Guild Member Nick Conte Interview
When did you start photographing?
I've been taking pictures since I was a kid but I became more serious
about it when I took my first photography class in high school. That
was when I had my first opportunity to use a camera with some manual
features and different lenses, and spending time in the darkroom made
me appreciate the real artistry.
Have you always used film?
Yes. The time spent in the darkroom holds at least as much interest
for me as taking the photo in the first place, so I've mostly stayed
away from digital. Of course, I do have a digital camera for the photo
album stuff - hanging out with friends and family.
How is using film different from using a digital camera?
I find the main difference for me to be the amount of effort I put
into setting up a shot. With digital, I can just snap away without
really taking my time to consider the basics of the composition. If it
doesn't look right, I just take another one. With film, I slow down
and really try to get it right because I know I won't see the image
until I develop it - and it's usually too late to do it over.
Finding the space! I have a pretty small house, so I'm having to
reorganize my basement to make it work. Making it light tight but with
adequate ventilation is also interesting when you're trying to do it
on a shoestring. There are a lot of great resources on the internet
though, and friends have been a great help.
What do you like most about shooting with black and white film?
Black and white really makes me think. How can I convey what I'm
trying to show without color? How do I grab someone's eye without a
bright patch of red or blue to pull them in? It's a constant challenge
Any future projects you are working on?
Once the dark room is up I'll be pouring over my negatives from the
past few years to try and print some of them. I also have some
medium-format images that haven't been printed as my film scanner can
only do 35mm, so I'm really looking forward to putting those up at the
Dedham Square Artist Guild in the near future. I'll also be doing a
series of night shots from in and around Dedham.