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Ask Your Guru: Ophelia Asks Bloomchen

Every two weeks, we dish you the most curious Lomography related questions ever written in the history of analogue!

Or maybe not! But we are sure that these Lomo questions keep us discovering the huge mystery in this analogue life we live in. And for this week’s edition of Ask Your Guru, we’re giving you a conversation between Newcomer ophelia and LomoGuru bloomchen.

Photo by bloomchen

Meet bloomchen or Torsten Dittkuhn who comes from the lovely city of Berlin in Germany. Having thousands of Lomographs in his Home, Torsten has once left the world of analogue for quite a long time — yet his mark as a terrific Lomographer surely never left our analogue minds! Fifteen years and counting with Lomography, Torsten sure is here to stay!

Photo by ophelia

And then here comes our Newcomer ophelia or Ilaria Ingravalle, who discovered Lomography through www.postcrossing.com in which she received a postcard related to Lomo. With that occurence, her curiosity for Lomography started to grow.

Ilaria is an arts graduate from Rome, Italy. Her interests are nature, sending and receiving portraits, baking sweets, traveling, and of course Lomography!

A cat says hello from ophelia’s LomoHome!

Since we’ve got these two rolling, let us now find out how their Q&A went!

Ilaria Ingravalle (II): Nice to meet you bloomchen! Your bio in your Lomohome is so funny! Eight years without analogue photography… Why? And why did you come back?

Torsten Dittkuhn (TD): Long story. [But] well, I didn´t plan to come back, it just happened. Looking back when I bought my first camera, there was some kind of lack in my life and I lived about 500km away from all my friends and family. So I began to remember my roots via looking at old pictures and that´s when I realized there were none much from the time that I was a teenager. So I bought me an LC-A to document my life and that´s when Lomography caught me for the first time. After about two years I moved to Berlin and started taking part in Lomo-Competitions that were organized by the Lomo-Embassy in Berlin Prenzlauer-Berg. I even went to the Lomo HQ in Vienna to get me an Actionsampler when it came out.

Then in 2003 a friend of mine told me about ultimate frisbee. So I tried it and it caught me, too. I began to practice a lot and played many many tournaments including international ones. So ultimate frisbee displaced Lomography for about eight years. But when I received the Lomography Newsletter last year and read about the La Sardina camera which my girlfriend got me as a gift, I got back with Lomography. So today I practice [ultimate frisbee] less and shoot more.

II: You have a lot of cameras, what was your first one? And why did you choose it?

TD: My first camera was the LC-A. I bought it in the town where I went to school for 249 DM. I didn´t knew anything about photography or cameras, I only knew that a music-band (Tocotronic) which I liked a lot (still do) had LC-A shots in their booklets. I liked the imperfect blurry style and that it had an A-mode to shoot. That was it.

II: What is your favourite camera and film ever?

TD: Hard to answer. At the moment I prefer my Holga, Horizon Perfekt and Seagull 4A. I don’t use my LC-A that often but it is still my favourite camera. We share many many nice memories.

My favourite film doesn´t really exist, I guess. I do like the Kodak EBX a lot but you get to know films and therefore your choice varies often with what you want to shoot.

II: Tell me something more about yourself through your Lomographs.

TD: I think it is hard to notice some characteristic if you use a lot of different cameras and don´t do concept albums. Probably others can explain what they notice in my photos. I think I´m a good observer and that´s why there are so many "snapshots“ in my gallery. Can´t say more.

II: Does the nickname bloomchen have a special meaning for you?

TD: Yes it has. My nickname is actually the result of an American trying to write down another nickname of mine – a German word. He didn´t knew the word and had difficulties with the Umlaut so he wrote it like he thought it might be correct. The result was bloomchen and I liked it because it sounds fun the way he pronounced it. In my sports in Germany most people do only know my other nickname but not my real name. Can you find out what the other name is?

II: What is Lomography for you?

TD: To me it is a passion and I´m really glad to be back. Lomography has a great Community with members that share their analogue love. And even though there are maybe about 200 hardcore-members, I´m pretty amazed that a photo in the selected section is liked by users I have not heard of or seen any photo in about a year. So you get to know more and more users and you get to see more great pictures. Lomography keeps a huge treasure and I like that.

II: Do you have a special mood in shooting pictures?

TD: I don´t think so. I´m just always scanning my environment and I´m curious. I want to take a look in the backyard if the door is open and I want to know what is around the next corner. And sometimes I think in photos. Sounds strange but often the moment something catches my eye I think of what it will look like on a photo. I even think that missed opportunities in pictures feel like torture. But in general I´d say being in a special mood isn´t good for shooting. Mood has something to do with emotions and those are not good advisors. Being euphoric or so doesn´t help taking a good picture because you tend to fade-out things. Being patient and straight however does.

