ANALOGIE Madoka Okuda

„To photograph analogue means to visualize the feeling of longing and to embrace imperfection.“

Ein Interview mit Madoka Okuda über die wundervollen Eigenheiten der Filmfotografie

„I think you need to be attuned to yourself and have the courage to see who you are. It also requires patience, imagination, decisiveness and spontaneity.“

Who is this person behind the camera? Who are you?

I have a strong desire to understand who I am. I am constantly reflecting on my thoughts and getting curious about what each incident in my life is teaching me. I am very emotional and sensitive but also analytical and bold. I am adventurous too. I left Japan when I was 17 to live overseas as I had always wanted to see the world and experience things. Although I may be more cautious and fearful now that I am older, I think I am still the same at the core.

What does it mean to you to photograph analogue?

It means to visualize the feeling of longing and to embrace imperfection.

Would you like to tell me your routines, how do you go about it when you shoot analog? And can you give us some insights into how you develop your films yourself.

I make self portraits on film. I have a tripod set up in the corner of my room so that I can just mount a camera with a self-timer and start shooting whenever I would like. I use my teddy bear to determine the area of focus. It is still challenging but gives me a general idea where I need to place myself.  A remote shutter release would be helpful but since I don’t have one, I run back and forth to the camera to press a shutter (I must look pretty funny haha) while hoping the picture will come out the way I am imagining in my head. I am not seeking precision or efficiency. The process can be awkward and time consuming but I enjoy that. The result is almost always imperfect but I believe that’s what makes a picture interesting and beautiful.

Since I do not have a space for a dark room, I use a changing bag and a developing tank with reels. I learned many tips from youtube such as rinsing negatives with distilled water if you do not have photo-flo, using fingers and anti-static wipes instead of squeegees when drying negatives, etc. I find that scanning is actually the most time consuming part of developing films at home.

Are there certain moments or situations that you particularly like to capture on film?

I get lots of natural light in my apartment but especially when the strong sunlight is shining through the windows, I want to capture that moment on film. I love how even the stark light and shadow have a touch of softness when shot on film.

Do you have a tip for a good self-portrait?

I think you need to be attuned to yourself and have the courage to see who you are. It also requires patience, imagination, decisiveness and spontaneity.

Finally, one more question that always bothers me a lot. Why you do self portraits? Whats your idea behind and what do they give you personally?

I picked up a camera to take photos of the handmade lingerie that I was making. One day I decided to photograph myself in my lingerie. Just me and my camera in my room. The whole experience felt really intimate and catheric. It was almost euphoric. I view the act of making a self portrait as psychological, philosophical and spiritual. It helps me deepen the understanding of the human psyche and our subconscious mind. I also enjoy the feeling of getting lost in the moment. It now has become an important part of my self-love routine along with meditation and journaling.