Above the clouds: The creative Street Artists of Permanent Unit are taking the LC-A+ to a higher level.
Tell the community something about Permanent Unit! Who is part of the crew and what are you doing?
Simon: So we are basically four people, Georg Dinstl, Oliver Toman, Josef Karl Wurm and my humble self Simon Lemmerer. We officially existed last 2007, but we know each other for much longer through our common hobby: Graffiti. Our small company is divided into two division. There is the advertising agency on the one hand, where we are producing the classic graphic design, illustration and advertising, and the workshop on the other hand, in which we are designing analogical. That means everything which is in the need for a design, will be designed by us.
Was this your first contact with Lomography, or do you have some previous experiences?
Simon: I’m a snowboard photographer for some years now. My first LOMO contact therefore was pretty early. I think the first LC-A that I had in hand was the one from Ludschi in the beginning of 2000. Oliver then checked relatively early a LC-A and a Holga, I think around 2004. I jumped on the bandwagon just two years ago and got myself a LC-A+. Since that time I always have it with me. Recently I use the new Instantback with the LC-A+ and I’m very pleased with it.
What connects your work with Lomography – or in other words: How analogue is Permanent Unit?
Simon: Like I said before, approximately 50% of our work is analogue or has an analogue background.
Many of the illustrations or designs are based on analogue sketches. Interior design or the like are done by hand anyway. I would say analogue is in great demand with us! It’s the style of design we like the most because it best fits our handcraft. The bottom line is a computer can’t replace a pen-leading hand.
What was your reaction when you found out that you got chosen for joining the exclusive circle of LomoAmigos?
Simon: We were really happy about it. Above all we would have the chance to give the people a little inside to our work. Furthermore we have so many great photos lying around which should not only go to seed in our albums but should be showcased somewhere!
Which camera did you get for testing and who has taken most of the photos?
Simon: I use the standard LC-A+, sometimes together with the Instant Back. As soon as the Instant Back came out I got myself one and I took 100 instant photos so far. I’m pretty excited about it; above all you can do some smashing experiments using it. You couldn’t do it that good with the old Polaroid cameras. I also created an analogue photo album for myself including nice captions. So you can say I really enjoy it. Since October 2009 I also have an original Russian Horizon. I only shot four films with it so far, but now I want to use it more often with my new handy light meter. Lots of photos can go wrong cause of exposure errors.
To which events, parties and places did you bring your camera? Where did you take most of the photos and can you tell us something about the photos in your gallery?
Simon: As mentioned above, I bring my camera nearly everywhere I go, since half a year the Instantback too. I think our photos reflect a good cross-section. I’m also an enthusiastic glider and I always take the LC-A+ with me to the cockpit, next to a small digital compact camera. The result can also be seen in the gallery. I always try to capture beautiful moods or situations. I’m more into describing the situation with my photos than trying to be arty using the art form of Lomography where chance plays a major role. I like the fact, that the chance is a large constant if you are taking photos with your LOMO.
How do people react when you whip out your analogue equipment? Any funny moments you want to tell us about
Simon: I can’t think of something special at the moment. But something I want to try in the future: I want to tape my LC-A on the top of my cockpit to take photos with the cable release. I will try this in spring and I’m curious about how these photos will look like.
The strangest, funniest, or hands-down greatest photographic/ Lomographic encounter that you have ever had?
Simon: I had some funny moments lately especially with the Instantback. I always take two photos of the same friend so that I can put one in my album and give the other one to my friend. It happens quite often that the two photos are looking completely different although I took them in the same light conditions with the same exposure time and it’s really hard to choose one photo when both are looking totally awesome.
If your photos shown here could have a soundtrack of three songs, what would they be (song title & artist please)?
Simon: My Soundtrack to my photos:
- Wolfmother – White Unicorn
- The Cure – Close to me
- Santigold – Lights out
Digital or Analogue – Why?
Simon: I mostly take digital photos because of the workflow. But I have to say I prefer analogue photography. On the one hand you got the chance to use film – I hope that haptics will play an important role again in our society. On the other hand you are sharpening your sense for composition if you are using an analogue camera – LOMO or analogue SLR – and of course the most important characteristic: The feeling for that special moment.
I know lots of photographers who are shooting mostly digital. They take three to five blindfold shots and then chose the best out of these. If you are using film you have to think carefully about every shot. For me that’s the most important aspect that you will learn through analogue photography.
Any things that you come to appreciate? What makes the camera special for you?
Simon: I like that you don’t know how your photo will look like, in fact the most thrilling thing of the LC-A. Of course you know the roughly outcome but there is always a certain unpredictable element. Above all using the LC-A+ Instantback where you have to wait three minutes till you see the result only to see if you did something wrong and you have to take the photo again.
It’s always the same using analogue cameras: The more photos you take the better feeling you’ll get for this.
Your advice to future LC-A+ shooters?
Simon: Hmm, the most important thing is to test everything like double or multiple exposures, to experiment using different films and so on. You will get a feeling for the camera. I had some blurry photos in the beginning because I was used to SLRs where the focussing is different. I think that’s perhaps the most difficult thing in the beginning of using the LC-A+. Apart form that simply have fun with your LC-A+, it will accompany you for a long time and will show you a very good service!