Call It Nostalgia: A Story by Dutch LomoAmigo Maarten van Riel

1

Historian as profession and photographer in his spare time - Maarten van Riel, our newest Dutch Lomo Amigo, has written a beautiful story and took beautiful pictures. Curious? Read on.

Maarten van Riel

Name: Maarten van Riel
City: Utrecht
Country: Nederland

Call it nostalgia

Tell us…
As a child I owned a plastic camera from an unknown Asian brand and a roll of film from a store called Kruidvat. I used to shoot animals, agricultural vehicles and still life of nature. Overall I captured well thought out images, but I’m not sure about that. Later on I have not developed photography consciously, I studied history and international relations. After I graduated, I wrote a book, Zaterdagmiddagrevolutie (Boom, 2010), and since a year and a half I am involved in detecting explosives from the second World War as a historian.

Analogue/Lomography?
Until last year I mainly used a Canon EOS400D and every once in a while a black and white film in my father’s old Chinon. But then I started shooting analogue more often with a discarded Minolta from the nineties. My friends noticed that and gave me a Holga for my birthday. It’s not the most practical camera, but it introduced me to Lomography. Since early 2011 I have moved away from digital photography for good. The Canon, which I once bought with such feelings of happiness, is lying under the closet unused. There are 5 analogue camera’s lying around the house and there is a box full of film in the dresser.

Berlin 2010. Chinon camera with Ilford film.
Holga 2010.

What do you do with it?
Because I have never received training in photography, I am not familiar with conceptual thinking. But photography books (favorites are Satellites by Jonas Bendiksen, The Roma Journeys by Joakim Eskildsen and a reference work of Martin Parr) inspire and motivate me to photograph thematically. Since june 18th this year I have started a project called _Wendepunkt_ – registering the 30th year of my life.

Wendepunkt, _Wendepunkt_

What is your view on photography?
Something that has also played a role in my decision to discard the Canon, is the obviousness with which is being photographed digitally. The British allrounder John Ruskin (1819-1900) could, according to Alain Bottons De kunst van het reizen, really go off the deep end about the obviousness with which people photographed: ‘Instead of using photography as an addition to the active, conscious watching, they considered it an alternative and they paid less attention to the world then before, trusting they would own it automatically because of the photograph.’ Of course there is an explanation for this: people in the 21st century, unlike those in Ruskin’s 19th century, travel more than ever. Multiple holidays a year, weekend- and day trips, in short: the average (western) human being is away from home more and more. Those people use photography to capture memories and share them through social media. I don’t think people want to own something as much as Ruskin once expressed.

Capturing a weekend in France with friends, 2011.

*Sprocket Rocket?*
Analogue photography forces you to watch and think more – the rolls of film and development are cheaper than ever, but it is still more expensive than transferring digital pictures to your computer. It’s no difference with the _Sprocket Rocket_. ‘Lots of light’ was the advice when I got it, and ‘don’t think too much’. During holiday in Spain and Portugal I’ve tested the the _Sprocket Rocket_ thoroughly, but almost every photo was taken thoughtfully.

Photo 5. Portugal 2011. Thoughtful photo.

Too bad almost the entire roll was overexposed. I thought I took great pictures in the Mezquita in Cordoba. My idea was to place the camera on a closet while open the shutter for 30 seconds long exposure. The first shot failed due to the fact a guard was talking to me about my position – fully sweating leaning to the closet. The next try become a failure too. Conclusion – luck is what you often need. When I shot a cylcist with a roll of Lomography film in my old Chinon, the picture ended up great. Thanks to the light meter, the film is exposed exactly right.

Northern Spain, Lomography Color Negative 400 film in the Chinon.

I had to get used to the sprocket holes at first, but eventually they give value to some pictures.

Northern Spain 2011, Sprocket Rocket.
Lisbon 2011, Sprocket Rocket

The coolest thing about the _Sprocket Rocket_ is the fact it has a widescreen and it has a rewind function. That’s why these pictures below ended up very special – my favorites of this series.

