictures that are meaningful to me in some way, the spray and pray method just gives me noise.

Since I’ve got nearly 2,500 photos in my flickr stream the photography has also taken on the role of a visual time line of my life.

Other peoples’ photos are also very important to me, I especially love Lee Friedlander, Robert Frank and Josef Koudelka.

please give us a question to ask the next person.
Did you ever have an “aha-moment” that turned your photography around for you in some way?

You can find more from Barb at:
Flickr

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One Response to Interview: Barbara Fischer

  1. Damian Young says:

    Made for some nice reading over lunch!

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