Shooting in low-light conditions is always a bit of a challenge and with film, you need to be extra prepared. The most important thing you can do is have a roll of high ISO film in your bag, ready for those shadier moments. We sent UK photographer Munirah Al Mehri some Lomography 800 Color Negative and Lomography Redscale film to shoot at Asian Art In London and she shared her tips and tricks on shooting in those tricky, indoor situations.
Hello Munirah please introduce yourself and tell us a bit about yourself?
Hello! I am a Kuwaiti photographer based in London. I got into film photography when my grandmother gave me her old point-and-shoot camera in 2016. I took a few photos of my friends with it. When the roll was developed, half of the roll was of me and my friends from that year and the other half were of me and my family from 2006. The film was expired, layering the photos with a soft red tint almost like dust. This accidental juxtaposition sparked in me an interest in the possibilities of film photography! Today I work with both 35mm and medium format to take portrait and architectural photography.
Can you talk us through these photos and explain what made you decide to shoot Asian Art in London on film?
It has been fascinating to examine the photographic language associated with gallery/art photography and subvert it. Many of the images I found myself taking were more like a personal exploration of the gallery experience. I spent the day with Kerr walking from gallery to gallery taking in each space in an embodied way and I feel as if that is translated in the images.
What advice would you give for people who want to shoot with film in a museum or art gallery situation?
My advice would be to make sure you have a flash on you, or a film stock with a high ISO because some galleries can be quite dark. Definitely try it out though film brings a whole new range of exciting possibilities when photographing art.
Any tips on avoiding the dreaded shaky-cam?
A rule I go by is to set your shutter speed to your lens’ focal length. For example, if your lens is 60mm, stick to 1/60th of a second or faster which should give you a good amount of light in your image shake-free.
How did you find shooting with the Redscale and Lomography 800 film?
The Lomography Color Negative 800 film performed really well in the darker galleries and added a lovely grain and warmth to the images. Especially the photographs from the Eskenazi gallery of the sunlight-coated sculptures. However, the Redscale film stole the show for me. I was stunned by its ability to pull the reds from an image, it took me back to the expired photos from my grandmothers’ roll of film. I experimented with my exposures using this film, having heard that with short exposures the image will appear redder. This was particularly fun to use on Susan Page’s Chinese Snuff Bottles. The colorful, well-lit bottles were the perfect subject to try the Redscale film on.
What do you have planned for the rest of 2021?
For the rest of 2021, I will be working towards completing my BA in Media and Communications, and hopefully collaborating on more projects with Asian Art in London and taking more photos of course!