A Quick Chat With Dennis Auburn

What's good with photography is that it can make you feel emotions of all sorts. And if that is truly the case, then it's the sudden surge of youthful energy we're feeling right now while looking at Dennis Auburn's photographs. Check out more of his electrifying work and words after the jump.

Ever wondered what it takes to be a 20-something photographer trying to make it out in the real world? Let *Dennis Auburn* tell you his story and everything in between. Oh, and did we mention that he shoots on film with amazing vision and youthful energy? Check out our feature on his work here.

Hi, Dennis! We’d like to thank you for finding the time for this interview! We’re excited to feature you again on the magazine.

Thank you for having me again!

You may get this question in a lot on interviews but still we’d like to ask: how and when did you start shooting on film?

I had bought a Canon FTb SLR from a nearby antique shop when I was 17 years old. At the time, I had just moved away from my country hometown and into a huge city and the transition was tough. Shooting with film on my Canon FTb really distracted me from all of this and I got hooked ever since.

What makes analogue photography special for you? Is there anything specific about shooting on film that makes it particularly stand out?

I love how spontaneous film can be. Double exposures are my absolute favorite and I never know what the result will be but that sense of excitement is what keeps me attached to analogue photography.

What makes your approach to shooting with film different from shooting with digital?

I first started shooting on 35mm film and though it took practice it really taught me how valuable a photo can be. Don’t get me wrong, digital photography has many advantages but it’s easy to shoot hundreds of photos and lose track of what you need to improve on and where your strong points lie.

Your photographic body of work really works around youth – its poetic vibe and romantic tendencies are very apparent in your work. Can you talk more about that?

Since I’m young now, I tend to surround my work around my age group. Growing up, I’ve always been fascinated with youth, mainly my peers. The more people I meet, it’s interesting to see how people choose to live their own youth.

Your photographs are wistful and almost make us feel like we’re in a heightened state of ecstasy. How do you compose your photographs? What do you see in your viewfinder when you shoot your photos?

If I’m working with a team, I need a moodboard to get the idea of what I want out as clearly as possible. It always comes out differently then I intended but, again, that spontaneous nature improvises new ideas. When I’m looking through my viewfinder, I’m in my own world. I start confusing reality with dreaming where I’m not rushed and it’s my time.

How do you compose your shots? Does it come from a vision or do you center on a specific effect that you’d like to achieve in your photos? Please talk us through your creative process.

I daydream constantly, probably more than I should. Each shot is more or less a dream or vision I’ve had in my head for awhile.

What’s your most favorite part of your work? Before, during or after? Why?

The whole process is my favorite. Brainstorming ideas for the shot beforehand, getting the shot in the moment, and then afterwards grabbing some tacos after a long constructive day before editing photos. Majority of the time, it never feels like work. It’s always been a theraputic session no matter how stressful it could potentially be.

We really like the bokeh shots and amazing effects like the exploding lights and galaxies in your photos. Can you say that this is the “Dennis Auburn” signature in your pictures?

I can’t really say what my signature or style is at this point. Only being 21, I’m still trying to figure out who I am and same goes with my photographs.

Do you have personal rules that you apply to your own work? Please share them with our readers.

I’m a complete sucker for colors. If the tones in my photos are not up to par personally, than I won’t use it.

Some of your photographs remind us of one of our Golden Rules – “Don’t think, just shoot.” Do you ever shoot from the hip?

I can’t think of a shoot where I haven’t. I’m constantly in the weirdest positions while shooting. If I find myself dirty rolling around on the floor or positioning myself on random objects after a shoot, then it was a good day.

As a young photographer yourself with already so much under your belt, what tips can you give to other aspiring analogue shooters out there?

Don’t stop. Keep shooting. Sometimes it feels like you can’t reach that creative spirit, but that can always be a positive thing. It lets you find your own unique outlook.

Can you itemize your cameras and film choices for our readers?

Nikon N80
Nikon D90
Kodak Portra: 400 and 800 speed
Fuji Instax camera
Instax Film

What’s your favorite camera and film combo?

My Nikon N80 has never failed me. It’s been through dirt, sand, and survived a waterfall. Pair that with Kodak Portra 400 speed film and you have a perfect couple.

What is your take on photography as an art?

There’s something about photography that struck me as beautiful. It gives the opportunity to warp reality. My father was an artist and taught me how to draw, paint, and sculpt as a kid and I knew that I always wanted to create. Finding it hard to get my thoughts from my mind onto paper, photography has made it a breeze to capture that. It’s made me notice little details about the world that we sometimes overlook.

What do you want your viewers to take away from your photographic body of work? What do you want them to see in your photographs?

I really want people to make their own interpretation of my work. I know often times I see something completely different than what my audience sees.

Which artists inspire you in your work? Any artists that we should follow?

When I first got into photography, I wasn’t familiar with any other photographers. I first came across Tamara Lichtenstein’s work and instanlty fell in love. I have been a huge fan of her dreamy austhetic and her imaginivitive visuals. She’s been a huge inspiration of mine for awhile and not only that I’m glad I can call her a good friend of mine.

Given the chance to collaborate with any artist or photographer, living or dead, who would it be? Why?

Hands down, Salvador Dali. My father showed me his work at a young age and I have been in love with his surrealism and creative process. Dali collaborated with a lot of artist and tried different mediums throughout his artistic career which is what I would love to do in the future.

Have you ever tried Lomo cameras? Any particular favorite? What makes it stand out?

I’ve used a *Fisheye* and a *Holga* camera for candid moments. I like to separate my work from what is my own imagination and what are the moments I want to remember. Lomo cameras have done me justice preserving great moments with my friends and acquaintances.

What’s next for Dennis Auburn?

I have projects I’m aching to get out there but I’m not really sure what’s next for me. I know I will always be submerged in trying to create. I only what that to grow from here on out taking me to new destinations and meeting interesting, open individuals along the way.

Any last words for our readers?

The only advice I tell people is to travel as much as you can while you’re young. It’s the healthiest thing you could do for yourself. Even small day trips are worth the time to get out there. And who knows, you might find a little piece of yourself somewhere you’ve never been before.

Check out Dennis Auburn’s analogue world on his website. All photos used in this article are copyright of the artist. The artist has approved the use of his photos by Lomography for this interview.

Liked this interview? Check out these Lomography sit-downs with other artists:
A Quick Chat With Lindsey Lee
A Quick Chat With Susan Burnstine
A Quick Chat With Lauren Field
An Interview with Film Photographer Julia Tröndle
Lomography Chats with Illustrator-Lomographer Irina Shepel

written by cheeo on 2014-04-28 in #lifestyle #a-quick-chat #artist #dennis-auburn #interview

More Interesting Articles

  • Art Hunter Sardinas x Simone Legno from tokidoki

    written by mindofmyra on 2014-10-02 in #people #lomoamigos
    Art Hunter Sardinas x Simone Legno from tokidoki

    We asked some of New York’s hottest designers to lend their talent in designing some of our La Sardina DIY cameras, and we are very excited to share with you the masterpiece of Simone Legno from tokidoki! Simone Legno is the creative director and co-founder of tokidoki, which stands for "sometimes" in Japanese. He chose this word because he feels “everyone waits for moments that change one’s destiny, by chance or by meeting a new person.”

  • Word On The Street: A New Mystery Product Will Be Unveiled Soon!

    written by shhquiet on 2015-04-27 in #gear #news
    Word On The Street: A New Mystery Product Will Be Unveiled Soon!

    Pssst, have you heard the latest? We're unveiling a brand new product very soon, and while we can't give you any strong clues right now, we hope that you can still try to guess what it is. In honor of this mystery product, we'd like to reiterate why Lomography's 10 Golden Rules is perfectly applicable to street photography.

  • Photo of the Day by atropaworkshop

    written by cheeo on 2014-06-18 in #news
    Photo of the Day by atropaworkshop

    If you're that kind of person who enjoys getting a good scare once in a while, atropaworkshop took just the right photo to make your hair stand on its ends!

  • Shop News

    the perfect surprise for every analogue loving enthusiast

     the perfect surprise for every analogue loving enthusiast

    Let your loved one pick the gift of their dreams. Lomography Online Shop Gift Certificates are the perfect present for every analogue devotee on your gift list

  • Make Your Very Own DIY Waterproof Camera Case!

    written by cheeo on 2014-07-03 in #gear #tipster
    Make Your Very Own DIY Waterproof Camera Case!

    Still keeping a look out for an affordable waterproof case that can take a beating? Well, if your neck’s a bit sore from all the looking then why not make one yourself? Check out how to do it with this quick tipster!

  • Reviews on Rewind: Three Cheers for the LC-A+!

    written by cheeo on 2014-06-07 in #reviews
    Reviews on Rewind: Three Cheers for the LC-A+!

    The LC-A+ is a fan favorite among Lomographers and with good reason! See how the LC-A+ fares along with its other family members in this quick roundup of reviews by our own community members.

