Young Austrian photographer and Fine Art student Julia Tröndle first caught our attention earlier this month through her fascinating work in poetic photography. When we got in touch with her for an interview, we were also able to find out that she not only shoots but also writes poetry, and is a big fan of Lomography as well! Read on to find out more about our featured photographer – from her beginnings in analogue photography to The Poetic Photography Collection – as well as see a selection of her work that she has personally collated!
Hello, Julia! First of all, kindly introduce yourself to the members of the Lomography community.
Hey everyone, my name is Julia Tröndle, I’m from Austria and I’m completely and utterly in love with film photography.
When did you start dabbling with photography, and what made you decide to pursue the craft?
Well, I somehow “started” already at the age of 12, when my parents gave me my first analogue camera for my birthday. I remember taking lots of pictures back then, just to put them into my diary and write little descriptions beneath them. When I was 16, I bought my first digital camera (yes! shame on me! ;) ) but then I saw some beautiful photographs on the Internet shot with an analogue SLR camera, and so I decided to pick up my father’s old Nikon EM and start trying it out myself. It was love at first sight. I hardly ever picked up my digital camera again and the very good, very long-lasting relationship between me and analogue photography began.
Please tell us what comprises your photographic arsenal.
I used to be very, very fond of trying out new analogue cameras, which means that until recently eBay was my best friend and that there was a time when I owned about 20 different analogue cameras at once. But the more I experimented with all these cameras, the more my all-time favorite camera emerged, which is an Exa Ihagee Dresden, a single lens reflex camera from the 1950s. So I decided to give away most of my other cameras to friends and acquaintances, and the cameras I kept are: Exa Ihagee Dresden, a Polaroid Camera, Lubitel 2, Holga, Lomo Supersampler and Actionsampler, and I recently invested in a Fuji Instax since the film for it is cheaper than Polaroid film.
We’re glad to discover that you’re a huge fan of Lomography! Do tell us about your experiences. Do you have a favorite Lomo camera? Why?
I really like Lomography, to me it’s like the fun, more spontaneous way to photograph as opposed to photographing with my SLR camera. I really like the Holga since I’m in love with square format photographs, and it’s a little bit easier to use than the Lubitel. Not having a viewfinder with the Actionsampler and Supersampler is always a nice challenge plus a little risky, which makes it even more fun.
In your own words, please tell us what poetic photography is. Why did you choose to focus on it?
First, I want to clarify that I don’t consider all of my photographs as poetic photography; just a few fit into this concept. Poetic Photography is about finding poetry in everyday life. Not the written poetry, of course; it’s more about a visual kind of poetry: small, almost unnoticed moments like a curtain that moves slightly within the heat-filled air in the afternoon on a summer day, or a sudden gust of wind that unexpectedly carries a small abandoned plastic bag from one side of the street to the other. There are also poetic places like old hallways or small, overgrown backyards, and I also consider certain things as poetic: letters, old umbrellas or hats, just to name a few.
Do you have any particular favorite subjects?
I love photographing mountains that are surrounded by fog. There’s nothing more beautiful than that.
What inspires you? Also, who are the photographers and/or artists that you look up to?
I’m inspired by art in general. All kinds of art, actually, which means that I get my ideas from watching movies, listening to live music, going to museums and art galleries, and sometimes also by simply sitting in the library for a whole afternoon looking through all the art-related books.
Please tell us more about The Poetic Photography Collection.
I started TPPC in April 2013. I somehow wanted to show a different way of seeing the world. I like that the collection is still quite small and I also don’t receive that many submissions from people who want to be a part of it. But TPPC gained many followers quite quickly which feels like an acknowledgement that this idea of a poetic photograph is not just something in my head but it can be also seen and noticed by others. I also think that it’s quite unique since there are many websites that feature photographers but The Poetic Photography Collection focuses more on the photographs itself than the people who took them.
Just out of curiosity, do you write poetry or any other form of literature as well?
Yes, I do, indeed. Not very often but every now and then I write poems or sometimes also short stories. As a child I even wanted to become a writer.
What’s your favorite project or photograph that you’ve taken so far, and why? Any interesting and memorable story that you can share with us?
I took a three-year course on artistic photography a few years ago, where I once had to create a professional photo book. I lived in Vienna back then and was so in love with the city so I had to make this book about Vienna. The results were 84 pages filled with very untypical views of Vienna since I tried to capture very quiet places within this major city. I remember one afternoon in autumn where I explored a suburb walking along roads near the highway with my jacket opened because it was unseasonably warm, my camera in my hands, feeling nothing but calm and happy about my life.
What is your dream project?
To be honest I don’t think about projects anymore, at least not photography projects. I love to simply take my camera almost everywhere I go, always looking out for something beautiful to catch.
Are there other hobbies or interests that you have aside from photography?
I love making things in general. I’m studying Fine Art with an emphasis on sculpture, so this is probably my biggest hobby. And I love to read and to play the piano, as both have the ability to kind of empty my mind for a while which is sometimes highly necessary since I’m one of these people who can’t stop thinking all the time. I also always listen to audio books while trying to fall asleep for the same reason.
What has been keeping you busy these days? Any ongoing/upcoming projects that you’d like to share with us? Exhibitions you’d like to promote?
For the last few weeks I’ve been busy with my artwork for fall semester, which is about being highly sensitive. But regarding photography I plan on making small daytrips by train in spring semester to nearby places I’ve never been to to hopefully take pictures there.
Any advice that you could give to aspiring photographers?
I’ve learned a lot by just looking at many, many photographs. I tried to analyze why I liked certain pictures so much and tried to put these analyzed aspects into my own photographs. My standard example for this is taking indoor pictures very close to a window since there’s an amazing light that always reminds me of the perfect light in movies.
Any last words?
Yes, I would like to thank Julien Matabuena who asked me to do this interview (Editor’s note: You’re welcome!), and I also would like to thank Lomography for being an important part of my artistic career. And, last but not least, I want to say thanks to you, who have read this interview to the very end, for taking your time to look at my photographs. It truly means a lot to me.
All photographs in this feature were provided to Lomography by Julia Tröndle. She runs her own website on Cargo Collective as well as The Poetic Photography Collection. You may also visit her LomoHome here.
Related feature: Poetic Photography by Julia Tröndle.