Husband-and-wife artists and illustration team, KozynDan are a match made in Lomography heaven. With their awe-inspiring hyper real panoramic illustrations and incredible underwater photography, this dynamic couple, otherwise known as Kozy and Dan Kitchens, hail from Los Angeles and create jaw-dropping art while globe-trotting the world together and documenting it all on their website www.kozyndan.com. Check out what happened when The Lomography Gallery Store Los Angeles armed them with an LC-A+ and Krab Underwater Housing!
NAME: KozynDan – Kozy and Dan Kitchens
CITY: Los Angeles, CA
How long have you been a Lomographer or are you new to this whole thing?
Dan: We are pretty new to it despite having had Lomos lying around our place for over 10 years. Thankfully that doesn’t prevent one from making interesting images!
Creating art and traveling to the most exotic places in the world together with your spouse seems like a dream. What is it like to live, work, and travel together?
Kozy: It’s both awesome and annoying! Haha!
Describe your thought from concept to desired outcome for your photographs and illustrations. Where do you find your inspiration?
Dan: We don’t have a particular process for each work. We are not systematic at all. Ideas come from either of us, sometimes from bouncing them back and forth, sometimes its just one person’s idea. The execution also might happen that way – one of us might take the idea and execute it by our self, and sometimes its entirely collaborative, with me doing a concept sketch and kozy tightening the drawing up and then both of us painting together. It’s all very fluid.
We always use photography just as a means of documenting our life and shooting reference for paintings, so there is not much thought or preparation that goes into that work. We just see things and shoot them. None of the work has any concept.
What part did each of you have in this LomoAmigos project?
Kozy: We both took turns being in front of and behind the camera. Dan takes his big SLR camera rig down when we dive, so when we were snorkeling with Manta rays in the Maldives, I took those pics.
Tell us about the experience you had shooting underwater analogue versus digital?
Dan: I think the difference is the same as shooting analog versus digital above water. It’s more challenging and harder to predict the final results with film. We also did not have a strobe for shooting with the Lomo underwater, so the photos are a bit more stark and murky than they would be shooting with our digital set ups.
Kozy: When Dan shot photos in the pool, we also messed up those rolls and came out with some awesome mistakes that we liked more than almost anything we shot with our Lomo.
Dan: The mistakes are still my favorite part of shooting Lomo. You just cannot duplicate that digitally.
Describe the Lomo LC-A+ in 5 words?
Kozy: Haha! um… Russian?
If your photos shown here could have a soundtrack of three songs, which would they be? (title, artist please)
Kozy: “Chee Vit Kon Dum” – Chantana Kittiyapan
“I Remember Learning How to Dive“ – Animal Collective
“Ocean Of Tenderness” – Ashra
Describe if you can your personal shooting style. Are you a classic snap shooter, experimental lab rat or just plain up for anything?
Dan: Definitely snapping things we see most of the time. We don’t know enough about photography to experiment, although sometimes I set up some lighting or add a few props to a portrait and see what happens.
If you could travel anywhere in the world with your LC-A+, a bag of film and your gear, where would that be?
Kozy: Tonga! We are going there in September actually to swim with humpback whales! I can’t wait. I am going to bring the Lomo LC-A+ with the Krab underwater housing to try and shoot a close up of a whale’s eye. I want to capture that moment because I know I will come up crying.
Dan: Even though I am still not sure I really want to go there, I would think using our Lomo in India, or someplace like Mexico. I think the gaudiness of color produced at time by Lomos (like in cross-processing) matches the intense color so prevalent in those cultures. I think it’s a good match for interesting photo making.
The strangest, funniest, or hands-down greatest photographic/ Lomographic encounter that you have ever had.
Kozyndan: Oh it has to be Melbourne.
Dan: Definitely! Besides the strangest photographic moment we have had, it was also the scariest moment we ever had for some weird reason. It even involves a Lomo.
Our first time in Melbourne, Australia, we were wondering around looking to take reference photos for a Melbourne panoramic, just taking pictures of random street corners in residential neighborhoods. We don’t like to use really famous iconic locations for our panoramic illustration series. We also had a Lomo Horizon with us. We were in an alley where we had found an exploded printer cartridge or something that had splattered fluorescent pink pigment all over the cobblestones of the alley around it, taking pictures of it with the Horizon camera and then taking loads of shots with our DSLR for reference shots. When we were getting ready to leave, a man came out of the building next to the alley. He was maybe 30 and pale with a shaved head.
Kozy: He came out and stood at the entrance to the alley and just stared at us without speaking for a while. We said “hello” and no answer. We tried to talk to him, asked if he spoke English.
Dan: But it was just silence, staring at us. He lifted a compact camera he had in his hand. And took two pictures of us and just stared some more at us. It was weird – it was like being confronted by a space alien who had assumed the shape of a human being. I never felt more threatened anywhere in my life, despite spending loads of time in much seedier areas than Melbourne has got.
Kozy: Yeah – we were kind of freaked out and we were like “ooohhkaaayyyy” and slinking around to get by him back out onto the street.
Dan: It seems stupid and harmless when repeating the story, but there was something really off about the whole thing. Incidentally, the film from that trip was never developed, this was in 2006. Then when we started shooting for the Lomo Amigos project all our film was thrown in a drawer with some older film and got mixed in with them. So we turned one or two rolls provided to us for the project, and we got back the panoramic photos from 5 years ago and saw the image of the splattered printer in the alley for the first time and remembered this incident.
Any big kozyndan projects for us to watch in the near future?
Dan: Hmm – nothing big I wouldn’t say. Having shows in Australia in April and May. And then a show in NYC in December. In between then we will be trying to squeeze in work time between dive trips.
Kozy: Seems like we will have lot products coming out this year as well, but yeah – mostly just making art and swimming a lot.
The one person (living or deceased) who you would most like to photograph and why.
Dan: Dolly Parton – and I want to get her topless…
Kozy: Hahaha – I don’t know what to say, I can’t think with that awesome image now in my head.
Any advice for future underwater lomographers?
Dan: Light light light! You can’t ever have enough light when shooting strobeless underwater. Also – if you are going to shoot people jumping into water (as in shooting a person who has just landed in water, surrounded by the bubbles of their impact), make sure you plan exactly the moment you want to shoot because the event happens really quick and the Lomo takes a while to advance so you only can shoot one photo for every time a person jumps in pretty much.
Visit www.kozyndan.com to see even more of their artwork, read their awesome blog and buy their cool stuff.
Take a look at their gallery below: