Anjali Kapila interviews UCL photographer Michael Stresing.
What type of camera do you use?
I use a variety of cameras: 35mm film, 120 film and my phone. My most used are a Leica M3, Mamiya RZ67 and Contax T3 depending on the circumstances. I buy and sell them because they don’t really lose value.
What inspires you to take photographs?
My inspiration to take photos varies depending on my mood. Growing up, my Dad was big-time into his photography and I actually always hated the camera coming out and having to pose for dozens of pictures. But as I got older, being able to look back on those photos really changed my perspective on the whole process. I never really picked up a camera until last year – when I thought I might as well document my year abroad. I suppose the personal value of photos in terms of nostalgia is a major factor. The other factor would be story-telling; photos are a really powerful tool for sharing an expression, moment, event etc. Something about the decision of where and when to capture a second in time is pretty cool, I guess.
What are some of your favourite sets of photos taken?
Most of my favourites are on my website. The two photos above are from ‘Japan, February/May 2017’ and were taken in Tokyo. I spent 5 weeks in Japan last year and it’s easily one of the best places I’ve ever visited. I suppose one of the things that struck me the most whilst I was there was how peaceful of a place it was despite it being so busy; crowded street corners were somehow still stunningly quiet.
The two photos below are from a set of photos called ‘Jeremy Somers 2017’. Jeremy was my roommate for the year that I lived in Sydney. The photo on the left is at an outdoor basketball court by our place in Bronte and the one of the right was taken during a picnic at Palm Beach.
Do you want to pursue a career in photography?
I don’t foresee myself pursuing a career in photography. Recent changes in technology have made photography a lot more accessible, so I think it’s harder to become a professional. Despite that, I think that it’s definitely a good thing that people can explore the medium with the phones they already have. In any case, the aspects of photography that I enjoy most (film, developing, the personal side of photography) wouldn’t really translate into a career anyway. That said, I’m keen to continue learning and stay open to opportunities as they arise, so, who knows?
Check out more of Michael’s photography here: https://mikeslefthand.com
Image Credit and Feature Image Credit: Michael Stresing