Taylor Ballard is a traveler, skate photographer from the northwest. He does amazing film work and were very excited to showcase some of his photos and ask a few questions. Looking forward to this Instagram series and glad you can join us. –Eric Green
So Taylor were all of your Chile photos shot on film.
Yes, all these photos are shot on film I even shot some expired slide film on my last trip to Chile this past September. I do shoot digital as well but I really prefer film.
What is your favorite camera to shoot with?
For the past two years my favorite camera has been a Leica M6. In May of 2016 I purchased a canon 7 rangefinder and fell in love with that style of shooing. I personally find it so much easier to focus with a rangefinder than a SLR.
How many cameras did you bring with you on your last trip to Chile?
I brought four cameras on this last trip I think. I had my M6 my Canon 6D that is use to shoot the majority of my skate photos, a Yashica Mat twin lens reflex (my second favorite film camera), and a polaroid SX70 that I acquired at a Value Village for $10.
What brought you to Chile?
I visited Chile for the fist time when I was 16 with my church. We built some houses out on the coast in a small town called Iloca that had been recently hit by a huge tsunami. I went down once more in high school and after I graduated I interned at the church down there for about three months. I met a ton of amazing people during these three trips and really fell in love with the culture. I have been back three times since then to visit and skate and am planning on spending a more extended amount of time towards the end of this year.
What would you recommend to someone thinking about visiting Chile?
Chile really has something for everyone. To start the seasons are reversed because Chile is in the southern hemisphere which you can use to your advantage. Santiago is a really cool city. The skate scene is growing exponentially and as most people who skate can attest to it is really easy to connect with people skating around. If you spend some time in Chile I would recommend doing some time in the city and some time out on the coast in Vina Del Mar or Valparaiso they are only and hour bus ride or so from Santiago. As far as in Santiago there is a really rad market in the city center called Santa Lucia that I like to go to at least once every time I visit. If you snowboard and or surf there are some amazing places to do that and if you play your cards right as far as where you are staying you can easily do both in the same day.
How do you get around in Chile? Bus, Uber, Walk?
I mainly use the subway system and the busses to get around in Santiago. The metro system down there is very efficient and makes it really easy to get around. You can Uber down there but it is actually illegal which is kind of weird but to my understanding you won't get in trouble but the driver will. I was with a friend one day and we saw a cop right when we were going to get in an uber so she called the guy and had him pick us up a block or two away.
Are you developing your own film?
I develop my own black and white film but haven't got around to learning how to do color yet. I usually shoot more black and white but did mostly color during this last trip.
What inspires you to travel?
Honestly right now skateboarding and shooting photos is what really motivates me to get out to new places but I find myself constantly being blow away by how many amazing people you meet when you are traveling so that as of late has become another kind of reason for travel. Being in a place that is completely new where you are out of your comfort zone is such a great experience and I got that a lot during the first few trips I did to Chile. Being 19 and not speaking much Spanish at the time and growing up in suburbia having hardly ever taken the bus, and never having learned how to navigate a city without a car and a gps made things pretty difficult at first but made for a very valuable learning experience and something I would love to do again.