5 Questions with Thomas Baken

1. Can you please introduce yourself, tell us where you’re from, and how long you’ve shot on film?

I’m Thomas Baken, I grew up just outside of NYC. Now I’m 25 and live in Brooklyn with my cat, Percy. I’ve been shooting film for just a year and a half, but have always been interested in photography.

2. Why do you like to shoot on film?

It sounds cliche, but I enjoy the ritual of it all. It’s sort of like listening to records or making your own coffee – not particularly convenient, not without technical flaws, but those parts are comforting somehow. I enjoy shooting film when traveling. Regardless of the medium, taking a picture captures a memory, a moment in time during your trip. However, there’s something special that happens when you have to wait to pickup your negatives – you almost get to extend how long you were away for. There are tons of little snippets and recollections that come flooding back when you finally see the photos.

3. What’s your favorite gear to use (camera, lens, film) ?

I love my Pentax 6×7 and the 105mm f/2.4. I find that Portra 160 or Ektar 100 are a great match for this setup – the limiting shutter speed (max 1/1000) means that faster films will be overexposed when shooting wide open. The 5 pound, behemoth of a camera is a real head turner and conversation starter as well.

4. Among your works, which one is your favorite? Why?

It’s hard to pick a favorite – I’m tempted to say whatever photo got the most upvotes or the most likes is my “best” but I don’t think that’s really true on a personal level. It’s the same case for everyone – some favorite photos are garbage from a technical standpoint and don’t really look great, but they have a story behind them.

5. Exactly what it is you want to say with your photographs?

I wouldn’t say I have a style or message that I’m trying to convey or anything like that. Generally, I’ll find myself shooting similar themes or ideas on a given roll of film. If I find something that’s distinctly interesting, I’ll try to get 3 or more photos of similar/matching ideas that I can put onto my instagram.

You can follow Thomas on instagram @analog_tom

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