It's 2004 and cutting-edge 6 megapixel digital cameras are taking over the world - one MySpace profile photo at a time. A 16-year old Elias Nousiopoulos is also diving into the world of photography, through the discovery of his father's old Canon film camera. Fast forward to the age of Instagram and smartphones, and the Mill color assistant is still using the same exact camera to produce the beautiful photos published, Liked, and shared through @EliasColors.
From discovering film to over 6,000 followers on Instagram, we asked Elias to share his process and evolution as a photographer, and how it's helped him develop as a colorist. For even more photos and creative work by the artist, visit his website and follow @EliasColors on Instagram.
How did you get into photography?
When I was 16, I came across my father's 1970's Canon FTB 35mm film camera from when he was in school. He taught me how to use the camera and it led to taking a photography class at my high school. My teacher was very influential and the experience has inspired me to continue with photography. To this day, I still use the same exact camera and I have no desire to switch to digital anytime soon.
How do you select your style and subjects?
My style of photography has always been photo journalism with subjects ranging from landscapes to portraits of friends. I never know what my subject or settings will be but I always have my film camera on me, ready to capture whatever I encounter throughout the day. Normally, I will pick a location to shoot at and just explore to see what I find. It also gives me an excuse to travel.
What tools and techniques do you use in your process?
The film I use is always random, ranging from different black-and-white to color rolls, and I will use any brand, but Kodak is my favorite. Sometimes I'll encounter old expired film in random shops, creating interesting results in the developing process. Once my negatives are developed, I scan them at home and clean up the image in photoshop to remove the dust. After exporting a high quality image, it's imported into my iphone and edited with the VSCO application. When I am happy with my image, I use Instagram to post my photos.
How have you evolved as a photographer?
When I first started, I had a hard time finding the perfect moment for taking a photo. It took time to become patient with my camera and subjects. Shooting on film has taught me to really focus on what I'm capturing and to make sure there is some type of feeling behind it. The more I shot with film, the more I was able to critique myself on the results and picture changes I could have made.
Critiquing helps me continue to challenge myself creatively and improve with even better photos for the next roll. This is why I love film photography - because it helps with making me a better photographer. With digital cameras you can just take as many photos as you like and make your selects later. I recommend beginners start by learning on film ....while it's still around.
Which photo is your favorite?
My favorite photographs are probably the black and white ones from my trip to Amsterdam. I went with my best friend, who also does film photography, and we used the trip to practice. The architecture, people and culture were very inspiring to me, so I tried to capture the feeling of my experience through photography. My favorite photo from the trip is one I took of a man walking down the street because it reminds me of the whole experience.
How does photography play a role in your work as a colorist?
Photography plays a major roll in my journey to becoming a colorist. I use photography as a tool to help me practice with color grading and to come up with looks for future projects. And since most of what we do now is digital, it is nice to still have the chance to play with film.