Top 10 Interview with a Photographer Series #9: Ken Ku

3

We are happy to introduce you to our Top 10 Interview with a Photographer Series! Meet Photographer #9 Ken Ku (aka hrh1002), who inspired the interviewer (nation_of_pomation) to take pinhole images, and learned a lot of technical aspects about photography too.

How did you get started in analogue photography and what about it appeals to you?
I first started in photography because I needed to. My parents had given me a camera and I wasn’t sure how to use it so I enrolled in a photography class in my high school so that I could learn the basics. As I became more advanced, I realized that I wasn’t really seeing the world. For a lack of a better word, I was vision impaired. The lens showed me the world: it showed me beauty in the decrepit, sadness in a face, and wonder in everyday life. It has taught me to really see the world with my eyes open.

What was the first analogue camera that was truly yours and how did you come about getting it?
Wow. [Thinking] Yes, the very first camera that I owned was a Nikon FE that my Dad had bought my Mom as a wedding anniversary gift from Tokyo. My parents no longer used the camera anymore so they passed it along to me, along with all the lenses they had acquired over the years. I was a naughty kid though. I jammed the shutter by pushing my finger through to see what the blades looked like and then it jammed. I had to spend hundreds of dollars to get that thing fixed! It lasted me through my graduation from high school, then promptly jammed again. This time I did NOT stick my finger in it. [Laughs]

What is your favorite toy/Lomo/vintage camera you’ve ever owned, and why?
My favorite toy/vintage camera. That’s a tough choice. Well, I guess it will have to be the Holga. It has served me fantastically well and created some amazing shots and traveled extensively with me. It is light, and easy to operate. Plus it shoots in a square format, my favorite, and the other little intricacies (light leaks, film back falling off, etc) just adds to the joy of using a Holga.

What is your favorite thing to do other than analogue photography?
There’s something other than photography? [Chuckles] I go on vacation a lot. To destinations all over the world if I can, when I can. If that isn’t possible right then, I get in my car and drive. I love to take adventures. You meet all sorts of wonder characters on the road. And some of the landscapes that you see out on the open roads at night, it takes your breath away. Expose there for an hour. You’ll be amazed at what you get.

What five things you always have with you when you’re shooting?
Hmmm…Five things I always have when I’m shooting. Well I never leave without my Holga, extra rolls of film, tripod. That’s only three. So I guess that’s it. I travel light. If I do have room, I will take my SX-70 and a couple cartridges of FTB (Fade to Black) and TZ Artistic. There you go, five items. [Smiles]

If someone off the street asks you, “Why analogue?” (or “What the hell is that thing you’re holding and why can’t I see the picture you just took?”), how do you respond?
I really like this question! Really, people have asked me. My response is always that I have nothing against digital photographers as I think it is a great tool to use. However it is so cold and calculated. Each pixel is in its precise place, in its given dimension. Analogue is soft, organic, flows, and it reacts with the air, the film, the chemicals. Each step is calculated risk you’re taking. This is taken for granted with analogue photography but very hard to reproduce in digital.

What inspires your photography, or what is it that drives you to shoot?
This is a very interesting question. I’m not sure I’ve exactly figured it out myself but in a nutshell beauty is what inspires me to shoot. There is beauty in everything, you just have to see it.

What is the one non-camera item that is essential to your photography?
I’d have to say my tripod. I rely on that thing more than almost anything I have. I take it with me everywhere. I’ve always been one to set up my shots, probably because for a long time I shot with a Mamiya RZ67. Those were not cameras you can easily shoot without a heavy duty tripod.

What is your favorite type of film, and why?
Favorite film. Well I have several actually. Transparency is what I typically like to shoot and I prefer Kodak Ektachrome EPP 100. The color isn’t as saturated as some of the newer films and has very fine grain. I love it for sunset/twilight portraits. However, it has been discontinued and Kodak predicts that they will run out of supply in early 2010. [Frowns]

Any advice you’d like to share that has helped you with your own analogue photography?
Experiment. That way you will be able to create something that is truly yours.

Photographer Info:
http://lomography.com/homes/hrh1002
kc1002@gmail.com

nation_of_ pomation’s LomoHome: http://lomography.com/homes/nation_of_pomation

written by nation_of_pomation on 2010-07-09 in #lifestyle #long-exposures #interview #photographer #ken-ku #travel #road #news

3 Comments

  1. cinzinc
    cinzinc ·

    lovely =)

  2. nation_of_pomation
    nation_of_pomation ·

    My name is spelled wrong...

  3. lloyd_ay
    lloyd_ay ·

    Ha! "Pornation".

    Killer article, incorrect spelling of your name aside.

More Interesting Articles

  • Top Photo Uploaders of 2014

    written by icequeenubia on 2014-12-27 in #news
    Top Photo Uploaders of 2014

    We'd like to thank everyone for continuously capturing precious moments on photographs and sharing them with all of us. Each of your photographs and albums brought happiness and inspiration to everyone in the community. These lomographers take the spotlight for their ceaseless passion for photography and for their generosity in sharing every step of their analogue adventure. Meet our top photo uploaders of 2014.

    5
  • Meet our LomoGuru: sirio174

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-03-21 in #people #lifestyle
    Meet our LomoGuru: sirio174

    We all know him as the man behind some of the striking street photographs in the community and the inspirational "A Salute to the Masters" series in the magazine. But did you know that he is also an engineering and electronics teacher and a ham radio operator? In this interview, Davide Tambuchi opens up about his fascination with radio, bikes, Subbuteo, and of course analog photography!

