It started out with second-hand cameras, a few rolls of film, and the neighborhood Walmart. But for New Jersey-based photographer Micaela Rebelo, the hobby quickly grew into a passion, and the 22-year-old is currently studying in New York City. Medium format, 35 mm of any kind, film became a second nature for Micaela that she shares on her Tik Tok. Armed with some LomChrome Metropolis, she took her camera to the beach for a day of shooting. We asked her about her film photography debut, her inspiration, and of course her future projects!
Hey Micaela! It's great to have you here at Lomography! First off can you tell us how did you get into photography, especially film photography?
I first started photography by honestly being intrigued by everything around me. I wanted to document flowers blooming, the colors of the sunset, and the just everyday moments with the people around me. My first look into film photography was all from family and friends finding their old SLRs and polaroid cameras and instead of donating or throwing them away, giving them to me. My first camera ever was a hand-me-down Canon SLR from my dad, since I didn’t have any money to buy myself a camera I really had to learn the medium through film. My parents would buy me a few rolls of film here and there and take me to our local Walmart to get the photos developed. I loved the feeling of having a physical copy of my work and I knew even when I eventually got into digital photography, film would always hold a special place in my journey.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
Much like when I first started film photography, I still draw inspiration from people, places, and everyday things in my life. I love to turn the mundane into beautiful images and find beauty in situations just like the quarantine we wall have been enduring.
What does a day of shooting look like for you?
A day of shooting for me really depends on the assignment however when it comes to my personal projects, I usually like to drive around places I'm familiar with like my hometown, and stop along the way when something intrigues me. When I'm shooting with a model, it tends to be similar in that we already have a location and direction for the shoot in mind however when we are actually on set I try to find the most intriguing places to photograph and set up my compositions.
What do you like to shoot the most?
This is such a hard question but I think what I love shooting the most are my family and friends. I find that the most interesting photographs I take come from just having my point and shoot with me at all times and being able to snap a quick photo that is both visually interesting and very personal to me. It’s almost like connecting two worlds and I love when people are intrigued by the images as much as I was compelled to make them.
Can you tell us about the pictures you shared to us?
Sure! I really wanted to experiment with the Metropolis film and try it on a few different subjects and lighting situations. For the first roll I shot, I reached out to my friend Bryll and we rode the train all the way from New Jersey out to the iconic Coney Island Boardwalk. I was really interested in how the juxtaposition of the really bright colors would appear on the Metropolis film since the film is supposed to give a more muted color palette. I found that I loved the way the film handled the really bright colors and performed really well on a sunny day. For the second roll, I wanted to experiment with shooting the film in the way I shoot my more personal work. I grew up at the Jersey shore and have always been intrigued by the way everything is sort of “abandoned” on its off-season so I decided to walk around the shore and found compositions that really intrigued me.
How was it shooting with the LomoChrome Metropolis film?
I was a little hesitant at first to shoot with the Metropolis film because my images are usually bright and tend to have really vibrant colors. However, I was surprised that I really loved shooting with this film, I found that the color palette really worked in favor of the images and I loved how it gave all of my images a more soft tone. I treated the film as a regular color film and exposed it at its box speed and the images came out perfectly exposed which I was really happy about.
What camera did you use?
For these images I used the Hasselblad 500cm, my favorite camera I own!
From the pictures you sent us, do you have a favorite?
This is such a tough question! From all the photos, I really love the ones that I was able to capture on the NYC subway. I wasn’t sure if the harsh lighting would work in my favor, but with the Metropolis film it really gave such an amazing feel to the images with the lighting being so harsh and striking. From the second roll I really love the photo of the two houses with the fallen over trash can in the middle. I saw this composition and thought that it reflected the “off season” of this beach town so well and came out as a really interesting photograph.
Where would you recommend shooting the Metropolis film?
I would recommend using the Metropolis film in a city, at the beach or I think it would even have great results in a studio setting. The possibilities are endless if you love experimenting with different film types.
Do you have an upcoming project we should be on the lookout for?
Yes! I am gearing up for my last year of art school in the Fall and will be working on a long year project for my thesis. I haven’t decided exactly which project I will be taking on for the year, but I have a few ideas that I am very excited about and would love for anyone interested to follow my progress on my Instagram or TikTok.
Check out her Tik Tok of that shooting day here.
written by tamarasaade on 2021-04-16