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


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:

nation_of_ pomation’s LomoHome:

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


  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.

  • Meet our LomoGuru: sirio174

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-03-21 in #world #lifestyle #videos
    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!

  • Neil Krug: Daylight Nightmares and Color Codes

    written by lomographymagazine on 2015-11-04 in #people #lifestyle
    Neil Krug: Daylight Nightmares and Color Codes

    His work has the anachronistic charm of hand-tinted photographs and the trippy flavor of rock. Sometimes too his portraits of Lana Del Rey, Kevin Parker and Jim James cross over to the territory of graphic design and pop art, skewing definitions of what a picture is. Neither are his views on photography straitlaced, as this exciting interview with Lomography proves.

  • Shop News

    Try the LomoLAB Development Service!

    Try the LomoLAB Development Service!

    Whatever kind of film development you're after, you'll find it here! Now you can confidently shoot from the hip without having to worry where to develop those film rolls!

  • 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.

  • Petzval LomoAmigo: Justine Jugnet

    written by lomographyfrance 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.

  • Capturing the Festival Spirit with Trev Eales

    written by hannah_brown on 2015-10-01 in #people #lomoamigos
    Capturing the Festival Spirit with Trev Eales

    Trev Eales is a UK based music photographer who has shot for various festivals and other events. On this occasion, he turned his attention away from the stage and photographed the audience. With the Petzval 85 Lens, he managed to capture the essence of a very British summer. Expect fancy outfits, hoola hooping, dancing and lots of beautiful, swirly bokeh from this series of festive portraits.

  • Shop News

    Diana Mini and Flash Petite Noire at 25% off

    Diana Mini and Flash Petite Noire at 25% off

    At 25% off you can take dreamy 35mm images with this little black beauty. Beam coloured light into your shots with its accompanying Diana Flash Back accessory and be the analogue king of the night.

  • Embroidered Pictures by Diane Meyer

    written by chvo on 2015-10-17 in #people #lomoamigos
    Embroidered Pictures by Diane Meyer

    Editing pictures with image manipulation software or a mobile app is not unheard of. An alienation of photos by needle and thread, on the other hand, is an intricate process. Los Angeles-based artist and photographer Diane Meyer has gained instant fame for her embroidered analog photos. In this interview, she talks about adding a new dimension to pictures as well as her source of inspiration and other projects.

  • LomoAmigo LomoKev Tests the New Petzval 58 Bokeh Control Art Lens

    written by Jill Tan Radovan on 2015-06-03 in #people #lifestyle #lomoamigos
    LomoAmigo LomoKev Tests the New Petzval 58 Bokeh Control Art Lens

    Kevin Meredith, more popularly known as LomoKev, is a photographer based in Brighton, England who gained notoriety for his use of the Lomo LC-A and his lomographic style of creating images. Aside from a plethora of personal and commercial projects, he has also conducted workshops on photography, written and published photography-related books, and participated in a few exhibits. With his evident passion for photography, it comes as no surprise that he was selected to test a prototype of the New Petzval 58 Bokeh Control Art Lens.

  • Robin Rimbaud Shoots with the LC-A 120

    written by hannah_brown on 2015-10-05 in #people #lomoamigos
    Robin Rimbaud Shoots with the LC-A 120

    Robin Rimbaud is a UK based artist, record producer, and composer who works under the name "Scanner" in reference to his use of mobile phone signals and police scanners in his early performances. He has worked on soundtracks for films, sound installations, radio, dance and theater. Robin also has a passion for medium format photography, owns a Holga camera and has a unique photographic style. Get to know him in this interview, where he talks about his personal work as well as his experience with the Lomo LC-A 120.

  • Shop News

    Fuji Instax Wide 300

    Fuji Instax Wide 300

    Shoot wider and bigger with this new instax camera that has film format twice the size of the instax mini films!

  • Angela Izzo on Shooting with the Diana Mini, Photographing Musicians, and Then Some

    written by Julien Matabuena on 2015-04-29 in #people #lifestyle
    Angela Izzo on Shooting with the Diana Mini, Photographing Musicians, and Then Some

    While many of us can only dream of working with musicians and photographing them, Angela Izzo's job entails exactly that. Apparently, this is a fulfillment of her own dream that she had when she was younger. In this interview, Izzo talks about her beginnings which, of course, included going to as many shows and festivals as she possibly can; some of her most memorable on-the-job-experiences with the likes of The Doors, Lykke Li, Jack White, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, and Chris Robinson Brotherhood; her inspirations and other interests; and her love for film photography and Diana Mini. And to those looking into fulfilling their own dreams of working in the same industry, Izzo also shares helpful advice based on her own experiences.

  • Milestones of the Lomographic Movement

    written by lomographymagazine on 2015-11-24 in #world #lifestyle
    Milestones of the Lomographic Movement

    Are you a Lomographer? Then this too is your history.

  • Travel Stories: Cartagena de Indias, Colombia by peruvianfan

    written by lomographymagazine on 2015-11-24 in #world #locations
    Travel Stories: Cartagena de Indias, Colombia by peruvianfan

    I traveled to Cartagena de Indias, Colombia in May 2015 with my twin sister. Our birthday was on the 31st, and for the last few years we've had a silent pact to try to spend our birthdays traveling as much as we could (and as long as we’re single!).