An Interview with MirrorLessons founder Mathieu Gasquet

In an exclusive interview, professional photographer, filmmaker, and MirrorLessons website co-founder Mathieu Gasquet provides qualified insight on the Lomography Experimental Lens Kit.

Photo by Mathieu Gasquet

A couple of months ago MirorLessons’ Mathhieu Gasquet published an in-depth review of the Lomography Experimental Lens Kit. Today, he shares further qualified insight by answering some questions through an email-interview.

Hi Mathieu. Kindly tell us a little about yourself.

I am a Franco-Italian photographer and filmmaker. I got my first film camera for my 10th birthday but subsequently broke it one year later. My interests soon went elsewhere, only to return many years later when I was already working in the filmmaking industry. Rapidly, photography became my second job but the big turning point happened last year, when I launched my blog, MirrorLessons, with my partner Heather Broster. On our website, we share our passion for mirrorless cameras and photography through reviews, in-depth articles, interviews with professionals, and more.

What cameras do you usually use and which ones do you use with the Lomography Experimental Lens Kit?

The cameras I use the most are the Olympus OM-D E-M5 (soon to be replaced by the new E-M1) and the Fujifilm X100s. With the Experimental lens kit, I often use the Olympus Pen E-P5. Its retro/vintage design matches the Lomography lenses nicely. The art filters on the Olympus cameras are also ideal for these kinds of lenses. But I could use them on any Micro Four Thirds camera really.

Can you share with us your first impressions of the Lomography Experimental Lens Kit?

The experimental kit lenses are very different from what one would normally use. We often refer to these kinds of lenses as Toy lenses because of the cheap price, plastic build and the kind of package they are sold in. But once you mount one of them on the camera and start shooting, you realise that they are fun to use and that their design is actually perfect.

How did it feel to use the Lomography Experimental Lens Kit, considering that you’re probably more used to taking ultra-sharp, hi-fi images?

I used them for what they are, really. Sharpness or pure lens performance in this case doesn’t really matter. They are made for a different purpose and I actually like the fact that I can concentrate on pure creativity. The term ”experimental” couldn’t be more appropriate. You walk and take pictures in an instinctive way. You don’t worry about aperture or other specs, just how to merge different elements together.

How long have you been using it, and how has it been so far?

I got them approximately three months ago. We got in touch with Lomography USA, who noticed our website and asked us if we were interested in reviewing the lenses. I liked the idea and accepted. I must admit that I wasn’t overly familiar with the Lomography concept before then, so I did some research and went through lots of pictures to better embrace the philosophy behind it. I don’t use them on a regular basis because between my work and the website, there is a lot to do and mountains of new gear to try. But I would like to dedicate a multiple exposure project to them in the future.

What do you like most about shooting with the Lomography Experimental Lens Kit?

Mainly it is the philosophy of Lomography in general. I like the idea of just pointing the camera according to what my instinct suggests, without thinking too much about what I am doing. Having a website about mirrorless cameras has forced me to become very picky about technical aspects, even though I always try to place more importance on the beauty of photography first and foremost. With the lens kit, you forget all that. It is like resetting everything and using my primary instinct. It doesn’t mean that it will always work or that I have to abuse it, but it is a nice exercise and the results can be quite interesting.

Which feature or function of the Lomography Experimental Lens Kit did you enjoy shooting with?

The main thing that interested me was the ability to perform a real multiple exposure, by combining more than two exposures or combining exposures with different shutter speeds.

Which feature or function did you find difficult to manage?

The fixed f/8 aperture can take some time to adapt to, especially in low light situations, but you overcome it quickly. The only lens I don’t like is the 160° fisheye, mainly because I generally don’t like this kind of fisheye lens (or maybe I still haven’t figured out how to use it properly).

Which subject/s and/or technique/s do you think is/are best for shooting with the Lomography Experimental Lens Kit?

Certainly the multiple exposure is the best way to use the lenses and I think they are very well suited to street photography.

To whom or what kind of camera user would you recommend the Lomography Experimental Lens Kit?

