We welcome 2013 with a bang! And how do we that, you ask? Simple! We feature amazing Lomographers and share you the most awesome Lomography tips and tricks!
So we bring you another Ask Your Guru feature in this very fresh month of January! Who do we have this time? Well, it’s another curious newcomer we are familiar in this Community as ohlordy and his Guru, a favorite of many, wil6ka!
We say hello to our LomoGuru wil6ka or Willie Schumann from the Northern German Metropolis of Hamburg. Willie was inspired to do Lomography thanks to a friend (and of course, Lomographer) whom he met during the EXPO 2000 in Hannover. During that time, he was already bored with his SLR and was discovering creative and playway ways of taking photos.
Willie, who is a journalist, has done various TV reports about Lomography in 2004 and even joined the Lomographic world congress in Beijing. From then he has met various Lomographers who became really good friends of his. He has also joined, what he calls, two “Lomographic weddings.”
He is currently a filmmaker who works for TV and advertising and is “involved in all kind of jobs that come with the territory.” He is definitely engaged in a creative setting in which he produces, directs, films, and edits. He is also always on the go which is a great thing for his Lomographic shooting experiences!
And then we say hello to this Newcomer from Mt. Maunganui in New Zealand. Say hello to ohlordy or Mat Barton outside our Community!
Mat who started with a Holga, which he claims was from Santa, got interested with analogue photography that led him into Lomography through the amazing world wide web. Two months in this Community and he admits to be hooked!
Mat manages an outdoor and travel retail store in New Zealand which feeds his other addictions, travel and adventure. He loves “music, bicycles, mountains, traveling, cigars, Mexican food, opportunity shops, the beach, and drinking pimms in the sun… But at the moment mostly, I love cameras.”
Well, isn’t it amazing to know that both of these guys are avid travelers! We better see how their Q&A went!
Mat Barton (MB): Woah, Willie! You’ve done some Lomographing so where to start… I see from your amazing photo collection that you really like Horizon panoramic cameras. Is this your main weapon of choice? What cameras do you normally pack for a day?
Willie Schumann (WS): Yes, panoramic photography is really special to me. I started with the heavy metal version of the first Horizon and the frame and possiblities of storytelling intrigued me be the get-go. I’ve been doing this for ten years now and I really try to push the envelope; finding new angles and perspectives, shooting against the sun, trying out all kinds of emulsions and their effect, playing with the long time exposure. I am pretty amazed by the distortion and the effects of the revolving lens especially when you expose for a longer period. Beside the various Horizon cameras, I also shoot with the Noblex 135 U and the Widelux. Each of them has a particular quality and charm. I have tried panoramic cameras with medium format lenses but they didn’t really excite me.
When I travel, I I take about five or six cameras with me, among them two different panoramic cameras. But on site I reduce myself to about three or four cameras for my daypack. One panoramic, one medium format and one or two LC’s. The LC-A+ is still one of the best travel-cameras and I think the LC-Wide is an astounding piece of work. Cat and his team in Hong Kong did a fabulous job creating it. By now I rather go for quality then quantity. But some cameras have a greater symbolical meaning for me because they are presents from friends or because I have experienced some adventures with them.
MB: What camera kicked off your love for Lomography?
WS: I don’t think Lomography can be grasped on such technical terms. I think I fell in love first with the Community and the feelings that Lomography evokes. It´s rather the lifestyle that makes you a Lomographer than the very camera. For the first five years or so I was really focused on panoramic photography. After my metal version of the Horizon I got a more convenient Horizon 202 which served me well though rain and snow until it said its last farewell on a train ride in Siberia. The LC-A+ later really fired up my passion for everything Lomographic.
MB: As I’m pretty new to this Lomography business I’ve been loving, learning, and experimenting with the various films available, do you have any film recommendations for me?
WS: Analogue photography in terms of film is a kosmos of choices. After I have tried and consumed so many different films, I still feel like a newbie. It is because it always also comes down to the way you develop them and how you play with aperture and exposure times. Plus they have quite some organic element to them. If they are expired, it depends on how long they are expired and how they were stored. So there is always this element of coincidence when you take a photo with film. But that is one of the reasons why I always shoot on film and never go digital. I have to use all my time available to learn.
I think my recommendations won’t be so super-duper secret. I think it’s smart to stock with all kinds of slide film when you get your hands on it. There you always have the chance to go E6 and C41 which are great options. One of the best slide films I have ever came across was the Voigtländer V Chrome. And I like the x-pro effect of the old Agfa CT Precisa.
For black and white, there are different versions available in the market. Right now I am experiencing with many ISO 25 b/w films so try some of that, too. The Maco Eagle AQS is very interesting because it seems to have some infrared elements in the emulsion. And I like the Lucky SHD very much! On top it is very afordable.
