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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Catch ya!