Today we introduce you to Miyuki Mardon, an Australian-based food and product photographer who has a deep affinity with the natural world and an intrinsic eye for detail. She provides a unique perspective on a variety of subjects and is also the proud owner of the Neptune Convertible Art Lens System, Daguerreotype Achromat 2.9/64, and Petzval 58 Bokeh Control Art Lenses in which all the photos featured in this article are taken on.
Thanks to agreeing for an interview Miyuki! Please enlighten us on your photography background?
I am mainly a food, lifestyle and art photographer. I dabbled in theatre and product photography years ago, switched careers, but ultimately came back to my first love being photography. Being able to combine photography with food is a dream, since I have always loved food and cooking, both of which I started early in life. I started photography shooting film, and I was always experimenting with using old cameras... a Fuji from the 60s left behind by a Japanese tourist, my grandfathers old Kodak Brownie box camera, old Polaroid cameras etc. So naturally when I discovered Lomography, I got a bit excited. I got into the Supersampler, the Holga and the Diana with various lenses and the Instant back... then when I finally got into digital the Kickstarter campaigns started happening.
Your style is certainly very unique, what influences this?
I would have to say I am influenced by the lighting styles of portrait/fashion photographers, still life essence of Dutch masters, structures and lines of architecture, the colours and textures and forms of nature. There is no one thing that I am defined by. An art teacher once told me that “everything is connected”. There is something to be said for that. Just because you are a photographer, doesn’t mean your true heroes or people you aspire to are photographers. Take Heston Blumenthal the renowned chef for example, his mentors in life are a historian and a scientist. I would also have to say that being an introvert and being bi-racial (Japanese/British) growing up in Australia, I have been a big time observer. Trying to figure out how I fit in. Also, being creative and curious about how things work, you tend to try lots of things out. I am also a big fan of history. How things were done, design of things, fashion in clothing, cultures and food, and the why of everything . I am also a bit of a collector of vintage as a result.
You shoot a wide range of subjects from portraiture to food photography but what is your favourite?
Nature is probably my all time favourite subject. It is my happy place to be surrounded by nature, exploring the colours and textures and forms of light... trying to figure what things are, or just enjoy being there. Taking photos adds to the wonder, as I get to keep a record of things I have seen and truly appreciate them and share it with others.
We are glad to hear you are a fan of our lenses. Which do you enjoy shooting on the most?
I have the Petzval, the Achromat and the Neptune Art Lens System, and love them all, but I am loving the true accessibility of the latest Neptune Art Lens System.
Do you have any tips for our readers on how to utilise each lens in the best way?
I don’t know that I have any real advice as far as using the lenses goes, but just to have fun with them. Leave your regular lenses at home and go explore with the Lomo lens... coming home and processing them is like rediscovering the darkroom again, you don’t quite know what you are going to get, and that is where the fun is.
I will say though that I as pleasantly surprised by the low light capabilities of the Petzval lens (case & point my toadstool images). Part of my post processing is the use of Alien Skin Exposure... it can take your images to the next level, and play again with different looks of film types etc. Don’t be afraid to over or under expose too, you might get some different effect, or take your images to a different place.
I find the Achromat has a softer focus than the other lenses, or maybe it’s just me.... in any case it’s great for those arty or romantic images you want to create.
However, with the Neptune I could quite easily replace my regular lenses for my paid work, and its great for running around town or holidays with, as they are so tiny and light, and still excellent quality, but also have an edgy look.
All the lenses have a colour quality that you don’t get with regular lenses somehow... which suits me, because I am very much about colour with my work.