For the first in the Dear Young Shutterbugs series, we had the opportunity to feature Klaus Wendland (@klawe) who has been into photography for about five decades now. He self-develops his photos and on his LomoHome you will find him exploring various landscapes with his and his wife @guja’s vast collection of cameras.
He was one of the trending Lomography newcomers in 2017 and has been one of Lomography’s most active community members ever since.
The endlessly mysterious and nostalgic world of film photography can look and sound complex to beginners (or those eyeing the craft in their periphery, wondering if they should take it up), but Klaus notes that it doesn't have to be. We can start somewhere small and affordable, and go from there to create our own magic.
Dear Young Shutterbugs,
Hello, I’m Klaus from Berlin.
During a summer vacation in 1968, when I was six years old, my father gave his old Braun Paxette to my eldest sister who was 15. I received his Zeiss Ikon Contaflex on loan for this afternoon. That was my first photo session under my sister’s guidance.
Four years later my new brother-in-law gave me his Dacora 66, my own first camera. I developed all black-and-white films with him in his darkroom up to 1980 and partly made hand prints. That year I got the complete photo lab from him.
Thirteen years ago I discovered the Lomography store next to my favorite record book store in Berlin's Friedrichstrasse. You could buy color film there that you couldn't find anywhere else. After this shop also disappeared, I joined the online Lomo community five years ago.
My worst photo was caused by a camera defect. The film perforation was torn on the second frame and all subsequent frames were on this frame. The camera used does not have a film rewind wheel and you cannot tell whether the film is advancing. Even if the image cannot be used for hand prints, it can still be viewed in the digital age.
My best photo is a bit blurred, but I think it exudes a lot of calm and comfort. I like the light too. Such a photo is not possible with a digital camera.
I consider memorable photos the photos of people, animals or cityscapes that no longer exist. I rarely post photos like this here. In the last three months I have looked at many of my photos from Zhdanov (Mariupol), Donetsk, Thorez or Kyiv from the 80s. I consider the upload of such photos to be very problematic.
The thrill of film swaps
My most unexpected photos are from film swaps. Almost all of my film swap photos come as a surprise to me. The most interesting for me are three-sided swaps. Three Lomographers, three locations, three different films each exposed three times.
The photos at @makethisadouble are particularly surprising – apart from the ASA setting, you don't find out anything there beforehand!
Future newcomers, use the cheapest negative film you can get. Ask your old neighbors if there is still something in their basement.
With negative films, whether black-and-white or color, the right exposure hardly matters. You don't want to make hand prints at first. If you can get hold of a film developer and have a dark room available, developing film at home is very easy and very inexpensive. Good luck!
And to the “old” rabbits, stay with Lomo! Upload your new photos, fill in the meta data and something about film development. We can learn a lot from you.
Through this series, we hope to inspire a new generation of film photographers to dip their toes into the craft and learn from the adventures and advice of some of our long-standing community members. Want to write your own letter? Connect with email@example.com with the subject Dear Young Shutterbugs!