Harry Yeates contacted us to share some of his B&W work along with his story of how he came to photography. With film as such a passion, it’s surprising to find out that Harry is only 15 years of age! We always support film users of any age range and we’re stoked to see young people like Harry keeping the tradition alive.
It all started when we were cleaning up my Dad’s office. While looking through drawers, I noticed a stack of black and white photographs. I picked them up, and asked my Dad about them. He said that they were photos from his (short) residence in San Francisco, in the early 1980s. He went on to tell me how him and his friends used to go out, take photos, come home, and develop and print them in their own darkroom. I was intrigued, to say the least. Not only was I fascinated by the nature of the photographs, I was amazed by the whole medium known as “film”. Now, I was aware that film was a thing, I’d always assumed it was “that stuff that disposable cameras have”. Words like “darkroom” were foreign to me. So, I sat with my father going through the photos… And I was just amazed. They were simply beautiful – each photo had a story behind it, a story that he shared with me after each print we looked at. I knew the importance of photography, in today’s media and family photos, things like that… But I never knew about this whole idea of a spontaneous shot, I always thought it was “Oh, hold this pose!”… Looking at these prints really changed my view. It wasn’t long after that I went on a trip to Buxton with my school, and took a disposable camera with me. As soon as I got the photos back, I knew what I wanted to do in life. There was one specific photo, a photo of my friend sat in the window at the youth hostel we stayed at. And when I showed it to people, I’d often get a remark like “You should be a photographer!”. Of course, I just assumed they were joking. But I did pursue my little dream, and It’s taken to me where I’m currently at.
Inspired by the prints I found in my Dad’s office (which are now happily living on my bedroom wall), I mostly shoot black and white film. My favorite is Tri-X 400, although I do quite like Ilford HP5+. Recently, I did start delving into color films (a bit out of my comfort zone!) – because I was just blown away by the colors of night in the city. I shot a roll of Ektar 100 on a family trip to Wales (as well as a roll of good ol’ HP5+), and was quite happy with the results! However, I love black and white film too much to shoot color full-time. I have quite a wide selection of film cameras – a few that were given to me by family once I announced I’d like to get into it, as well as a few I’ve bought myself. I mainly use a beautiful little Olympus OM10, with an Olympus 50mm OM kit lens. I also have a Trip 35, and a couple of 80s Minoltas’ lying around that I’ve been meaning to try out! – However, I love the more manual-ness of the Olympus OM10, not so much a fan of the “camera does the work”-ness of the Minolta ones.
My photography is mainly inspired by the work of Joseph Sterling, Bruce Davidson, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and others. These may seem like cliché inspirations, but I do perceive my photography as ‘capturing a moment in time’. I take a camera with me wherever I go, you’ll never see me without one! I love photographing people, and recently I’ve been lucky enough to get commissions from local artists. I did a photoshoot with a classical guitarist, and a small shoot with a local DJ. I’m looking to do more commissions, as I simply found the whole experience a lot of fun. I’m very much a fan of street photography, and it’s where I’m very much ‘in the zone’ with photography. I’ve always loved looking at landscape photos, but I’ve never really been fond of taking the shots myself.
I feel very lucky having the opportunity to live in such an interesting area, with so many photo opportunities. I know I’m only a teen, but I feel as though photography is my passion in life, one that I plan to carry with me throughout my lifetime, and pass on to my next generation. A big thank you to Light Radius for allowing me to share my story!
To see more from Harry, check out his Flickr.
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