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An Interview with Swedish LomoAmigo Jonas Eriksson

A photoblogger and certified camera junkie, Swedish LomoAmigo Jonas Eriksson tells us about his affair with the Holga and other cameras.

Jonas Eriksson. Photo via minimodi.com

Name: Jonas Eriksson
Age: Born 1980
Country: Sweden
Lomohome: minimodi

How long have you been a lomographer?
Ever since I got my Holga in 2007. It was love at first sight.

What’s the most unforgettable experience you’ve had in analogue photography?
I had some experience before but didn’t start shooting on a regular basis until I got my first DSLR in 2005. So, being used to digital files and the results they generate I have to say the most unforgettable experience was when I rediscovered film and that it had something the digital sensor did not… – soul!

The feeling of film is unbeatable. The features of lo-fi cameras such as light leaks, vignetting, sweet spots and distortion blew me away. Suddenly I couldn’t cope with all over processed digital images anymore since most of the heavily edited photos on the web were tend to copy that unique analog look. I now wanted the real thing!
One other moment I recall was the very first time I took a peep through the viewfinder of a Rolleiflex – pure magic!

What’s your favorite analogue camera? Why?
Can’t choose only one. Despite the truthful saying “it’s not the camera but the photographer that makes the photo” it’s nice to have a tool you’re comfortable with. I still love the Holga (120 CFN) for its ability to create dreamy moods. I like compacts for their ease of use and pocketability, the LC-A and the Olympus Mju2 slips down my pocket most often. The Konica C35 is a neat little range finder that left me many keepers. For “high-end results” I prefer the Rolleiflex or the heavy weight champion Pentax 67.

But lately I’ve unwillingly switched more and more to digital due to the increasing costs of film and developing. For digital I use a Fujifilm X100S or the old trustworthy Canon 5D.

Can you speak about your experience as photoblogger, by telling something something about your different experiences on the net?
Photoblogging was actually the spark that lit the flame for my passion for photography. I discovered the blog phenomenon in the spring of 2005 and immediately wanted to join the “movement”, got my own blog www.minimodi.com up and running and have kept it up to date ever since.

But there are both cons and pros within the blogosphere. You can easily become addicted to comments and likes which can make you loose your integrity and conform your shooting to fit the blog format and not the other way around. It can make you hunt for followers by going for a comment spree just to get views. I have felt all these bad urges along the way but grown and built confidence and no longer care about getting response and appreciation on everything I do.

But of course most things are positive or else I wouldn’t be carrying on for so long. It’s a good motivation to try keeping up with interesting posts, it keeps you on your toes. It’s nice to have a feel of community with like-minded and I have made a few “friends” over the years. It’s also a good way of getting an overview of your work, to see your progress, what you have done and where you are heading. And after all my most indulged followers are family and friends so it’s partial a journal over my everyday life like any social media out there.

Tell us about your your manifesto and the thoughts behind your works?
I don’t have any well thought-out manifesto or such but have always been drawn to a feeling of lonesomeness and solitude. I try to have a wide visual field when observing my environment. Guess the base of my approach is to see the odd in the ordinary, to highlight the details that distinguish an interesting photo – I hope.

Is being a photographer your main profession?

No it’s not my profession, just a spare time activity. But I’m always a photographer – constantly looking for images.

  • Scandinavian people love Lomographic Photography. What’s the connection between your analogue works and your country? And what’s your relationship with the light?*
    I’m interested in capturing the essence of Sweden, I think that’s a common approach for many photographers to explore and try to understand their origin. I’m from a small community on the countryside and often spend time in these sparsely populated areas, (my and the wife’s parents still live there but we’ve moved to the city) so while documenting places, instead of people, the slower pace of working with analog manual cameras brings a peaceful workflow to it that I enjoy.

The people of Sweden are generally very introvert, so shooting on the streets is challenging, not only due to others but perhaps mainly because of myself. I don’t want to interfere or affect the situation, even less upset anyone, so I try keeping a low profile and act as an unseen observer – that is typical Swedish behavior.

Regarding the light, that’s something we don’t see much of during the winter half-year up here. The cold, rain and snow that comes with it makes it even harder to take photos that time a year, especially as a fulltime working father of two with no time left.

But embracing the gloomy foggy days can make for some really moody images, and a low sun is always nice.

Can you choose and share 2 to 3 analogue photos to post with this article and tell us why you chose them? Is there a story behind them?

German circus was visiting town and they were showing off the elephants unleashed on the town square. They felt so misplaced. It’s heartbreaking to see those majestic animals in such an unnatural environment. Shot with a Lomo LC-A.

I saw this unlucky guy from a distance and hurried up, not to offer a hand since I’m worthless with engines, but to take his photo. It looks like the car in the foreground are running me over but I’m standing on the crossroad at a red light. Shot with a Konica C35.

A moped on a frozen stream. I’m intrigued by the questions a scene like this generates. Shot with a Lomo LC-A.

This image evokes feelings like loneliness, sadness and decay. A typical scene that calls for my attention. Shot with a KonicaC35.

Could you tell us a bit about your upcoming projects?
I don’t work on projects, not that I’m against it in any way but it has just never occurred to me.
However I’m very into street photography and hope to spend more time on the streets and improve my skills and confidence.

Any advice for young artists out there?
Learn like you’re gonna live forever, shoot like you’re gonna die tomorrow! Pay extra attention to the last rule of the “ten golden rules of Lomography”.

written by jillytanrad

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This is the original article written in: English. It is also available in: Deutsch.