Lina Bessonova: Developing Heavy Metal

(46min, 44MB)
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If you’ve done a YouTube search for 4×5 photography you may have seen a video of a woman with blue hair and a Metallica T-shirt. Bill has a one-on-one interview with photographer, and YouTuber, Lina Bessonova to talk about her journey into photography and her new darkroom lab in Florence, Italy.


It all started with a college advisor that pushed a once radio broadcast major into a photography class. Little did she know it would ultimately alter her path into Photography. Lina Bessonova is known for her YouTube channel, uploading educational videos in developing film and printing in the darkroom.

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Approaching from a very analog background, many of her images are not scanned and posted to the internet. She takes images of her prints and shares those to the world. She shares her stories of discovering new printing methods through the occasional ‘happy mistake’.

Make no mistake, she isn’t some ‘girl with a camera’. She approaches her work very technically. She describes her process in the interview. She discusses how she enjoys working in a very male dominated industry. She earns the respect by letting the work speak for itself.

She shoots less large format now, however she still does much of her work armed with a Mamiya 7 II and her film of choice: Kodak T-MAX 400. For square format, she very much enjoys shooting with her Yashica D TLR 6×6 camera.

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She is currently working on an exhibition which will be hosted in New York City in May 2019. She has recently opened her darkroom lab in Florence Italy, where she produces her prints and hosts workshops for photographers interested in shooting analog. You can visit her website, linabessonova.photography.  You can also follow her on instagram and check out her awesome work.

Before the interview ended we talk about her favorite Metallica song. I recount a story where my high-school metal band lit some drum sticks on fire for ‘Master of Puppets’ thinking we were going to get kicked out of school. She has many favorites, but her all-time favorite: ‘Sad but True’.

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