Sprockets in ophelia’s LomoHome.

II: Can you describe your LomoHome in 5 words?

TD: Learning process; some nice results.

II: Your best Lomograph ever? Show me and tell me why.

TD: Puh. There are about three I really really like a lot. Probably this one is my favorite and I can´t say why. I like the colours which are an x-pro effect plus the ease. Unfortunately, the scan isn´t really good but I [still] like it.

Photo by bloomchen

II: You are a LomoGuru but do you have a [personal] LomoGuru? Who is he/she?

TD: Actually there are many many great Lomographers out there. Some have a special style I like and even recognize and others I really like because they are so creative as for example oneira1927 and blueskyandhardrock. But if I have to chose one I would say it´s @upic from Germany. She is travelling the world and I guess she comes back with several hundreds of photos but makes and album of just 5 to 10 shots but those are breathtaking. You can hardly do better in analogue I think. Some of the shots she takes I might expect in a mag or so. Light, location and timing of what she uploads is just amazing. So keep it up Ute. I want to see more of these in the future.

II: Did you ever meet other Lomographers outside the Community? Are they friends also in real life?

Yes, I did meet some in Berlin. Really nice guys: sushi_9009, ck_berlin, fruchtzwerg_hh and masha_njam. That´s it. But I will hopefully get to know more Lomographers in the future.

Fisheye fun!

Surely was an interesting read from these two. Thanks ophelia and bloomchen! Until the next Ask Your Guru!

Are you a curious Newcomer? Or maybe a LomoGuru who would like to share tips and tricks to our noobs? Then this is your time to be featured! Just drop me a line at mayee.gonzales@lomography.com. Catch ya!

written by mayeemayee

20 comments

  1. mayeemayee

    mayeemayee

    Thank you for this @ophelia and @bloomchen! Awesome q&a! :)

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  2. ophelia

    ophelia

    @mayeemayee thanks to you for this opportunity and thanks to @bloomchen for the patience and the spirit! I really appreciate it! <3

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  3. goonies

    goonies

    @ophelia e brava!

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  4. ophelia

    ophelia

    @goonies e grazie! Ovviamente come foto di presentazione ho la faccia a carciofo!

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  5. goonies

    goonies

    @ophelia la tua faccia più bella

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  6. bloomchen

    bloomchen

    @ophelia thanks a lot for taking part. hope you´re satisfied with my answers ;) thanks @mayeemayee nice feature that connect user!

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  7. ophelia

    ophelia

    @goonies tu mi vuoi bene! @bloomchen our first 2 photos are so funny!! Yes, I really enjoyed myself reading them! Thanks for being so nice with my curiosity! BUT what is your other nickname?

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  8. le_ors

    le_ors

    "Being patient and straight however does."
    great, great line there, @bloomchen
    <3

    complimenti, @ophelia :)

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  9. ophelia

    ophelia

    that's my guru after all @bloomchen @le_ors grazie mille!! <3

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  10. coca

    coca

    "And sometimes I think in photos. Sounds strange but often the moment something catches my eye I think of what it will look like on a photo." you are not alone, that happens to me too all the time! :) nice interview!

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  11. mafiosa

    mafiosa

    Love you both @ophelia and @bloomchen <3

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  12. moodification

    moodification

    @ophelia, @bloomchen: nice interview! congrats to both of you ;-))

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  13. disdis

    disdis

    @ophelia, @bloomchen I liked both questions and answers!

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  14. masha_njam

    masha_njam

    @ophelia, @bloomchen: you are great!

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  15. bloomchen

    bloomchen

    @le_ors thanks! in fact you can really notice this on pictures - well i myself or probably you on your pictures. i know some of my shots that are crappy because i was happy to have this nice opportunity so i didn´t really have a look at light conditions etc.

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  16. le_ors

    le_ors

    @bloomchen you're right... I suppose we all struggle between having an opportunity and having a nice image after some thinking...
    :)

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  17. stouf

    stouf

    @ophelia @bloomchen Super interview!

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  18. bravebird

    bravebird

    @bloomchen Ich verneige mich in Demut und danke dir von Herzen für dieses atemberaubende Kompliment!! :D Super Interview!

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  19. ophelia

    ophelia

    @coca he's really a guru!
    @mafiosa @moodification @disdis @masha_njam thanks!! :) We did really food with this!! And we're planning to do a double...I'm looking forward to do it!
    @le_ors <3
    @stouf thank you!!
    @upic I can't speak german but thank you!!

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  20. superkulisap

    superkulisap

    nice Q&A @bloomchen and @ophelia! :)

    about 2 years ago · report as spam

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This is the original article written in: English. It is also available in: Deutsch & Русский.