“The perfect portrait is somewhat like the Holy Grail,” notes Jonas in our interview, and his selection of Petzval portraits leaves one almost breathless,close to perfection. It helps to have beautiful subjects, but it’s amazing how the doctor and talented photographer has seem to have mastered the Petzval Lens’ bokeh capabilities. Meet Jonas Hafner, the creator of the blog “Aufzehengehen.”
Name: Jonas Hafner
Location: Großheide (Niedersachen, Germany), previously Freiburg in Breisgau
Hi Jonas! Please introduce yourself to the Lomography community!
My name’s Jonas and I recently moved from the South of Germany to the North. I’ve been a licensed doctor since May of this year and will spend my time working on my dissertation until I start my career. Next to music, photography is my biggest hobby. I’m especially interested in portrait photography and love to try out new things.
You’ve been really successful with your blog Aufzehengehen. How do you bring together your career as a doctor and your love for photography? Will photography possibly eventually become a full time job for you?
Up until recently I was a college student and very flexible with my time allocation. You can pull more than one rabbit out of a hat if you want to. Over time, the rabbits get larger and the hat smaller. I can just hope that I will also be able to find time for photography once my career starts.
I find the best thing about photography is that I can realize my ideas without having to make compromises. If the opportunity presented itself to make my life’s earnings with it, I would consider it. Until then, I am happy to be a doctor.
A little while ago you had the opportunity to test the New Petzval Lens. How was it? What makes the lens special, in your opinion?
I have to admit that there’s a special place in my heart for this lens. At the beginning I was under the impression that I wouldn’t be able to get any sharp images out of it, but that fear was fortunately vanquished very soon after taking my first exposures. When applied in the right manner, the lens will create unique photos that you’re constantly approached about. Aside from the typical “swirly bokeh”, the lens also has an analogue charm. If you want to create a film look, you’ll be thrilled with the lens.
How did you find out about the Petzval Lens?
In summer I spent a week in a Bavarian cottage with many wonderful photographers from Germany and Austria. David Uzochukwu was able to secure a Petzval Lens for us for the meet-up. I was one of the few that had a Nikon camera with me, and unfortunately we only had the Petzval Lens with the Canon mount. That means I didn’t get the chance to work with the Petzval Lens. At that point, I had already seen some photos that were taken with the Petzval and was fascinated by the bokeh, which is why I decided to ask Lomography to test one out for a second photo meet-up in the fall.
How would you describe the Petzval in five words?
Swirly bokeh with analogue charm.
The Petzval is perfect for portraits, which one can see in your photos. What, in your opinion, makes for a perfect portrait?
The perfect portrait is like the Holy Grail, which is longed for by all, though not attainable. An almost perfect portrait is, in my eyes, nevertheless a photo that stands the test of time and doesn’t lose its allure after repeated speculation, but rather reveals more details and nuances. An image that leaves room for interpretation and captures your imagination.
Are there any other photographers that inspire your portraits? If yes, who?
The list of photographers who inspire me is probably longer than my list of friends. They all observe the world from their own personal, wonderful perspectives. This motivates me again and again to take out my camera and to try out new things. Creativity is like an illness that’s unbelievably contagious and shows very different symptoms by each individual, which reflects in the images that artists create.
But to name a few: Marat Safin, Luisa Möhle, Alessio Albi, Anka Zhuravleva, Andrea Hübner, Hannes Caspar, Daniil Kontorovich, Daniil Kontorovich, Maarten Schröder, Oleg Oprisco, Dmitry Ageev and many, many more.
What are you looking forward to in the future, photography-wise?
At some point I would love to try out cinemagraphs with people. Some day I’d also like to get a drone for videos and landscape photos. I could imagine that you could also take amazing full-body shots from completely new perspectives with one.
Last but not the least: do you have any tips for anyone who’s new to the Petzval Lens?
I’ve noticed that my camera gives visual feedback when the field of view is focused correctly. With Nikon cameras, this is shown in the viewfinder by a small, yellow circle, which tremendously eases the focusing process. In this way, you can really rely on the camera and through that the lens. If you don’t like to chat with strangers, you should probably opt for the black lens. Of course, by doing that, you would also miss out on a lot of interesting conversations with photography enthusiasts.
Thank you for your timeand the interview and, of course, for the wonderful Petzval portraits that you shared with us!
The New Petzval Lens is a reinvention of the famous Petzval Lens from the 19th century that made photography history many years ago. It’s available in the standard brass or in black and can be used with Nikon and Canon cameras. Enjoy the amazing swirling effect wherever and whenever! You can order the New Petzval Lens here in the Online Shop. Find out more about it at the Petzval Microsite.