  • Total Eclipse of the Sun Competition

    written by jacobs on 2015-03-20 in #gear #news #competitions
    Total Eclipse of the Sun Competition

    Did you catch the solar eclipse that happened recently? Word on the street is that it even resulted in a total eclipse in some areas of Europe, making it a pretty rare occasion for the folks that got to see it! We're guessing that some of you even had your cameras to catch the whole shebang on film — which is why we're throwing a competition for the best eclipse and sun inspired shots out there. Come on in and check out the details!

  • Shop News

    Feed your LC-A 120 the finest emulsions and save!

    Feed your LC-A 120 the finest emulsions and save!

    Shoot more with LC-A 120 without breaking your budget! The Phoblographer Editor’s Choice Award Winner now comes in a Bundle with 120 format film at 15% off!

  • First Impressions of the Lomo LC-A Minitar-1 Art Lens: Andrea Cislaghi

    written by Julien Matabuena on 2015-05-02 in #gear #news
    First Impressions of the Lomo LC-A Minitar-1 Art Lens: Andrea Cislaghi

    In case you missed it, Lomography has just unveiled the latest member of its Art Lens family: the Lomo LC-A Minitar-1 Art Lens, which boasts of the same optics that the legendary LC-A camera has and brings the classic Lomographic style not only to analog but also to the digital platform. Over the next few days we'll be sharing with you the first impressions of and photographs taken by members of the Lomography team, who had gone out and put the Lomo LC-A Minitar-1 to the test. First up is graphic designer Andrea Cislaghi, who coupled this lens with the Bessa R2 and Sony Alpha 7.

  • Nature & Culinary Delights With The New Petzval Lens and Feldküche

    written by tomas_bates on 2014-10-21 in #people #lomoamigos
    Nature & Culinary Delights With The New Petzval Lens and Feldküche

    Feldküche is a group that organizes dinner parties with a difference by cooking wonderful meals for groups throughout the Austrian countryside. This summer, we gave them a New Petzval lens to use in capturing their wonderful gatherings of people, food, drink and nature. We then got the opportunity to chat with Martin Fetz who runs the organization about what they do and their experiences shooting with the Petzval.

  • When the Soul Speaks Through Images: an Interview with Suji Park

    written by bgaluppo on 2015-05-21 in #people #lifestyle
    When the Soul Speaks Through Images: an Interview with Suji Park

    When a truly fascinating photograph hits you, it’s powerful enough to transport you to the story that is being told in that image. Such is what happens when one sees Suji Park's work for the first time. It’s as if you can actually hear and feel the details of each snapshot — the warmth of a late afternoon sun, the complex silence of nature or a dry and nostalgic solitude.

  • Shop News

    Horizon and DigitaLIZA Bundle

    Horizon and DigitaLIZA Bundle

    The Horizon and DigitaLIZA Bundle lets you mix and match your favorite Horizon Camera, Lomography 35mm film and DigitaLIZA 35mm

  • What Photography and Tech Websites are Saying About the New LC-A 120

    written by chooolss on 2014-09-25 in #news
    What Photography and Tech Websites are Saying About the New LC-A 120

    It's only been a few weeks since we launched the newest member of the LC-A family, yet the Internet has already been abuzz with much talk about it. We're thrilled to see all the coverage that photography and tech websites and blogs have given the LC-A 120, so we've rounded up some of them to share with you right here!

  • Storytelling with Petzvals: Alex Timmermans and the Art of Collodion

    written by jacobs on 2015-04-03 in #people #lifestyle
    Storytelling with Petzvals: Alex Timmermans and the Art of Collodion

    Not long after Alex Timmermans purchased his first digital camera at the turn of the century, he quickly realized the trappings of digital photography couldn't fulfill his personal photographic desires. He then began searching for a more challenging process — one that wasn't so predictable. His journey eventually landed him back at the roots of analogue photography, specifically employing the wet plate collodion process using original Petzval lenses. This antique photographic process found in him a renewed inspiration and has since become his passion, which is evident in both his words and his images.

  • The World According to Herr Willie: Salvation Mountain

    written by wil6ka on 2015-05-16 in #world #locations
    The World According to Herr Willie: Salvation Mountain

    Leonard Knight passed away last year but he left an incredible legacy, an embodiment of love, that is Salvation Mountain. From 1984, he painted and remodeled a little hill in the California desert that's colorful as a cupcake and truly meaningful. And if anything ever would have been meant to be shot with Lomo cameras, it would be this psychedelic, holy hill.