For colour negatives I think the Lomography Sunset Strip is very interesting because it looks very “x-proish.” Otherwise I would recommend CN with a high ISO because film sensitivity is really the advantage of print films.
MB: DIY or die, I love this side of Lomography. What DIY projects are you really proud of?
WS: I was always amazed by the connection of still photography and motion picture, the evolution of the moving picture. I then found out about a camera in the twenties, that could do both, the French “Sept" for a movie-project I wanted to create moving pictures with photography. That was around five, six years before the Lomokino was released. I investigated a little and came up with the Yashica Samurai Z. It’s a half-frame camera which runs the films vertically. I shot pantomimic images and glued all my slidefilms together. I then projected the films on spools in a cinema and recorded it once again. Probably one of my next articles will be about this, so be patient. :)
MB: In my short time as a Lomographer, I’ve already taken over a fair whack of the fridge with my stockpile. How do you store your film?
WS: Oh, that is an ever current topic. Over the past years I amassed literally thousands of fresh and expired films. I actually catalogize them, because as the negative remains, everybody forgets with time how the cartridges and product-boxes looked like. I consider them as pieces of popular art and we know, most of them will be gone forever soon. So I want to keep that memory alive.
For the past ten years I never really considered freezing film material maybe due to the fact that I didn’t wanna share the space of my joghurts and eggs with film. But a few months back I really freaked out in fear that slidefilm is going to vanish. That is what’s probably happening with people who all of a sudden are afraid of flying – it just happens. And now I blocked a third of my freezer for slidefilm and selected rare film-gems. I think I have to buy a larger fridge soon!
MB: Your photos and articles seem to span the globe, what do you do for a living? How does Lomo fit in your Monday-Friday life?
WS: Actually Lomo was made for my kind of lifestyle. My photography is really fast, I always have a camera close and I want to capture true moments. It’s not that I go out with the idea of taking pictures. I try to live an interesting life and my Lomographic photos just happen adjacently. It’s just a part of it all. But because I am a freelancer I don’t separate my week into weekdays and weekend, I either work or have a free day.
MB: I see you’ve been to the DMZ in Korea, what other political hot spots do you want to photograph?
WS: I think that is actually a good mix, using toy-cameras and political subjects. That is something unique to Lomography; combining things that are on the first glance contradictory. I actually want to see so many places but I think a personal connection or a special link to me is useful. I had a friend working in Afghanistan and that is really a destination I would like to see. I almost went two years ago but it became too dangerous. I will be patient, maybe he will take me there one day. I believe Iran is a very beautiful country and I would like to go there. I might be going with a friend of mine to Lybia and I have a cameraman, who is Lebanese, who is also thinking about going there. Beirut must be an amzing place. You see this list is long. I truly believe in fate and the right timing. When the time is right I will automatically go to the place I desire. I am pretty fearless and I believe I can keep myself out of trouble or at least talk me out of it afterwards.
MB: I know you love analogue photography. Do you stick to your analogue roots for the rest of your life? (Play music on vinyl, ride bicycles made of steel…)
WS: True, analogue is much more than just photography. I feel in a world of constant change and galloping insanity that it’s the analogue moments that keep you sane and a better person. I recently went to Hong Kong for a wedding and there I met an artist who runs a leather workshop. I went there a few days later and made a purse – I was really proud and I consider it as one of the greatest moments last year. I enjoy writing postcards when I am traveling. People complain, that my handwriting is hard to read though I think they should try harder. I live in a loft with other artists, I ride the bike, and I try to cook as often as possible.
And also try to embed an analogue feeling into my work and I am sometimes quite philosophical about it. Especially in film I think there is a desire in people for an analogue look. For my filming I right now I mostly use the Canon 5D Mark II because of it’s optics, the chip, and the full frame shooting, it really comes closest to analogue in digital. But I know by now that technology is changing fast and in a few years we will be talking about new cameras that will create an ever more analogue look.
MB: What’s your Lomographic dream?
WS: I think for now I would already be very happy when we all stick together and keep film photography alive. To keep the Lomographic society blooming would be a great achievement.
MB: What’s the biggest piece of Lomography advice you could give me, a newcomer?
WS: In my opinion. good Lomographers are ultimately good photographers. Be fearless and try to be the best photographer you can be but don’t forget to add this element of experimentation, curiosity, and playfulness to it. Be nice to people and be interested in their story. Enjoy life and try to take everything positive and you will never fail. You surely have to be patient with time, energy and money. But in the end it all pays out. You are an individual, but you are furthermore a part of something bigger. Only with you, the future truly is analogue!
Hey isn’t that an amazing read! Thank you Mat and Willie for this doing this great feature with us! A happy Lomographic 2013 to all of us!
Are you a curious Newcomer? Or maybe a LomoGuru who would like to share tips and tricks to our noobs? Then this is your time to be featured! Just drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Catch ya!