I would recommend it to users (professionals or amateurs) interested in multiple exposures who like the idea of fun lenses to use for purely creativity purposes.

Please share your favorite photos from the ones you’ve taken, and tell us why you love them.

My favorite is actually one my partner Heather took, and it is the one with the red child’s silhouette. I like it because it looks like she wants to grab the white bicycle.

Photo by Heather Broster

The second one is a picture I took and I really like the colours. I saw a large contrast between shadows and light on the street buildings and merged it with the suspended bike. How the bike silhouette turned yellow is interesting.

Photo by Mathieu Gasquet

I also like the possibility to merge people in the multiple exposures. In the two examples below, I also played with the light, contrast and silhouettes. Multiple exposures are actually difficult to create – you have to look at things and imagine them together.

Photos by Mathieu Gasquet

Finally, there is the possibility to merge different shutter speeds. The night shot with the bus is not my favorite photo but shows the creative potential.

Photo by Mathieu Gasquet

Satisfy your hunger for creative snap-shooting with the == Lomography Experimental Lens Kit.== This lens pack is compatible with all Micro 4/3 digital cameras and comes with three lenses: standard 24mm, wide-angle 12mm and fisheye. This super creative lens kit will let you take wide-angle, fisheye, and multiple exposure shots, delight in exciting photographic effects and tint your images with color filters. View the Experimental Lens Kit Site or get yours in the Online Shop now!

written by jillytanrad on 2014-02-18 in #lifestyle

More Interesting Articles

  • Exclusive: Interview with Dustin Rosemark, Director of First Feature-Length LomoKino Film

    written by jillytanrad on 2014-08-14 in #lifestyle
    Exclusive: Interview with Dustin Rosemark, Director of First Feature-Length LomoKino Film

    “51 Fragments of a Wandering Mind” is the first ever feature-length film shot with the LomoKino. Created by filmmaker and street photographer Dustin M Rosemark, it is an experimental documentary film that documents, in a photojournalistic manner, a six-month existential journey in 13 countries. In this exclusive interview, Rosemark shares insight about the film, and talks about his LomoKino experience.

  • Petzval LomoAmigo: Singapore's Raymond Phang

    written by edwinchau on 2014-11-24 in #people #lomoamigos
    Petzval LomoAmigo: Singapore's Raymond Phang

    Raymond Phang is a professional wedding and commercial photographer based in Singapore. He shot with the New Petzval Lens recently and produced quite a few memorable couple photos. In this exclusive interview, he shares tidbits from his Petzval experience.

  • Colorful Berlin: Zoë Noble Captures Sparkling City Lights with the Petzval Lens

    written by zonderbar on 2015-01-23 in #people #lomoamigos
    Colorful Berlin: Zoë Noble Captures Sparkling City Lights with the Petzval Lens

    Self-taught photographer Zoë Noble who also runs überlin, a platform for Berlin’s creative professionals,grabbed the opportunity to test the New Petzval Lens last month. The city was full of colorful and shiny Christmas lights, and Zoë couldn't resist the urge to capture the visual spectacle with the Petzval Lens. She speaks of her experience in this exclusive interview.

  • Shop News

    Take the Harpy on a ride!

    Take the Harpy on a ride!

    Take your camera on a safe ride with your bike. This sturdy ZKIN leather bag protects your Diana F+ sized cameras and Lens. Remove the loops and you have a stylish shoulder bag!

  • Petzval Artist: Portraits by Koh Sze Kiat

    written by edwinchau on 2014-11-17 in #people #lomoamigos
    Petzval Artist: Portraits by Koh Sze Kiat

    Koh Sze Kiat is a part of Oddinary Studios, a Singapore-based photographers' collective that specializes in commercial, advertising, editorial and wedding assignments. He shot with the New Petzval Lens recently, and shares his favorite photos and insight in this exclusive interview.

  • Petzval LomoAmigo: Australia's Naomi Frost

    written by borisb on 2015-01-12 in #people #lomoamigos
    Petzval LomoAmigo: Australia's Naomi Frost

    Naomi Frost is a photographer based in Australia who specializes in alternative portraiture. She took photos with the new Petzval lens recently, and shares her photos and insight in this exclusive interview.