Portugal 2011, rewind function Sprocket Rocket
Germany 2011, rewind function Sprocket Rocket

What do you photograph?
I used to prefer taking still life shots, but I photograph people increasingly. The _Sprocket Rocket_ is perfect for snapshots – an underdeveloped technique of mine. I have noticed that the possibilities of snapshooting depends on the country you are in. For example in the Balkan it is better to ask people up front if you can photograph them. A practical solution is shooting someone’s back – which was an item on your site recently. For _Wendepunkt_ I document my own life (although it is difficult sometimes, what represents your life?) with my Minolta, despite the fact that the _Sprocket Rocket_ produces surprising images. With Lomography the result invites you to look.

Münster 2011. Snapshot.
Berlin 2011. Snapshot

If your photo selection should have a soundtrack, which artists and tracks would it get?

  1. The Cure – Play for the Day (for dark photos)
  2. Fool`s Gold – Surprise Hotel (for summer pics)
  3. Kings of Convenience – Boat Behind (for nostalgic photos)

And what the future?
Well, at the moment the _Sprocket Rocket_ is lying in the closet – too little light outside! I am going to focus on _Wendepunkt_. A selection of this work brightens up café De Balie in Amsterdam this month (October/November 2011). But this summer’s Lomography experience excited me. I would like to experiment more so I will definitely keep using Lomography film.

Check out more photos by Maarten van Riel:

written by mrmaart on 2011-11-23 in #people #lomoamigos

One Comment

  1. feelux
    feelux ·

    Great photos!

More Interesting Articles

  • Daniel Zvereff: Artistic Explorer

    written by Jill Tan Radovan on 2015-02-09 in #people #lifestyle
    Daniel Zvereff: Artistic Explorer

    A freelance designer and illustrator by profession, New York-based Daniel Zvereff is an ardent traveler who documents his journeys the old-fashioned way – with hand-written journals and photographs. In this feature, Zvereff talks about his passion for travel, and how it has sparked a love affair with cameras and lenses.

    2
  • Petzval LomoAmigo: Lomokev

    written by hannah_brown on 2014-11-06 in #people #lomoamigos
    Petzval LomoAmigo: Lomokev

    By now most of you would have heard of Lomokev, one of the UK's most prolific film photographers. Based in Brighton, Lomokev loves to shoot with the trusty LC-A and his work has been featured in numerous publications and projects. We lent him a Petzval lens and asked him a few questions about what makes him tick. Here's an exclusive interview, along with a several fantastic shots by the talented UK-based photographer.

    2
  • Lomo Amigo Galleries: Asher Moss and the Lomo LC-A+ (NSFW)

    written by jillytanrad on 2014-06-02 in #people #lomoamigos
    Lomo Amigo Galleries: Asher Moss and the Lomo LC-A+ (NSFW)

    Last week, we saw how photographer and pseudo Internet celebrity Asher Moss can create feelings of nostalgia and understated sensuality with the help of the Diana F+. But Moss’ display of talent and vision doesn't end there; just in time for LC-A month, we proudly showcase more of Moss’ photos, taken with the Lomo LC-A+.

    3
  • Shop News

    Wear lomo-love on your skin

    Wear lomo-love on your skin

    You’ve shouted your analogue love from the rooftops and worn your heart on your sleeve – Now it’s time to take it to the next level and wear it on your skin! Our new Lomography Tattoos are fun, easy to apply and come in five designs.

  • Lomography x The Victoria and Albert Museum Presents a HORST Rumble

    written by hannah_brown on 2014-10-03 in #competitions
    Lomography x The Victoria and Albert Museum Presents a HORST Rumble

    Horst P. Horst was a fashion photographer who became famous for his striking use of composition and lighting. His photographs depict sheer and timeless beauty. The Victoria and Albert Museum is celebrating Horst's work with a retrospective exhibition of photographs from his prolific career. Lomography has teamed up with the V&A to give YOU the chance to win amazing prizes including tickets to see the exhibition, a book of his photographs and a Diana F+ Colette. Read on to find out more.

