As the core person behind Yamanaka Yuko and Six Dimen Boy, AM Renault's enthusiasm for nature manifests in the themes he incorporates into his art and photography. In this exclusive interview, AM shares his impression of the Petzval Art Lens.
Camera：Nikon F3/T + Petzval Art Lens
Hello AM, tell us about yourself.
Hello, I am AM. I organized Yamanaka Yuko " with Ching Yu two years ago in hopes of enabling people to find the deepest part of themselves by creating different kinds of photography and art with the inspiration of nature. I am a product designer and gradually I became interested in photography and graphic design which I never thought of before.
We saw that “Mother nature” has always been theme for your work. The proportion of humans are so small in most of your pictures. Is there any implication?
Yes. It is because I am greatly influenced by nature – not only my photography style, but also the perspective on how I view my life and value. Meanwhile, nature is the only photography topic I am interested in. As for the proportion, I deem that human is also a part of the view, just like a big tree or a group of cows. Humans are small in nature; likewise, the world is big only with the existence of humans.
How would you describe your photography style?
I think the style is stemmed from the mindset and perspective of the photographer. I am not sure about my style either; but if I have to describe it, I would say I love taking photos with a far away perspective.
How was your first shoot with the Lomography Petzval Art Lens?
I have always wanted to try Petzval, even when it was first released. Thanks for lending one to me! Actually, I have two old lens which could render the swirly effect on the pictures too since I like this effect so much. Yet, compared to Petzval, the effects are far different with regard to the focal length. When I got the lens, I instantly brought it to the mountains. To me, the lens isn’t really that heavy; however, I am just afraid I would lose the aperture plate. Therefore, I would only insert it when I am about to take photos; Overall, the Petzval is perfect, though I am not really all for the brass look.
At first, I wanted to use freedom as the theme and then the lyrics of my favourite song "Wind in my hair I feel part of everywhere… ” which is the song of the movie called “Into The Wild” suddenly sprang up to mind. The movie is about a teenager who pursues freedom and the place he longs for. At that time, I decided to use wind as the theme of my video since it implies freedom. Wind is invisible in itself. Therefore, the video is presented in black-n-white so as to enable people to concentrate on the things being blown and feel the wind.
What are the challenges of bringing the Lomography Petzval Lens during a hike? Any special experience to share?
As I am not used to shooting and hiking at the same time, therefore I would go for the easier locations to hike when I have to take photos. The challenge is that I am not good at recording videos. Frankly, I did not prepare well, like I forgot to check if the lens is clear before shooting while changing aperture plates would let dust or other small particles enter the lens and damage it. As a result, I definitely inserted aperture plates afterwards. I almost fell into a stream with my camera last time and I did not use camera for the rest of my hike.
Choose one song for your photos.
I would choose “The Wolf” by Eddie Vedder. There is no lyrics in this song and you can call it an American folk song. It is like singing with nature. If my photos are turned into sound, it would be the song.
The Petzval Art Lens is a wonderful portrait lens. If you could take photos for anyone alive or who has already passed away, who would he/she be?
I truly hope I can take photos of everyone who love and appreciate the nature.
Do you have any tips to share with those who are about to use the Petzval for the first time?
My only tip is: be careful of losing the aperture plates! It might be because I always run when I hike. I have already lost them several times. Fortunately, I could find them every time. Moreover, It takes time to get used to the focusing. I couldn’t find the focus wheel at all.
What plans do you have for the future? Are there other mountains that you would like to go to?
I would still continue several current photography plans by myself while I would still explore different fields for Yamanaka Yuko. Subsequent to Mount Fuji, Hallasan and Mount Kinabalu, we, Yamanaka Yuko, would prepare well and climb the highest mountain – Yushan in Taiwan in this coming September. I hope it would be successful! The place I have always wanted to visit is Alaska, somewhere you would love it at first sight.
Thanks AM for using Petzval Lens . We are looking forward to more of your work.
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