  • Skate Photographer Joe Brook Shoots with the Petzval Lens

    written by antoniocastello on 2015-02-06 in #people #lomoamigos
    Skate Photographer Joe Brook Shoots with the Petzval Lens

    Joe Brook is one of the most popular photographers in the West Coast skate scene, shooting for magazines like Trasher, Juxtapoz, Rolling Stone, and different outlets such as PDN and Kodak. Having previous experience with an old Petzval lens mounted on a 4x5 camera, it was but natural for him to try the new one. Brook talks about finding himself, his work, and shooting with the Lomograhy Petzval Lens in this exclusive interview.

  • Shop News

    Change the View in an Instant

    Change the View in an Instant

    Extend the Borders of Instant Photography with the World’s Most Creative Instant Camera System Packed With Fun Features and say hello to the Lomo'Instant Camera! The Lomo'Instant is the perfectly sized Instant Camera to take wherever you go! It’s the most creative way to shoot fantastic photos which you can share anywhere and with everyone in an instant.

  • Alternative Photographic Processes: The Global Survey

    written by hembot on 2015-01-23 in #lifestyle

    The website and community “Dutch Alternative Photography” recently ran the first ever survey on alternative photographic processes around the world. Being big fans of the site, we got in touch with founder An Zuriel to find out the results! Read on to find out more …

  • Photography artist Bobby Sham shares his enthusiasm for the Petzval lens

    written by jillytanrad on 2014-03-06 in #news
    Photography artist Bobby Sham shares his enthusiasm for the Petzval lens

    Bobby Sham is a photography artist and large format photography and Petzval enthusiast based in Hong Kong. He is also an art administrator and the secretary of the Hong Kong Photographic Cultural Association, one of the Initiators of Hong Kong Photo Festival. He shares with us photos that he took using a large-format camera and an original Petzval Lens, as well as his Lomography x Zenit test shots. He also grants an interview with Lomography Hong Kong and shares his enthusiasm for – and insight regarding – taking photographs with the Petzval lens.

  • LomoAmigo Alison Scarpulla Shoots With The LC-Wide

    written by tomas_bates on 2014-04-28 in #people #lomoamigos
    LomoAmigo Alison Scarpulla Shoots With The LC-Wide

    Alison Scarpulla is an enormously talented photographer from the USA who utilizes experimental techniques such as multiple exposures and film soaking to create surreal, evocative and emotional shots. After previously featuring some of her work in the Lomography magazine, we were ecstatic that she accepted our offer to shoot with the LC-Wide to create some brand new photos. Read on for our exclusive interview with the woman behind such amazing photos, which you will see after the jump!

  • Shop News

    A Very Special Portrait Lens

    A Very Special Portrait Lens

    Photos shot with a New Petzval lens are immediately recognizable for their super-sharp focus areas and wonderful swirly bokeh effect. Each New Petzval lens is crafted from brass (just like the original Petzval lens) and features premium glass optics. Together with Lomography, the lenses have been designed and constructed by a team of optics specialists at the Zenit factory in Russia. Zenit are master lens manufacturers and have the skill to build the Petzval lens for use with today’s SLR cameras.

  • Seeing the Beauty of Destruction in Seung-Hwan Oh's 'Impermanence'

    written by chooolss on 2014-10-08 in #lifestyle
    Seeing the Beauty of Destruction in Seung-Hwan Oh's 'Impermanence'

    In this follow-up, in-depth exclusive interview, Seoul, South Korea-based photographer and filmmaker Seung-Hwan Oh discusses the inspiration behind his ongoing photographic series "Impermanence" and the painstaking process that goes along with it.

  • Lomography Petzval Lens First Impressions by Pete Yeung

    written by sanamiii on 2014-11-11 in #lifestyle
    Lomography Petzval Lens First Impressions by Pete Yeung

    Pete Yeung from Hong Kong is a photography enthusiast, and one of the supporters of the Petzval Kickstarter project. He shares some insight regarding the New Petzval Lens in this exclusive interview.

  • 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.