  • Petzval Artist : Black & White Fashion Photos by Basilio Silva

    written by shibuya on 2014-06-09 in #people #lomoamigos
    Petzval Artist : Black & White Fashion Photos by Basilio Silva

    Enriched by many years of experience as a professional photographer, Basilio Silva from Buenos Aires has become a fashion photographer who shoots quirky and bold pictures. He tried shooting with the new Petzval lens and finally, here we are, happy to share this beautiful series of black & white bokeh swirling pictures.

  • An Interview with Photographer Stephen Takacs

    written by chooolss on 2014-06-04 in #lifestyle
    An Interview with Photographer Stephen Takacs

    Exactly one month ago, we featured a fascinating project called "Brownie in Motion" by Columbus, Ohio-based photographer Stephen Takacs. We've recently had an interview with the man himself, in which he discusses in great detail not only his "dream project" but also his other works in various photographic processes including the ambrotype, tintype, and platinum palladium! Read our exclusive chat and take a look at his awesome work after the jump!

    2
  • Shop News

    Show Off your Pics with Style!

    Show Off your Pics with Style!

    Build vivid hanging LomoCurtains, robust free-standing LomoCastles, and dazzling mounted LomoMosaics! Just click them together with the Lomography Photoclips!

  • A Salute to the Masters: The Sirius Space Mission to the Third Planet (A Tribute to Peter Mitchell)

    written by sirio174 on 2014-05-06 in #lifestyle
    A Salute to the Masters: The Sirius Space Mission to the Third Planet (A Tribute to Peter Mitchell)

    Imagine an alien space mission from a planet of the Sirius Star System to an abandoned industrial zone of Como, a city situated in the North of Italy. The alien photographer named sirio174, used a powerful futuristic camera, called Lomo Lubitel 166U loaded with a Kodak Portra film roll. Yes, no digital, because the future is...analogue! During his journey, he learned the most common language of our planet -- English -- and he wrote this article for us. Read more after the jump!

  • Photographer Gilbert Blecken Captures Iconic Musicians on Film

    written by hannah_brown on 2015-03-02 in #people #lifestyle
    Photographer Gilbert Blecken Captures Iconic Musicians on Film

    Back in the 1990s, Gilbert Blecken was a big music fan and wrote for his own small music fanzine. He would interview bands in between sound checks and take photographs of them. He was never a professional photographer or worked for a company; he simply did it for his fanzine. Twenty years on, Gilbert’s photographs have matured into an amazing documentation of some of the biggest music icons of that era. We caught up with Gilbert to ask him about these photographs and the fascinating story behind them.

    3
  • Photo of the Day by megalithicmatt

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-03-02 in #world #news
    Photo of the Day by megalithicmatt

    Bathing in blue, this wintry landscape looks utterly magical.

    1
  • Shop News

    Get 20% off on the Lomography Experimental Lens Kit

    Get 20% off on the Lomography Experimental Lens Kit

    Satisfy your hunger for creative snap-shooting with this lens package made especially for Micro 4/3 digital cameras.

  • Catfordst is our LomoHome of the Day!

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-03-02 in #world #news
    Catfordst is our LomoHome of the Day!

    From everyone here in Lomography, congratulations to catfordst for winning Home of the Day!

    3
  • March Workshops and Events at Lomography Soho

    written by hannah_brown on 2015-03-02 in #world #news #events
    March Workshops and Events at Lomography Soho

    Those long, frosty, dark nights are finally behind us. It's time to dust of your Diana F+; wipe down your LC-A Wide and get shooting again! Join us for some fabulous workshops and events in Soho and come and visit us in March at the Birmingham NEC as part of The Photography Show 2015. Read on for the full line up.

  • March 2015 Workshops and Events at Lomography NYC

    written by mindofmyra on 2015-03-02 in #world #news #events
    March 2015 Workshops and Events at Lomography NYC

    It's time to come out of winter hibernation! The warm weather of spring is around the corner, and it's time to celebrate. From a bar crawl to a community group exhibition, we're doing it all. So grab your kilts and clovers and come join us for another round of fun!