Iya Forbes is a young and talented photographer and video journalist based in the Philippines. Her website and Instagram feed are just filled with slices of life that she carefully captures with her camera. She has an eye for things inspirational and interesting and can go from one subject to another in a seamless and tasteful manner.
We recently got in touch with her to ask if she'd be willing to try out our lens and much to our joy (and excitement), she eagerly said yes. The images in this short interview were all taken by Iya with the Daguerreotype Achromat Art Lens and we couldn't be happier with the results. The photos just flow and the scenes naturally come out — a recurring theme in Iya's body of work.
Soft or sharp, busy or at peace in solitude, Iya has a way of capturing them in her own style. The Daguerreotype Achromat just gave her a little bit of playroom to stretch her legs and discover new things.
Hi, Iya and welcome to the Magazine! What do you do and how did you get started on your photography?
Hello! Thanks so much for having me on board. Been a big fan of Lomography since I was a young teenager exploring photography.
I joined the school photo club when I was a 13-year old freshman in high school. I also had a barkada (a group of friends) interested in different types of art (painting, theatre, cosplay) and a family that keeps getting me to take photos during family gatherings and activities. So I had support for having photography as a hobby. No one, including myself, saw it as a profession back then.
I see being a photographer as more like something I've naturally and gradually become. I didn't wake up one day and set my mind on actually becoming a photographer. It happened through time. And I guess, at this point, it's already part of my identity.
How was your experience with the Daguerreotype Achromat lens?
It was one of the more challenging photography experiences I've had in a while! Because true to the Lomography philosophy, you're somehow forced to throw the rules out of the window. It was really fun letting loose without overthinking too much about the technical side of photography.
What did you like about it? What would you say are its strong points?
I feel like the focal length makes it a nice versatile lens for portrait, street, and even music photography.
The aperture plates and the gold barrel makes light manipulation really fun to experiment with! The light flares and bokeh shapes turn out differently, depending on the environment you're shooting in.
It's a perfectly imperfect lens. That's its charm. And once you embrace its quirks, you'll soon find a way to use its unconventional features to your advantage.
What notable experiences did you have when shooting with the lens?
I really enjoyed shooting Session Road in Baguio during sundown. I was crouching low when the sun hit the lens and it created this interesting circular lens flare that framed the subject I was shooting. That's when I realized how much more playful your photos can get with the lens.
What advice would you give to photographers who would like to try the Daguerreotype Achromat lens? Any tips and tricks you'd like to share?
The Daguerreotype Achromat is a lens that isn't afraid of flaws and imperfections. Your photos won't always be sharp. There will be leaks of light spilling into your shots. And that's okay. I had to think outside the box and just shoot with my gut with this lens. Shooting for the sake of shooting, without having too much about anything technical — it was liberating. So allow yourself to break some photography rules once in a while. :)
I'm not the most experimental when it comes to photography so I'm thankful this lens forced me to finally play around with my photos.
We're loving the mood of your shots. How did the lens complement your shooting style?
I think my photos have this quiet aspect to them. So the soft quality of the lens complimented my photography in a way that makes it more cinematic and dream-like. The flares and the softness also add a layer of complexity to the photographs, which I really appreciate.
Do you have upcoming projects? Please share them with our readers.
I recently photographed an amazing differently-abled athlete for a feature leading up to the 2020 ASEAN Para Games in the Philippines this March. It will be up on GMA News Online next month. I would really appreciate it if people can also learn about our other great athletes that bring pride to the country. :)
Do you have other Lomography cameras/lenses that you would like to try?
I'd love to try the LC-A Minitar-1 art lens or the Petzval 58 for travel and portraiture.
We would like to thank Iya for letting us feature her images in the Magazine.