I was fortunate enough to be chosen as one of the winners in the Monochrome category of the ﬁrst ever Lomography TEN AND ONE photography competition. After a Residency Week in Vienna I came to the following conclusions about the essence of photography:
Like our beloved celluloid ﬁlms, people come in all kinds. Some sensitive, some rather thick-skinned, some colorful, some rather black and white. Diﬀerent sizes and ratios. When I met all the other 10N1 photographers for the ﬁrst time during pizza and beer at the girl’s ﬂat, I realized that we are all completely diﬀerent people from all walks of life, each one interesting and intriguing with individual background and unique character, but all united in our love for photography.
Some see the world close-up, some observe things from far like a tele-focus. Some can capture almost 360 degrees, some distort the world as we see it and some are closer to reality. Lenses are like our views on life, the most important thing is that every once in awhile we mix up our would and change the lens in which we see through and capture our life. This is what we did daily and we rigorously exchanged ideas, revealed techniques, talked about experiences and also literally exchanged lenses.
Painting with Light
Light is probably the single most important thing in photography and also paramount in life. We had many grey days, but as we headed out for a daytrip to Bratislava, the sun came out and our spirits returned. After a few beers our moods and pictures turned warm and everyone’s eyes glowed. A day later we furthermore took part in a cyanotype workshop with Michael from the Lomography lab. We mixed our chemicals, experienced making contact prints, even did multiple exposure ones. A real pleasure working and experimenting with the group and the skilled staﬀ at Lomo HQ.
Sometimes overﬂowing, sometimes non-existent like a deep empty hole. However, inspiration is everywhere, it just needs to be recognized and consumed. Hard from the couch at home, but rather easy when surrounded by international photographers. Always helpful are also exhibitions like the Visons of Nature at the Kunst Haus Wien - Museum Hundertwasser or Die Welt Retten at the Angewandte Wien. There is literally beauty, ugliness, love, hate, contrast, and angle everywhere. All it takes is to open your eyes, let yourself be inspired, and press the shutter in the process.
Talking about Vienna, there is a healthy contrast between lovely young creatives and rather square Austrian old-timers. There are smokey bars and historic coﬀee houses, modernist areas like the MQ and historical imperialistic buildings like the Naturhistorisches Museum next to each other. All best explored with a bunch of local friends and photographers on one of the many Lomowalks we set out on. It was a pleasure to meet so many local photographers as well as Lomography HQ members throughout the week.
The Decisive Moment
Because as photographers we can freeze time with the press of a shutter, we develop a very close relationship with time itself. We get patient or impatient, we train ourselves in relativity. One week waiting to ﬂy to Vienna for a 10N1 residency can take forever. Sleeping the ﬁrst night on a couch in the hallway of an apartment ﬁlled with seven Lomographers can make you feel like a very long week is ahead. But soon you realize, 10 days will pass as quickly as 1/250th of a second. Filled with events, workshops, concerts, dinners, for most of us a vital break from our daily routines, time ﬂew all too fast.
Usually the ﬁnal output of the whole photographic process if you will. The tangible thing that remains after the overall experience has come to a close. We will all have invisible prints made in our hearts through the friendships made, the memories collected, and the things we’ve seen and captured. On top of that we have the real and physical memory of the week standing at the Künstlerhaus 1050, materialized as a LomoWall, which we created together in long hours and hard work throughout the week.
I would like to speciﬁcally thank Ella (@ellakoppensteiner) for setting this up and being so patient and diplomatic with us throughout the week. Thanks to the Lomography HQ staﬀ, the founders, as well as the Laboratory wizards for their insights into the realm of Lomo. Warmest thanks also to the local photographers who took us in like family and helped shape this week into something extraordinary. And of course my fellow 10N1 residents, I cherish those Vienna memories dearly. I have been inspired and learned interesting lessons from each and everyone of you.