Michael Ellis (b. 1990, Springbok, Northern Cape)
What kinds of things do you most enjoy photographing?
I shoot a wide array of subjects. On film I enjoy shooting portraits, landscape and scenes I come across. On digital I enjoy shooting motorcycles and cars.
Describe your photographic style.
Attention to detail with a splash of absent mindedness.
Photography is a lot about the journey. How has it influenced your personal life
and the way in which you view the world (around you)?
Photography has played a major role in my life. It has put me on an exciting journey and taken me to crazy places. I’ve met some of my closest friends because we all share the same passion. I’m always amazed how much one can discuss this topic.
A big thing it has taught me is to be more observant of what’s happening around me and be patient. This has helped in photography and in my business life as well.
Photography is also about capturing a moment in time. What is your approach to a
shot, and your approach to a new body of work?
Sometimes I have a particular image in mind and I’ll go out and create it. Other times you keep wandering around until you spot something.
Is photography your professional career? Or do you work in another field?
Photography and creating videos is my full time profession.
What gear do you shoot with? Specifically camera arsenal and film stock.
Camera wise I have five main bodies I alternate between. For 35mm, a Nikon F3, Pentax K1000 and Contax G1. For medium format I use a Mamiya 645M Super and a Mamiya 7.
Film wise, I shoot a lot of Agfa Vista 200 35mm and Fuji PRO400H 120mm and Kodak Portra 160 120mm.
Growth is important for any artistic craft. How do you stay motivated and
enthusiastic about your work?
To be honest, I’m still figuring this one out.
What are your influences? Please list other photographers you look up to or
things that generally inspire your image-making process.
My list of photographers is forever changing. Right now it would be the following:
Janne Savon – his images are so simple and clean yet it makes you think about so many things at once.
Tyrone Bradley – for starters his images from the Blunt Magazine days were all over my room growing up. He get’s to shoot some crazy projects and his style/aesthetic remains consistent regardless of what he’s shooting.
Rupert Walker – his mountain biking films are incredible. A big inspiration to keep producing better content.
Frederic Schlosser – the guy shoots cars, and he does a phenomenal job at it.
Daniel McCabe – an incredibly hard working guy who goes places and shoots things most people are too afraid to.
What else do you enjoy? (Hobbies, etc – Any other creative exploits or interests?
I don’t have any other creative exploits besides making films. Whenever I’m not shooting I’m either riding my dirt bike or running.
Any tips for aspiring film photographers?
Always keep shooting and shoot for yourself.
What lies on the horizon (any plans for series, exhibitions, travels etc)? And what do you hope to achieve in the future?
Cape Film Supply, a business I started with a good friend has been going for a year now and things look good. We have big dream and goals and most of our free time gets put into that.
I’m hoping to launch two zines soon. Hopefully I’ll get my arse into gear and start with my list of photo projects I would like to finish before I die too. I really wish our days were 48 hours long, 24 just isn’t enough time to get stuff done.
All photos by Michael Ellis
DEAD TOWN™ | Film-only Photographic Showcase ©2017.