Community newcomer Lena may have taken a break from shooting film but the "Don't Think, Just Shoot" mindset of Lomography stays on her shooting style. In this interview, she shares how she found her way back to the analogue grind and a selection of her dreamy double exposure photographs.
Location: Hilden, Germany
Please tell us something about yourself and what you do.
Some years ago I decided to quit my job and give up my flat just because I felt like in chains. Since that time I'm a happy traveler with furry companionship (two lovely, disabled dogs you can see in many of my Lomographs). We live in an old ambulance car and attend several music festivals during summer.
I love imperfection. I love beauty. I love mindfulness and open words. I love dubstep and I love experiments.
Well, and as I tend to look at daily life from different perspectives and to find beauty in unexpected angles I guess Lomography is a good way to document my vision.
How did you find the Community and who/what convinced you to join?
I actually do not remember at all how or why my very first contact with Lomography happened back in 2002. Anyway, I bought my first Lomo camera, a Lomo LC-A and two years later I attended a Lomo competition in Bremen. The community was small then but the trend had potential and it was all fun! A few years later, I got an affordable digital cameras, so practicing analogue photography had to be paused.
Last summer I read an article about double exposure on film and within a second I was all back in Lomography again. I bought a Diana Mini because of the simplicity of multiple exposures and the easy film format and started trying. After reading more and more tipsters on the website, I just thought it wouldn't be the worst idea to join the club. So to answer your question I have to say that I came all by myself because of the inspiring tipsters.
As you have read the 10 Golden Rules of Lomography, what rule do you apply in your everyday life?
Definitely Rules No. 8, 9 and 10.
Though the carousel of the 10 golden rules is constantly whirling in my mind when I'm shooting (and often enough even when I'm not), I'd say that the last three rules are the most "popular" in my life.
No. 8 (You don’t have to know beforehand what you captured on film) because I'm absolutely not a pro, so often I have no idea what exactly will be the effect of my doings and especially the technical settings I use.
No. 9 (Afterwards either) because I often get pictures back from the lab that I have no clue what or where I shot.
No. 10 (Don’t worry about any rules) just because I have a painfully bad memory.
In this digital age, why still film?
Because it's handicraft and as a creative spirit I love working manually. And it's magic, especially if you go full experimental, you'll never know what you will receive unless you shot the whole film and got it back from the lab. I guess experimenting with cross-processing, destruction of films, and double or even multiple exposures is not the same, if you try to do that in digital ways. I never tried it because I love to play the analogue trial and error game!
Your favorite analog camera as of the moment? Why?
Still my first analogue love: Lomo LC-A. Though the bigger challenge is my Agfamatic, I adore the Lomo LC-A for its precise pictures, simplicity, resilience (I have to confess at times I'm not treating my tools very well) and solid built (When traveling it always gives me the feeling of having a good weapon at hand if needed).
What is the Lomographic camera you’d want to have someday?
Soon I'm going to try an old Yashica and I am already very curious about that. A special Lomo camera I'd be interested in would be a nice pinhole camera or the Belair X 6-12 City Slicker. Right at the moment, I'm more interested than in trying some special films, for example, the Fuji Sensia films for cross processing or infrared films like Kodak Aerochrome.
Any song, book, or movie you live by?
I can't say I live by them, but the books Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés and Pippi Longstockings by Astrid Lindgrens have a strong effect on my thoughts and therefore on my daily life.
The German TV-Production from childhood Meister Eder und sein Pumuckl by Ellis Kaut is constantly very present in my life as well. I love that little kobold with its red fuzzy hair for its marvelous philosophy in life and the ways it speaks.
Share your current favorite Lomograph, could be yours or a friend’s. Why?
I simply love this picture and I can't tell you why because never in my life I found an explanation for love. What I can say, is that it looks surreal and confusing to me. A bit Alice in Wonderland-like: disturbing but peaceful at the same time.
Any Community member you look up to? If so, why him or her?
There are several pros whom I look up to because they obviously know exactly what they are doing when they set their camera's technical settings. I'm very much an amateur and still learning but because of my bad memory, I forget most of what I learned very fast. I'm quite successfully drawing with fate, I guess.
My current favorite community member is @urbantristesse because in my opinion, that woman combines technical skills, beauty, and the experimental spirit of Lomography which allows all of us to spread the beauty of imperfection all over the world.
What are you looking forward to in our Community?
I'm very much looking forward to keep on exchanging experiences and skills. I'm curious about more and more experimental tipsters and will try out a lot of them. I surely will keep on being inspired by other lomographs. And finally, I'm very much interested in finding some inspiring Lomographers for international film swapping!
In this community, I really appreciate the reactions of people that know and feel what you are trying to find out and share. For me, Lomography is a big joyful experiment where I can walk happily on the tightrope of giving up control.
Thank you, Lena for sharing your thoughts with us! We're looking forward to seeing your future film experiments!