Portrait photography is a difficult genre to master. To achieve the best portraits, you have to balance artistry and objectivity. That's why photographer Pauline Caplet opted for the Petzval 85 Art Lens and the Petzval 58 Bokeh Control Art Lens. Pauline prefers her photography to demonstrate an exploration of mysterious reality, the imperfections and vulnerabilities of the world as the real and unreal coalesce. We recently caught up with her and she told us all about her experience using our popular Petzval Art Lenses.
Hi Pauline! Welcome to Lomography Magazine. Firstly, how's 2018 treating you photography-wise?
Hi! Thank you for welcoming to the Lomography Magazine! At the moment I'm a photographer in Studio Baxton in Brussels. It's a very nice place specialized in analogue photography, specifically wet plate collodion: a 19th-century technique that creates unique images on a glass or aluminum support. I'm also the curator of the Baxton Gallery. My work is published and exhibited, like some pictures of “BLACK HOLE I” in Denver for The Big Picture Colorado, curated by Mark Sink, or like the reportage “DISLOCATION” at Recyclart in Brussels.
What was your first impression upon seeing the lenses, and how do you think they performed?
I have a little preference for the 58 edition, it's more specific. The Petzval lenses are very nice, they make me think of the old optics of view camera. It's a very nice lens, not just for its overall look but also the balance and weight, it's very comfortable to use.
You produced really amazing portraits — they have a slight Annie Leibovitz vibe to them. May you tell us more about this series and what your intentions were?
Thanks for the comparison, it's really an honor! My models are always moving during the sessions, it's really important for me. I try to make people aware of an enigmatic vision of the world in perpetual motion, mysterious, vulnerable and imperfect.
Tell us, how did the Petzval lenses help you achieve the aesthetic you were searching for?
It's important for me to work with the Petzval lenses for my digital photography because I can find the spirit of old optics. Like my wet plate photography, it creates a unique atmosphere, which is something you don’t usually find with basic optics, the Petzval lenses create a mysterious atmosphere.
What's your favorite part about the lenses? What really caught your attention?
The focus knob on the bottom is fun to use, you can really play with the focus on the model, it's really beautiful to see through the viewfinder!
What's next for you? Any project you're working on right now?
At the moment, I am continuing to work on several series like “BACK HOLE” — it's only shot in Polaroid and film. I am preparing some exhibitions for this year with incredible artists in Baxton Gallery and you can find more information on the Facebook page. I am also preparing some trips for this year and a lot of projects!