Nicolas Döring is a Hamburg-based freelance photographer and film producer. Originally he studied journalism, history, and politics and worked in the PR industry until he started his photography business. He discovered his love for analogue photography 15 years ago with his first Holga.
My photographic passion is definitely street photography, although I don't use the term particularly narrow. What I see outside on the street and then spontaneously photograph is what counts for me.
He tested the Lomogon 2.5/32mm Art Lens for us and captured February in all its melancholy and anticipation of summer.
Can you tell us a little bit about the process of creating the photographs?
I got the Lomogon 2.5/32mm Art Lens in February for an extensive test. As it should turn out in retrospect, not an unproblematic time for a lens test. February 2020 was the rainiest February since modern weather recording began. Outdoor tests and extensive photowalks were hardly possible. So a homogeneous series of pictures did not develop.
There are some dark, sad snapshots, which reflect the mood of the rainy February quite well. I consciously paid attention to deserted places when taking the pictures. I think that the feeling of loneliness, melancholy, and sadness is intensified.
Another Photowalk led me to Hamburg Wilhelmsburg in slightly better weather. Wilhelmsburg is located on the largest river island in Europe and is a multifaceted mix of harbor romance, student hipster life, and multi-cultural mix. More pictures were taken at my grandmother's house. From time to time I document her life in the house and on the property where she lives. Here I simply screwed a flash on my Canon 5DMKIV and flashed frontally on objects and in corners of her house. Maybe this will eventually become a series.
Which experiences have you had with the Lomogon 2.5/32 Art Lens? What did you like best?
The Lomogon 2.5/32mm Art Lens is already an unusual lens celebrating technical imperfection. It has character and temperament. The gnarled old woman among the lenses, but she tells the best stories. The lens is small and handy, yet very solid and valuable, making it the ideal street and documentary lens. The 32mm focal length – right in between the established 28mm and 35mm – has proven to be a good compromise in practice. From portrait to landscape, everything is possible. At f/2.5, you get a nice creamy bokeh including the prominent vignetting and a steep drop in sharpness in the corners. Of course, one has to get used to manual focusing again, but the lens forces one to forget the whole technical perfection. Even a slightly blurred photo can be a very good photo.
Do you have a favorite photo from the series? If so, what do you particularly like about it?
In any case the black and white profile portrait. Here the focus is exactly on the front eye, which is already emphasized by the light stripe and the rest of the image is lost in bokeh and vignette.
I also like the picture with the horse very much. It reflects very nicely the gloomy mood of this stormy and rainy day. It also shows how to get a nice analog look with only very light Lightroom Tweaks in combination with the lens.
Tips and tricks for all who want to use the Lomogon 2.5/32 Art Lens?
Screw it on and be guided by the character of the lens! After a short acclimatization period, it is a lot of fun to take pictures with it. In today's world, where manufacturers regularly outdo each other with promises of technical perfection, this is a nice step backward. Similar to analogue photography, you photograph more consciously again.