    13
  • UK Community Amigo: Justin Quinnell from Bristol

    written by hannah_brown on 2014-07-19 in #people #lomoamigos
    UK Community Amigo: Justin Quinnell from Bristol

    In this new series, we talk to film fanatics from all around the UK about their passion for film photography and the best places to shoot in their home town. Today we go to Bristol to meet Justin Quinnell, a freelance photographer who has made pinholes out of bins and homemade 3D cameras. He is a true film photography experimenter!

  • 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!

  • Petzval Artist: Natural Photography Series and Interview with Alexandra Sophie

    written by mariemcnaan on 2014-06-20 in #people #lomoamigos
    Petzval Artist: Natural Photography Series and Interview with Alexandra Sophie

    Alexandra Sophie is a young self-taught fashion and illustration photographer who has already amassed a huge online following. She agreed to test the Petzval artistic lens and used it to create delicate and beautiful nature-themed images. See her work and learn about her photography philosophy after the jump.

    1
  • 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.

  • Playing Detective: An Interview with Derek Woods, the Man Behind the Controversial True Detective Photo (NSFW)

    written by Jill Tan Radovan on 2014-05-03 in #people #lifestyle
    Playing Detective: An Interview with Derek Woods, the Man Behind the Controversial True Detective Photo (NSFW)

    Derek Woods is an Los Angeles-based photographer who previously got involved in a controversy surrounding a photo that was used in the opening credits of the HBO TV series "True Detective." Coincidentally, Woods happens to be a member of the Lomo community, and it became vital to interview him regarding the issue. The interview was successful and was published in May last year. His current project, 365 of Lomography, will chronicle his day-to-day exploits with Lomography cameras. To jog your memory, and to re-acquaint you with Woods, we are republishing our interview with the controversial photographer. Please take note that some of the photos are NSFW.

    4
  • Shop News

    Colorsplash your World!

    Colorsplash your World!

    At 30% off you can now color your analog images with 12 different color gels. Experiment with 35mm slide film and play with the built-in color flash for the most intense colors!

  • Petzval LomoAmigo: Justine Jugnet

    written by mpflawer on 2015-03-25 in #people #lomoamigos
    Petzval LomoAmigo: Justine Jugnet

    Justine Jugnet is a French photographer based in Lyon who loves fashion photography. She recently took the Petzval lens to shoot with in Paris. Get to know more about her and her wonderful way of shooting the world around her in this exclusive interview.

    6
  • Workshops and Events for January 2015 at Lomography UK

    written by hannah_brown on 2015-01-05 in #events
    Workshops and Events for January 2015 at Lomography UK

    Happy New Year Everyone. We're confident that our January 2015 workshops will help you dust off those January blues and get you smiling again. You'll be able to learn how to expose an image onto fabric or canvas with our LUMI paint workshop, learn the basics of our super Diana F+ camera and take to the streets with the Lomo'instant. There is also a great exhibition of analogue prints from photographer Arat “Huge” Komsawadichai. Find out more and book your spot by clicking here.

  • A Salute to the Masters: The Girl with the Scarred Face (A Tribute to Juergen Teller)

    written by sirio174 on 2014-05-16 in #lifestyle
    A Salute to the Masters: The Girl with the Scarred Face (A Tribute to Juergen Teller)

    This is a tribute to Juergen Teller, a great fashion photographer who continues to work with analogue cameras. In the 1990s he radically changed the way to make fashion photography. His models appear "soap and water", without heavy make-up, and his images seem taken like an amateur photographer. Between his nice works, there is a photos that I like so much, taken in Cuba and called "The Girl with the Broken Nose." Take a look after the jump!

  • Shop News

    Immortalize your best shot on Aluminium!

    Immortalize your best shot on Aluminium!

    Carefully enlarged from your negatives onto premium photographic paper by lab professionals, each picture is a unique piece of craftsmanship.

  • Petzval LomoAmigo: Takeshi Suga

    written by hannah_brown on 2014-10-31 in #people #lomoamigos
    Petzval LomoAmigo: Takeshi Suga

    Takeshi Suga is a photographer from Japan who loves Lomography. He embraces all the elements of film photography and creates images that are soft and dreamy. We couldn't wait to lend him a Petzval lens and the results he came back with are stunning.

    2
  • LomoGuru of the Week: emperornorton

    written by icequeenubia on 2014-11-02 in #lifestyle
    LomoGuru of the Week: emperornorton

    From having a close encounter with a mountain lion to accidentally meeting Steve Jobs, Joel Sax had experienced a number of unimaginable things that have granted him a deeper sense of understanding. Any amateur or longtime film photographer can definitely learn a thing about making the most out of one's skills and loving the art of photography from the wise words of our LomoGuru, emperornorton!

    12
  • RYU x RIO: World Cup 2014 on Kodak Aerochrome Film

    written by zonderbar on 2014-08-11 in #news
    RYU x RIO: World Cup 2014 on Kodak Aerochrome Film

    Weeks have passed and yet Germans are still celebrating the victory of their heroic football team. Shortly before the World Cup started, we took notice of an interesting photography project on Kickstarter. Berlin-based sports photographer Ryu Voelkel called for help to create a football photography book like no other. The campaign was successfully funded. Ryu made his way to Brazil and came back with amazing shots including some very special Kodak Aerochrome photographs. Meet Ryu and learn more about him and his special moments at the WC 2014.

    1