Seven young photography fans in one creative team – meet our newest Amigo’s Foam Lab. Rosa got the ball rollin’. Erik, Eelke, Liset and Jerry. Now it’s Hugo’s turn. Curious? Read on!
Name: Hugo van de Poel
Hello. I am Hugo van de Poel. I am a Lomo Amigo as a Foam Labber. I live in a shipping container in Amsterdam North. Until the end of 2011 I will be organizing events in and around Foam (photography museum Amsterdam) with Foam Lab. In my spare time I do a lot of creative what-have-you’s. I make music with The Skywalkers, Stippenlift, Postmodem, The Hugenizer and Poor Hugo. I also like to make animated GIF images and other graphics.
In 2005 I started studying at the Reinwardt Academy. I started a course which used to be called museology and is now called cultural heritage. In 2009 I also started on the masters program there and I am nearly finished with that. Being a museum fiend I often visit the museums of Amsterdam. When I got the chance to organize events at Foam I jumped at it immediately. And I haven’t regretted it ever since.
During Foam Lab I first started to take pictures with Lomo cameras. It’s a nice way of getting to know this kind of photography because you can do a lot of trial and error. At Foam Lab we switch cameras and films almost every week to explore all that Lomography has to offer.
The nice thing about being a lomographer is that you don’t always have to look for the right pictures. At any time you can spot a nice shot somewhere. This suits me because there really isn’t a typical day in my life. I’m involved in a lot of different things which give each day its own character. By taking a lot of photos a pattern is now emerging in my daily life when I look at it in retrospect. A usual day for me begins with a peanut butter and chocolate sprinkles sandwich and takes all kinds of direction from there. The one day I am rehearsing with my band The Skywalkers, and the next I am at Foam organizing events. The diversity is what makes it even better for me.
Imperfection are what makes a picture interesting for me. Most Lomo cameras are not designed for technical photography, but to catch a certain feeling. This is what speaks to me. Actually my favorite pictures are the ones with flaws. They appear to lose a sense of time and place. It reminds me of experimental photography of the 1960’s which I am really passionate about. For example pin-hole photos made with the Diana have a very unique character. The warping of the image is very unpractical but does produce exciting images.
Taking pictures every day forces you to pay more attention to your surroundings. Especially analogue photography requires thought because you can not erase pictures after you have taken them. The Lomo cameras I’ve tried all had their own personality, and are therefore nice to explore. Having analogue pictures is cool, but it is also nice to distribute them online. I have published all my photos online and I have been getting positive reactions. My friends like it to see themselves portrayed in a different way. Instead of the badly flashed party photos there now are sometimes grainy, blurry and pale analogue photo’s . At a certain point someone even asked me what he needed to do to also be included in my Lomo album.
Before I started making Lomo photos I increasingly felt I needed an analogue camera. I have been visiting a lot of amazing places the last year with my band, where I wanted to take analogue photos. It sometimes feels stupid to take photos with your Iphone when you are playing in a beautiful city like Krakow. How cool would it be to just grab a Spinner while you’re there? Well I did as soon as I had the Spinner. On the next festival I played at with The Skywalkers I grabbed my camera and made an amazing 360 degrees photo. At least, so I thought. Unfortunately, when I got my film back I found out I just captured a great big darkness. I guess I was just too caught up in the moment to worry about lighting or composition. Although nobody can tell by the picture, I have recorded a good memory. It kind of makes me laugh.
Although this picture was the best memory-wise, there is another picture which I think worked out the best. Well, actually it worked out pretty bad but I like it anyway. It’s a picture where I tried to capture the sunlight behind a couple of trees. The photo is extremely blurry, because I took it while riding my bike and avoiding getting hit by a bus. Still the picture seems to be taken out of this surroundings completely. You cannot see the street; you cannot see me struggling on my bicycle. What is left is an out of focus picture in which the trees and the sun seem to melt together. It feel melancholic, and nostalgic. Two concepts which suit me very well. It reminds me of my favorite music and the album covers that accompanies it. Because it is show with the Diana F+ the image is square and makes it very suitable for an early psychedelic pop record from 1967.
1967 is as far as I’m concerned the best year in music history and the style of these years are usually what speaks to me in Lomo photos. Especially the Diana F+ with all its weird lenses produces a lot of pictures that could easily be 50 years old. If I think of music to fit these pictures I would take music from this era. That’s Why I’m Crying by The Ivy League for instance, or Forty Second River by The Folklords. These are two very melancholic records. My photos also contain a more cheerful side. The following picture reminds me a lot of Dandy by The Kinks
I think I will continue experimenting with Lomography, and especially the Diana F+. I have seen a lot of pictures online that really speak to me and inspire me and with some practice I might be able to imitate them. If by then I’ll be a week abroad for a gig I can hopefully return with a couple of films full of visible memories. A little blurry and not very well thought through, that’s how I would like to look back at my youth later.
Enjoy some of Hugo’s favorite photos here: