Lomography Japan has been working with CAMPFIRE, one of the country's largest crowdfunding services. In the past year, we have launched three successful projects such as the campaigns for the Lomography Smartphone Scanner, Petzval Lens and the Lomo’Instant, and Campfire has been helping us reach out to our supporters in Japan. Koh, Campfire's Senior Project Manager, has been involved in all three. Also a lomographer,she is no stranger to our products and has even shot with the new Petzval Lens.
Koh Degawa has been part of one of the largest crowdfunding services in Japan, CAMPFIRE since its launch several years ago. Back then, crowdfunding was still new to people. Lomography Japan has launched 3 projects in the past year with the company, namely the Lomography Smartphone Scanner , Lomo’Instant and the Petzval Lens campaigns.
Also a lomomographer, Koh has been supporting us from the very beginning and is no stranger to our products. Take a look at her beautiful pictures of Tokyo, taken with none other than the Petzval lens.
Hello Koh! Please introduce yourself to the Lomography community.
Hi everyone, my name is Koh Degawa. I was born and raised in Tokyo – currently 27 years old. I work at a company called CAMPFIRE but I also do photography on the side.
What is CAMPFIRE?
CAMPFIRE is a crowdfunding service where people with great ideas create projects and get support from people all around Japan in order to make their dream project come true.
How did you react when you first heard that Lomography Japan was going to launch a project on CAMPFIRE?
It was a total dream come true for me. I loved photography and I even went to an art school for that reason. My personal goal was to be involved in art, photography and/or camera projects through CAMPFIRE and this project made it all happen. Working with one of my favorite brands that I’ve known since I was a student. So again, it was like a dream come true moment for me and I was so happy about it!
Out of the 3 projects that we’ve launched, which one is your favorite?
This is really difficult but the Petzval Lens project was definitely one of the projects that I will never forget. I think it was the same feeling for all the Lomography Japan staff members as well but since it was the first Lomography lens, we were not sure of what to expect. However, in the end it became the biggest project in 2013 and everyone was really happy. One of the most memorable meetings was when the Lomography staff members from the headquarters and Japan came to our office to show the completed Petzval lens!
What’s your first impression of the Petzval Lens?
Unexpectedly easy to use. I was assuming it would be a little bit more difficult to use due to the fact that it’s a manual lens. The shoot itself went really well and it was even easier to shoot than when I use my usual lens. Also, I loved the brass lens look and feel.
We heard that you have a long history with Lomography. When was the first time you encountered Lomography?
My first Lomography camera was the white Colorsplash. I went to a cute stationery store in Shibuya and found that cute camera. That was back when I was a high school student but ever since, I’ve been collecting all kinds of different Lomography cameras.
We hear that you are also doing side projects as a photographer. What cameras do you use?
For film, of course I use Lomography cameras as well as Mamiya, Zenza Bronica and other medium format cameras. For digital, I usually use NikonD600.
For our project, you took landscapes, portraits and various perspectives of Tokyo. Which one is your favorite picture?
What would be the title and background music for this picture?
I haven’t really thought about the title but if I were to decide, it would be “Tokyo Eyes”. I wanted to take the people, scenery, just the feeling of Tokyo from the eyes of different people. As for the background music, I would say “All is LOVE” by Karen O from Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Fun kind of music.
Did anything interesting happen during the shoot?
All my friends in the photographs gave me suggestions of where to shoot them at. They were all really interested in the lens and how the bokeh effect was so unique. Thanks to my friends’ recommendations, I was able to shoot them in different locations like under the neon lights, at a park with big trees, in the middle of the street and many more. In a way, I think the model being shot by the photographer always feels a little bit uncomfortable in photo shoots but the Petzval lens was special and magical. Everyone was enjoying being photographed by the Petzval and were having fun choosing the locations.
Out of all the interesting places in Tokyo, why did you choose Shibuya?
Since Lomography is a foreign brand, I thought it would be nice to shoot somewhere super “Tokyo”. I was also inspired by this idea, when I was chatting with the Lomography Japan staff member. Shibuya is known as a district where young people and tourists come and go but it’s also surrounded by parks and quiet cafes . It quite quiet and nice if you now the places to go.
Last but not least, what message do you have for Lomographers all over the world?
Having the chance to use the Petzval lens really made me think that photography is such an exciting and fun way to spend my time. It’s the same feeling every time I try a new Lomography camera. Photography is always a fun process…choosing that special moment to push the shutter.
Thank you so much for the interview, Koh!