Joey Bidner is a film photographer from Ottawa, Ontario who attended a very strict private school where creativity was not welcome. His creative side started to surface once he left the campus and emerged the artist he is today.
Film photography is a process that takes time, and Bidner is very aware of that. “Since I shoot film, there is a decent amount of time that occurs between the time I shoot to the time I see the photos.” TUBE. caught up with Bidner to talk about his recent series, “Stoked on Stains,” as well how he is as an artist and his processes.
TUBE.: Do you strictly work with film or do you also use digital processes?
Bidner: “The only digital camera I have is the one on my phone. It’s really hard to selfie with film.”
T: What draws you to the older process of film?
B: “There are a number of things I love about film. Firstly, it’s the process of taking the photo with no immediacy of results. Because I cant see the photo as I am taking it, I cannot obsess about it. I think about the shot, calculate it, take it, then move on… Most importantly, I love the process of making a photo from start to finish. Taking the photo, processing it, and printing it manually, all have so much creative latitude to affect the photo… I found that when I was taking photos with a digital camera, they lived on a hard drive, and even when I got them printed I just didn’t care about the picture tangibly. But when I print a photo I made by hand, I love the little bastard.”
T: Can you talk a little bit about your “Stoked on Stains” series? What is it about?
B: “Stoked on stains was my first series of photos. It came from traveling around and noticing immense beauty in wall stains …I began to see the natural complexity of these stains, and how urban decay can lend visual history to a building which ads an unseen level of beauty that is often unnoticed. I became fascinated with the character and depth it gave a plain wall. Once I started noticing wall stains I began to see cities in a whole new lens. So I started taking pictures of them.”
T: What caused you to start using double exposures within your work?
B: “The series of the double exposures I did recently were a part of a series I worked on with masks to explore the duality of our personalities and the veil we hide behind. I became fascinated with the exploration of these versions of ourselves, and visually representing them with masks began my process of finding my own masks and the grip they have on my life. The double exposures played an important roll in the series because they allowed you to see through the mask, to the face behind it, or the person within. This better conveyed the concept I was exploring. None of the masks I used were transparent. I was able to achieve transparency with double exposures and a calculated exposure compensating technique to get them just the right amount of transparent.”
Check out more of Joey Bidner’s work here.
Words: Heather Uroff. Images courtesy of Joey Bidner.