Top 10 Interview with a Photographer Series #9: Ken Ku

3

We are happy to introduce you to our Top 10 Interview with a Photographer Series! Meet Photographer #9 Ken Ku (aka hrh1002), who inspired the interviewer (nation_of_pomation) to take pinhole images, and learned a lot of technical aspects about photography too.

How did you get started in analogue photography and what about it appeals to you?
I first started in photography because I needed to. My parents had given me a camera and I wasn’t sure how to use it so I enrolled in a photography class in my high school so that I could learn the basics. As I became more advanced, I realized that I wasn’t really seeing the world. For a lack of a better word, I was vision impaired. The lens showed me the world: it showed me beauty in the decrepit, sadness in a face, and wonder in everyday life. It has taught me to really see the world with my eyes open.

What was the first analogue camera that was truly yours and how did you come about getting it?
Wow. [Thinking] Yes, the very first camera that I owned was a Nikon FE that my Dad had bought my Mom as a wedding anniversary gift from Tokyo. My parents no longer used the camera anymore so they passed it along to me, along with all the lenses they had acquired over the years. I was a naughty kid though. I jammed the shutter by pushing my finger through to see what the blades looked like and then it jammed. I had to spend hundreds of dollars to get that thing fixed! It lasted me through my graduation from high school, then promptly jammed again. This time I did NOT stick my finger in it. [Laughs]

What is your favorite toy/Lomo/vintage camera you’ve ever owned, and why?
My favorite toy/vintage camera. That’s a tough choice. Well, I guess it will have to be the Holga. It has served me fantastically well and created some amazing shots and traveled extensively with me. It is light, and easy to operate. Plus it shoots in a square format, my favorite, and the other little intricacies (light leaks, film back falling off, etc) just adds to the joy of using a Holga.

What is your favorite thing to do other than analogue photography?
There’s something other than photography? [Chuckles] I go on vacation a lot. To destinations all over the world if I can, when I can. If that isn’t possible right then, I get in my car and drive. I love to take adventures. You meet all sorts of wonder characters on the road. And some of the landscapes that you see out on the open roads at night, it takes your breath away. Expose there for an hour. You’ll be amazed at what you get.

What five things you always have with you when you’re shooting?
Hmmm…Five things I always have when I’m shooting. Well I never leave without my Holga, extra rolls of film, tripod. That’s only three. So I guess that’s it. I travel light. If I do have room, I will take my SX-70 and a couple cartridges of FTB (Fade to Black) and TZ Artistic. There you go, five items. [Smiles]

If someone off the street asks you, “Why analogue?” (or “What the hell is that thing you’re holding and why can’t I see the picture you just took?”), how do you respond?
I really like this question! Really, people have asked me. My response is always that I have nothing against digital photographers as I think it is a great tool to use. However it is so cold and calculated. Each pixel is in its precise place, in its given dimension. Analogue is soft, organic, flows, and it reacts with the air, the film, the chemicals. Each step is calculated risk you’re taking. This is taken for granted with analogue photography but very hard to reproduce in digital.

What inspires your photography, or what is it that drives you to shoot?
This is a very interesting question. I’m not sure I’ve exactly figured it out myself but in a nutshell beauty is what inspires me to shoot. There is beauty in everything, you just have to see it.

What is the one non-camera item that is essential to your photography?
I’d have to say my tripod. I rely on that thing more than almost anything I have. I take it with me everywhere. I’ve always been one to set up my shots, probably because for a long time I shot with a Mamiya RZ67. Those were not cameras you can easily shoot without a heavy duty tripod.

What is your favorite type of film, and why?
Favorite film. Well I have several actually. Transparency is what I typically like to shoot and I prefer Kodak Ektachrome EPP 100. The color isn’t as saturated as some of the newer films and has very fine grain. I love it for sunset/twilight portraits. However, it has been discontinued and Kodak predicts that they will run out of supply in early 2010. [Frowns]

Any advice you’d like to share that has helped you with your own analogue photography?
Experiment. That way you will be able to create something that is truly yours.

Photographer Info:
http://lomography.com/homes/hrh1002
kc1002@gmail.com

nation_of_ pomation’s LomoHome: http://lomography.com/homes/nation_of_pomation

written by nation_of_pomation on 2010-07-09 #interview #road #travel #lifestyle #ken-ku #long-exposures #photographer #news

3 Comments

  1. cinzinc
    cinzinc ·

    lovely =)

  2. nation_of_pomation
    nation_of_pomation ·

    My name is spelled wrong...

  3. lloyd_ay
    lloyd_ay ·

    Ha! "Pornation".

    Killer article, incorrect spelling of your name aside.

More Interesting Articles

  • LomoAmigo Felix Kwan: Storytelling through the Petzval 85 Art Lens

    written by Phyllis Chan on 2016-03-03 #people
    LomoAmigo Felix Kwan: Storytelling through the Petzval 85 Art Lens

    Felix Kwan is a Hong Kong-based advertising creative who loves the unpredictable aspect of analogue photography. He recently used the Petzval 85 Lens with his Nikon FE to photograph doppelgangers and create bokeh backgrounds. Here's a preview.

  • The Beauty of Natural Imperfections: An Interview with Samuel Zeller

    written by Teresa Sutter on 2016-03-23 #people
    The Beauty of Natural Imperfections: An Interview with Samuel Zeller

    Samuel Zeller is a Swiss photographer who finds visual pleasure in man-made environments. In this interview, he talks to Lomography about the painterly aspect of photography, the value of a print, and the role of instinct in a creative project.

