I first saw Shane Taylor’s work on his main instagram account (@heroesforsale) and instantly loved the way that he saw and captured street photography. It’s only after following him that I discovered his incredible black and white film work – he has a really beautiful way of photographing scenes and emotions so I decided to catch up with him about street, film and gear.
Tell us a bit more about yourself
I’m an Irish designer living in North London. I started street photography a few years ago as a way of dealing with social anxiety, which I’ve had since my teens. It became a way of forcing myself to get out of the house every day and interact with people. Then I started to really like it.
My anxiety has informed my style of photography in a way. I’m very aware of people’s behaviours and micro-expressions. So when I’m walking around a city I usually try to focus in on details like that. I’m far more interested in character, emotion and mood of a photograph rather than the geometry of it.
I’ve always wanted to try film because my favourite photographs are all from the 1950s-1970s when digital didn’t exist. I didn’t get into shooting film until I started to home develop after watching a skillshare course by Andre Wagner. Once I’d figured it out, home developing allowed me to burn through tons of film at a very low cost and learn a lot more quickly.
I keep shooting film out of enjoyment. It’s a more pleasing experience for me to wander around a city with a few rolls of film in a bag, shooting only when I see something interesting. Very low pressure. With digital I have a tendency to take a lot more photos because it’s free- which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s just less enjoyable for whatever reason.
What do you shoot on?
My main film camera is a Yashicamat 124 6×6 Twin Lens Reflex. It’s modelled on the classic Rolleiflex cameras that photographers like Vivian Maier and Diane Arbus used. It’s a very successful camera design that’s sadly been forgotten in the race to develop 35mm.
There’s something very special about using a TLR, in that you’re looking directly down into the viewfinder, which breaks eye contact with the subject. I think 90% of being discreet in street photography is avoiding eye contact. So despite the camera being rather large, I can still get very close to people with a 50mm lens.
All Images Copyright© Shane A Taylor(@shane.a.taylor) 2018