Olle Eriksson, a Stockholm-based freelance photographer, tested the Daguerreotype Achromat 2,9/64 Art Lens while on a trip to Brazil. Get to know more about him and see his dreamy photographs in this interview.
Hello, can you introduce yourself to the Lomography community?
Hi there! I'm Olle, a Swedish photographer in my late 20s. I've been taking pictures for about 10 years, with a range of different cameras, both digital and analog. Besides being a photographer, I own 1/3 of a tiny food catering business/pop-up restaurant here in Stockholm. We make Brazilian street food! I also work as a journalist and layout editor now and then. At the moment I'm enjoying doing many different things and not having a full-time job.
What was your first impression of the Daguerreotype Achromat 2.9/64 Art Lens ?
My first impression was that it would be extremely difficult to focus with! But then when I embraced the fact that focus isn't exactly the point of the lens, it got easier to handle. I usually like quite sharp photos, with a distinct focus, so for me, this was a real challenge!
You used another Art Lens from Lomography before, what difference did you notice?
Yes, I've used the first Petzval lens from Lomography, and I like that one a lot. I even used it for work – I did a big campaign for Reserva, a Brazilian clothing company, back in 2015, and they loved the result! The difference between that lens and this one is quite big. First of all, the focus is different, both in the way you focus, and the result you get. The background swirl is similar, but the dreamy effects of the Daguerreotype are quite unique.
Which camera did you use the Daguerreotype Achromat Art Lens with?
I have a Nikon d750, which I bought less than a year ago. And it's a full frame, so it works well with Daguerreotype and Petzval.
What did you enjoy shooting in Brazil?
I first thought I'd use the lens to take some pics of the models I work with when in Brazil, but several of the models canceled last minute, and I had to rethink what to do with the Daguerreotype. At that moment, I was in São Paulo, a city so intense and big it feels like it doesn't matter which direction you go, it will never end. And a few days later I would go to Búzios, a couple hours north of Rio de Janeiro. Búzios is quite the opposite of São Paulo, full with nature and beaches and hot scorching sun.
So I decided to do some photos that reflect that opposite, and how a city with over 20 million people can still feel lonely, while the empty countryside can feel so relaxing and not lonely at all. Some of nature/beach pics even look like old dreamy paintings.
Did the lens have an impact on the way you shoot?
For sure! I decided to shoot only with the lowest aperture and no aperture plates. This did provide me with a couple of challenges. First I had to adjust to the way the focus looks, and then I had to get used to the dreamy and soft tones it produced. And since I wanted to get a swirly blurry background, I had to find locations with that in mind.
How does the Daguerreotype fit your photography style?
To be honest, I have quite a different style usually. It's awesome for specific projects, collaborations or commissions though. I would do a project by the sea, trying to create an homage to JMW Turner's dreamy seascape paintings. He's my favorite painter, so that would be a lot of fun! And I haven't tried filming with it yet, but I'm sure that must look amazing!
Any tip for someone willing to use this Art Lens?
My tip would be to let all of your expectations go, try to work with what the lens gives you. You can definitely control the outcome, but try to have fun with it and create in the way you want.
Some upcoming projects?
At the moment I'm working quite hard on a couple of commissions through my Instagram account @olle_e. I also have two other Instagram accounts, one for my project with beautiful men in their underwear – @lastopinion – and one for nature and green plants – @upleafting. I do however plan on creating something new soon, a photo project of some sort. I haven't worked out all the details yet though, so I can't share anything. But it will be similar to my #XcentricXmas project that I did 18 months ago, that much I can tell you.