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The LC-Wide Adventures of Lilian

Lilian van Rooij is a professional photographer, and during her work for the Dutch broadcasting network 'BNN' she bumped into Lomography. As you might be able to guess, one thing leads to another and now she's our newest Lomo Amigo! Paired up with an LC-Wide she made not one, but two awesome series you can check out right here!

Tell us about yourself. What do you do for a living? What are your interests?
My name is Lilian and I’m a professional photographer. Usually I do portrait work for companies, broadcasting networks and magazines. But it varies with the job I’ve taken on. In my work as a photographer I usually try to match colors as good as I can and I try to match up the person in the photo with his or her surroundings.

How long have you been a Lomographer (or are you new to this whole thing)? 
About 10 years ago I went on a holiday to Ljubljana and I bumped into huge panels in the city that had text on them. It was the Don’t Think, Just Shoot – panels of Lomography. It inspired me instantly and after that I did hear about it from fellow students or teachers at school. However back then I didn’t dive into the adventure until I was asked by broadcasting network BNN to do an interview about Lomography that job I started experimenting with the plastic camera’s and crossing film. But I’m really just a novice when it comes to Lomography.

Unfortunately the editing fairies didn’t put any sound in, sorry!

What does a normal day in the life of Lilian look like?
Usually I start with getting out of bed and checking my email. Then I figure out what my plan of the day is, where I need to go, etc. Then I grab my cameras, lenses, equipment, and I head out to the job I have that day. Today I have to take portraits at the public library in Amsterdam. When I arrive there I set up all my gear and take some test shots of myself. People sometimes wonder what I’m doing, but I explain tot hem that if I do it this way I can start shooting right away with the actual subjects. Most of the people I put on (digital) film don’t really have that much time, so I like to be able to think fast! After a shoot I pack up my gear again, go home and there I do the post-processing of the images.

Five days a week?
Nah, on average I have 3 days in the week who look like that. The other days are filled up with photography as an art form and exhibits. To make time for these things I actually do plan them in. Like with this Lomo Amigo project.
I pick subjects and techniques I want to develop and keep myself inspired that way. Sometimes I even have to pass on a paid job for it! You just have to keep innovating yourself otherwise you have the risk of running on auto-pilot and I really don’t want to step into that one.If you look at it that way, my ‘free’ work isn’t just a luxury, it’s necessary to keep my ‘day job’ fresh and inspiring.

Photo by lilianvanrooij

Your snapshots are amazing! How did you do it and are you willing to share the secrets?
In general the outcome of the Lomography style pictures I took surprised me too! Not always positively. At times the multiple exposure didn’t turn out the way I hoped. But there were also some amazing pictures that have an entire story you can fantasize about when you look at them. In the beginning I just ditched all the knowledge I had about techniques and started snapping. But those pictures didn’t turn out the way I wanted. That’s when I started to plan my photo’s a bit. I took a tripod with me to make pictures that where taken during the night more successful and that really worked. I was merrily surprised by the colors in the pictures.

What is it that we could know you from?
Maybe the Volkskrant Magazine (Dutch newspaper – red). I made three visual reports for them. I also won the Photo Academy Award in 2008. Other then that you can find my name in the byline of a lot of pictures on TV or in magazines and newspapers.

What did you think about shooting with the Lomo LC-Wide and what dod your friends and fans think of it?
A lot of my friends where enthusiastic about the camera and the entire Lomography idea. I actually didn’t expect that at first. One of my friends even crawled up to her attic to find her old cameras! My fellow photographers where a bit on the skeptic side, which I was at first too, but if you just let go of the ‘professionalism’ of the camera, Lomos really hold their own! No, they aren’t comparable to a Nikon or Canon (D)SLR but they do some equally amazing things. I also got to borrow the Colorsplash Flash and it felt like a birthday present!

What was the most memorable thing that happened during your adventure with the LC-Wide?
The first night shoot I did the roll didn’t advance properly… I didn’t notice it at all because we where having such a great shoot. At the end of the night the counter was at 39 and we wondered if that was possible on a roll of film with 36 frames (it actually is, you can get up to 42(!) pictures out of one 36 frame roll if you load it properly – red) . After opening the back it tuned out the film wasn’t loaded properly and we wasted all the time and effort. Luckily we got to do it all over again, this time with the roll loaded properly! The pictures turned out amazing.

Photo by lilianvanrooij

If you had to pick, which picture would be your favorite and why?
I have a favorite in every series I’ve shot actually:

A picture of a parking garage in Utrecht. It’s actually quite an ugly thing but with the wintery sun, redscale film and some double exposures it turned out to be amazing and warm.

Photo by lilianvanrooij

This picture was taken with a tripod on the ‘Keulsekade’ in Utrecht. The red and white tube just screamed my name and I think it looks like a candy cane. Because if the lighting this industrial setting ended up being a bit like a carnival or amusement park. I didn’t expect that at all because it was pretty dark when I shot these pictures. I think the camera is responsible for that (together with the film). Lomo cameras just brighten up the world. With my usual gear (which is mostly digital) I know what to expect, but the surprise of Lomography is really growing on me.

Photo by lilianvanrooij

And this picture just made me laugh really hard.

Photo by lilianvanrooij

If you had to give your photo’s a soundtrack, what would it be?
My boyfriend makes electronic music that fits the industrial pictures perfectly. It’s dark music with electronic beats: Darkscapes van One Man Orchestra | Werner Urban. This record will come out on November 13th and one of my Lomography pictures is used for the cover!

What else is on your to do list in the next months?
Right now I’m busy making a book about people with an interesting perspective on the future. It ranges from astronaut Wubbo Ockels to bank VP Matthijs Biermans. There are lawyers, scientists and all sorts of people in the book. Other then that I’ve just returned from a street art fair in Berlin – Stroke Urban Art Fair – where I had some of my films on display..

Do you have any advice for future Lomo LC-Wide photographers?
Don’t think small with this camera. You will always capture more in your frame then you thought you would. Think in big bold patterns and don’t think about narrowing your vision with it. Pictures that really worked out with me are some that I shot during the sunset. Also: try to shoot against the sun sometimes, you’ll get great effects.

Can you tell us a little bit about the two series you’ve shot?
The first few rolls where mainly shot at random, I wanted to see what the camera did. The second series was a lot more planned work. I’ve always wanted to shoot some industrial images because it softens that world. With certain light and perspective the Lomo LC-Wide was really perfect for this job. Not too stiff but still very characteristic. I don’t think they would have turned out this great with a digital camera.

Lomo Amigo Lilian shot her series with the Lomo LC-Wide. The Lomo LC-Wide is equipped with a new 17mm Minigon Ultra-Wide Angle lens. Shoot some booming colors and sick saturation with this camera. And to top it all off you have 3 different formats to shoot in and a lightmeter built into the camera!

written by mrmaart and translated by pretletterp

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The original version of this article is written in: Nederlands.