A few questions with Joe Singleton

A few questions with Joe Singleton


What do you love most about shooting film?

I like the discipline you need to have when limiting yourself to a certain number of exposures, I tend to go out and shoot something specific and only take a couple of rolls with me so I need to make every shot count. It forces me to think about what I'm doing and so usually means the images I do take are better for it.

What is your favourite film stock to use and why?

I like any film which is versatile enough to be used in a variety of lighting conditions. Most of them have been discontinued now - Fuji NPS 160, Pro 400H and Portra 400NC but the current Portra 160 and 400 are what I usually shoot now. 

Favourite camera to use and why?

It changes depending on the sort of work I am making, at the moment it's either my Intrepid 4x5 or Plaubel Makina 67. Though I really need to buy another 35mm camera, something cheap and easy that you don't have to think too much with.

What's your favourite photo you've shot on film?

That's really hard because it changes all the time. Recently it's probably this image of a burnt out car I came across whilst out shooting with my 4x5. I am really drawn to images like this; serendipitous encounters, anything out of the ordinary within suburban environments.


Any tips for someone who's wanting to start shooting on film?

Keep it simple, buy a manual SLR and understand the relationship between Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO. As soon as it clicks you'll start taking better photos.

Best and worst thing about shooting on film?

Best - The rewarding experience when the image you get matches or exceeds your expectation from the moment.

Worst - Leaving the lens cap on when you're using a new rangefinder camera, have cycled 20 odd miles, shot 2 rolls of film and don't realise until just before you get home.



If you could shadow any photographer for a day, who would it be? Doesn't have to be famous or alive!

I'd love to have met William Eggleston when he was making his seminal colour work just to see if he was always as enigmatic as he is now. I'd also love to show early photographers like Eugene Atget or Maxime Du Camp what photography has evolved into and see what they would think of modern technology and photographic practice. I find it interesting how trends come and go - I see people making work with similar elements to theirs 150 years later.

Do you work in photography or is it more of a hobby / passion of yours?

It's both, I love working with photography but I'm not a commercial photographer - I've always found the technical side of analogue photography appealing so that's what I love about running the lab. Outside of that I just find the challenge of using the language of photography to create a narrative exciting and rewarding.

If money was no object, what camera would you own?

Probably an Alpa of some kind.

Do you shoot colour, black and white or a mixture?

I shoot both, depending on what the subject is or what the motivation for the work is. Sometimes it's about the limitations of one over the other and what that adds to making a series of images, other times it just happens to be what's in my camera or on my shelf!

To see more of Joes work, click here