Our interview with Portland film photographer Taylor Pendleton. Working across landscape and portraiture, Taylor's photos carry a certain sense of peace, with clean, beautiful colours and expert composition.
"FILM SEEMED LIKE THE ULTIMATE EXPERIMENT"
Can you tell us a little about this shot?
“This shot is very simple, but it actually means quite a bit to me. My partner and I were eating lunch on a bench in Monterey, California with this scene as our view. I kept staring at it as we ate. I remember eating quickly so I could go get my camera and make this image. I was very new at shooting medium format and honestly still a little skeptical of my own ability. When I got the scans back, my heart did a little dance. I was so happy...not only because I made the image I wanted, but it’ll always make me think about sharing a meal with Tyler there on that bench.”
What inspired you to first pick up a film camera?
“I picked up my first film camera very early on at the start of my photography journey. I was experimenting with everything—cameras, settings, digital, film, compositions, etc. Film seemed like the ultimate experiment, since you don’t know what you’re going to get until you get it.”
How did you become a photographer and what were you doing as a career before?
“I started photographing in high school, so it’s actually been my main form of work since I joined the workforce.”
Are there any inspirational words that have left a lasting impression on you?
“Joe Greer has spoken about making photographs rather than taking them. When I first heard that, I almost didn’t see the distinction between the two and how they differed so greatly. But now, when I’m composing, I can’t get it out of my head. I’ll think, “I’m making this image. How would I like it to be?”
Finally, if you had to only shoot colour or black and white for the rest of your life - what would it be?
“As funny as it sounds, I’d probably choose black and white. It seems there are more boundaries there...and if you’re going to limit yourself like that anyway, why not go all the way?”
I love the smoker. That is a very clever shot. Did you do that with the Mamiya RZ67? How long was the exposure?