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An Interview with MirrorLessons founder Mathieu Gasquet

In an exclusive interview, professional photographer, filmmaker, and MirrorLessons website co-founder Mathieu Gasquet provides qualified insight on the Lomography Experimental Lens Kit.

Photo by Mathieu Gasquet

A couple of months ago MirorLessons’ Mathhieu Gasquet published an in-depth review of the Lomography Experimental Lens Kit. Today, he shares further qualified insight by answering some questions through an email-interview.

Hi Mathieu. Kindly tell us a little about yourself.

I am a Franco-Italian photographer and filmmaker. I got my first film camera for my 10th birthday but subsequently broke it one year later. My interests soon went elsewhere, only to return many years later when I was already working in the filmmaking industry. Rapidly, photography became my second job but the big turning point happened last year, when I launched my blog, MirrorLessons, with my partner Heather Broster. On our website, we share our passion for mirrorless cameras and photography through reviews, in-depth articles, interviews with professionals, and more.

What cameras do you usually use and which ones do you use with the Lomography Experimental Lens Kit?

The cameras I use the most are the Olympus OM-D E-M5 (soon to be replaced by the new E-M1) and the Fujifilm X100s. With the Experimental lens kit, I often use the Olympus Pen E-P5. Its retro/vintage design matches the Lomography lenses nicely. The art filters on the Olympus cameras are also ideal for these kinds of lenses. But I could use them on any Micro Four Thirds camera really.

Can you share with us your first impressions of the Lomography Experimental Lens Kit?

The experimental kit lenses are very different from what one would normally use. We often refer to these kinds of lenses as Toy lenses because of the cheap price, plastic build and the kind of package they are sold in. But once you mount one of them on the camera and start shooting, you realise that they are fun to use and that their design is actually perfect.

How did it feel to use the Lomography Experimental Lens Kit, considering that you’re probably more used to taking ultra-sharp, hi-fi images?

I used them for what they are, really. Sharpness or pure lens performance in this case doesn’t really matter. They are made for a different purpose and I actually like the fact that I can concentrate on pure creativity. The term ”experimental” couldn’t be more appropriate. You walk and take pictures in an instinctive way. You don’t worry about aperture or other specs, just how to merge different elements together.

How long have you been using it, and how has it been so far?

I got them approximately three months ago. We got in touch with Lomography USA, who noticed our website and asked us if we were interested in reviewing the lenses. I liked the idea and accepted. I must admit that I wasn’t overly familiar with the Lomography concept before then, so I did some research and went through lots of pictures to better embrace the philosophy behind it. I don’t use them on a regular basis because between my work and the website, there is a lot to do and mountains of new gear to try. But I would like to dedicate a multiple exposure project to them in the future.

What do you like most about shooting with the Lomography Experimental Lens Kit?

Mainly it is the philosophy of Lomography in general. I like the idea of just pointing the camera according to what my instinct suggests, without thinking too much about what I am doing. Having a website about mirrorless cameras has forced me to become very picky about technical aspects, even though I always try to place more importance on the beauty of photography first and foremost. With the lens kit, you forget all that. It is like resetting everything and using my primary instinct. It doesn’t mean that it will always work or that I have to abuse it, but it is a nice exercise and the results can be quite interesting.

Which feature or function of the Lomography Experimental Lens Kit did you enjoy shooting with?

The main thing that interested me was the ability to perform a real multiple exposure, by combining more than two exposures or combining exposures with different shutter speeds.

Which feature or function did you find difficult to manage?

The fixed f/8 aperture can take some time to adapt to, especially in low light situations, but you overcome it quickly. The only lens I don’t like is the 160° fisheye, mainly because I generally don’t like this kind of fisheye lens (or maybe I still haven’t figured out how to use it properly).

Which subject/s and/or technique/s do you think is/are best for shooting with the Lomography Experimental Lens Kit?

Certainly the multiple exposure is the best way to use the lenses and I think they are very well suited to street photography.

To whom or what kind of camera user would you recommend the Lomography Experimental Lens Kit?

I would recommend it to users (professionals or amateurs) interested in multiple exposures who like the idea of fun lenses to use for purely creativity purposes.

Please share your favorite photos from the ones you’ve taken, and tell us why you love them.

My favorite is actually one my partner Heather took, and it is the one with the red child’s silhouette. I like it because it looks like she wants to grab the white bicycle.

Photo by Heather Broster

The second one is a picture I took and I really like the colours. I saw a large contrast between shadows and light on the street buildings and merged it with the suspended bike. How the bike silhouette turned yellow is interesting.

Photo by Mathieu Gasquet

I also like the possibility to merge people in the multiple exposures. In the two examples below, I also played with the light, contrast and silhouettes. Multiple exposures are actually difficult to create – you have to look at things and imagine them together.

Finally, there is the possibility to merge different shutter speeds. The night shot with the bus is not my favorite photo but shows the creative potential.

Photo by Mathieu Gasquet

Satisfy your hunger for creative snap-shooting with the Lomography Experimental Lens Kit. This lens pack is compatible with all Micro 4/3 digital cameras and comes with three lenses: standard 24mm, wide-angle 12mm and fisheye. This super creative lens kit will let you take wide-angle, fisheye, and multiple exposure shots, delight in exciting photographic effects and tint your images with color filters. View the Experimental Lens Kit Site or get yours in the Online Shop now!

written by jillytanrad

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