  • Chris Gampat: Inspiration in Black and White

    written by Katherine Phipps on 2016-05-16 #people
    Chris Gampat: Inspiration in Black and White

    We're catching up with Chris Gampat, who runs a website called the Phoblographer. The website explores the psychology of photographers and the reasons why they create. Last year, Chris started a new site called La Noir Image, dedicated to inspiring people through black and white photography.

    1
  • Shop News

    20% Off on Selected editions of the La Sardina

    20% Off on Selected editions of the La Sardina

    Bring your own unique happy snapper to all of this summer's festivals and dance the night away! Grab La Sardina editions at 20% off!

  • Top Photo Uploaders of 2015

    written by lomography on 2015-12-30 #news
    Top Photo Uploaders of 2015

    Most of the community's activities and discussions center on photographs. All throughout 2015, we were treated to hundreds of thousands of wonderful images. We'd like to thank everyone who graciously uploaded and shared their snapshots with the community! These dedicated lomographers, however, deserve special recognition for setting these skyrocketing numbers. Meet our top photo uploaders of 2015.

    14
  • Lomography X FOTO HITS Medium Format Rumble

    written by Lomography on 2015-11-26 #news
    Lomography X FOTO HITS Medium Format Rumble

    With an expanded field of view and its ability to produce high quality images and capture minute detail, medium format photography has become the top choice of many photographers. Lomography is working hard to make sure that it keeps going with the continued production of medium format film and cameras. The current issue of German magazine FOTO HITS focuses on medium format photography. And with this rumble, we want to prove why medium format photography is king. Take your Diana F+, Holga 120, Lubitel 166+ or the new Lomo LC-A 120 and show us your best square shots!

    2
  • Lomo'Instant Wide First Impressions: Matthieu Soudet (NSFW)

    written by mpflawer on 2015-12-16 #people
    Lomo'Instant Wide First Impressions: Matthieu Soudet (NSFW)

    Matthieu Soudet's Petzval photos, like his other work, marry pristine landscapes with the human form. He again exhibits his penchant for mixing the sensual with the serene in a new series of images, this time taken with the Lomo'Instant Wide camera. Learn more about the French photographer in this exclusive interview.

  • Shop News

    Introducing the Daguerreotype Achromat 2.9/64 Art Lens Now Available on Kickstarter!

    Introducing the Daguerreotype Achromat 2.9/64 Art Lens Now Available on Kickstarter!

    We're thrilled to present our new Kickstarter project—the New Lomography Daguerreotype Achromat 2.9/64 Art Lens! Inspired by the bold brass design of the world's first photographic optic, the Daguerreotype Achromat Art Lens is a versatile tool seeking the great return of dreamy imagery.

  • Neil Krug: Daylight Nightmares and Color Codes

    written by lomographymagazine on 2015-11-04 #people
    Neil Krug: Daylight Nightmares and Color Codes

    His work has the anachronistic charm of hand-tinted photographs and the trippy flavor of rock. Sometimes too his portraits of Lana Del Rey, Kevin Parker and Jim James cross over to the territory of graphic design and pop art, skewing definitions of what a picture is. Neither are his views on photography straitlaced, as this exciting interview with Lomography proves.

    3
  • A True Blue Lomographer: Community LomoAmigo johnny-weimar

    written by morlice on 2016-01-07 #people
    A True Blue Lomographer: Community LomoAmigo johnny-weimar

    Jonathan Weimar, better known as johnny-weimar in the community, professes his passion for photography with the help of quite a few analog cameras. He has made quite a reputation and is best remembered by the Lomography Turkey crew as the guy who gave 50-something films to develop and scan. Get to know the high school teacher-cum-lomographer in this candid yet inspiring interview.

    1
  • Mighty Mini Macros: An Interview With Jennifer Hirschmann of MINI.PIC

    written by Azin Teimoori on 2016-03-21 #news #people
    Mighty Mini Macros: An Interview With Jennifer Hirschmann of MINI.PIC

    Photographer and fashion assistant Jennifer Hirschmann takes instant photography to a very unique level. We had the opportunity to chat with her about working with the Lomo'Instant Wide and Fujifilm Instax 210, as well as the inspiration behind her "instant-gram" page @mini.pic.

    4
  • Shop News

    Additional Member of Diana F+ Family is Here!

    Additional Member of Diana F+ Family is Here!

    Snap your happy memories with the medium format Diana F+ Cortina! This special edition camera is a nod to fun winter holidays: snow-capped mountains, skiing and good times with friends and family!

  • Capturing the Festival Spirit with Trev Eales

    written by hannah_brown on 2015-10-01 #people
    Capturing the Festival Spirit with Trev Eales

    Trev Eales is a UK based music photographer who has shot for various festivals and other events. On this occasion, he turned his attention away from the stage and photographed the audience. With the Petzval 85 Lens, he managed to capture the essence of a very British summer. Expect fancy outfits, hoola hooping, dancing and lots of beautiful, swirly bokeh from this series of festive portraits.

  • Newcomer of the Week: petrischev

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-08-16 #videos
    Newcomer of the Week: petrischev

    Belarus-based lomographer Pavel Petrischev has been taking photographs for almost 30 years. He currently works as a photography professor. In this interview, he shares his unique view on shooting with film and the strange ways of fate that brought him to the community.

    5
  • Embroidered Pictures by Diane Meyer

    written by chvo on 2015-10-17 #people
    Embroidered Pictures by Diane Meyer

    Editing pictures with image manipulation software or a mobile app is not unheard of. An alienation of photos by needle and thread, on the other hand, is an intricate process. Los Angeles-based artist and photographer Diane Meyer has gained instant fame for her embroidered analog photos. In this interview, she talks about adding a new dimension to pictures as well as her source of inspiration and other projects.

    3