Victor Nordland is a young photographer and videographer from Germany. His photos reveal more than just a superficial view of his subject. Perhaps because he has found in photography a language to transport his inner world to the outside world, his portraits convey a very unique, melancholic and poetic mood. With his large-format camera called "Clarice" he tested the LomoChrome Metropolis 120 for us.
Hi Victor and welcome to our online magazine! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hi, I am a filmmaker and photographer from North Rhine-Westphalia. I try to explore everything beautiful and painful in human existence in my photos. Thank you for having me here in your magazine!
How did you get into photography? Are you more the typical photographer, born with a camera in your hand or did you only take a liking to it later in life?
I have worked with cameras since I was about 12 years old, but in the beginning only for video projects (stop-motion Lego films). I often had visions for photos in my head, but it never worked, although I tried again and again. Then I discovered my father's old Olympus 35 mm camera. It became clear to me very quickly that if I could somehow realise my ideas, it would have to be analogue. At some point I went through a difficult episode in my life, the only way I could express myself was through the camera. And so, from one day to the next, I suddenly discovered a new language for myself: photography.
How would you describe your style of photography? What inspires you?
The focus of my pictures is always the being. For me, photography, like psychology or anthropology, is a way to fathom the human being. I have a good understanding of people, and I see that there is a lot of pain in our existence. And everyone has to find their way through it. I try to depict people as they deal with it. Sometimes I also have the feeling that I am portraying myself through others. I love light in all its colours. I don't focus on how the light falls, but on how the colours embrace the person in front of me until they become... just colour.
What's your favourite photo from the shoot?
The photo of the artist in her studio. I love how the film catches the light. The picture is also the best representation of the potential of the Metropolis film because it picks up very beautiful brown tones. And she stands there so beautifully and gracefully in all the colours, with the very cinematic edge light. It's one of the few photos that's really completely posed, but since she often works in the studio it's very fitting. I usually don't manage to take such photos "artificially".
What was your experience like shooting with the LomoChrome Metropolis 120?
In fact, I severely underestimated the film. I expected to be able to push it to its limits very quickly through underexposure, high contrast and extreme colours. But it stood up to all that. My favourite pictures were the ones where I set the light like in a cinematic setting. The browns and shadows are also beautiful in the film. I can only recommend trying it in darkness and extreme lighting conditions! I haven't exhausted this enough either and definitely want to look into it again in the future.
What was your soundtrack to the Metropolis 120 shoot?
During the shootings I listened to a lot to Odezenne . It's a French alternative band. Their sound, their lyrics inspire me a lot. I think if anything sounds like what my photos look like, it's their music. I can only recommend everyone to listen to their album "Au Bacara". Beautiful.
You shoot in a wide variety of formats - what is the appeal for you and in which situations do you decide on which format?
With each format I am confronted with different challenges. The way I then find around them allows me to let go and explore new possibilities. My large format camera and my 35 mm are worlds apart. They could not be more different. Each camera is like a new tool for me. I build a relationship with each camera, I have to get to know it and understand it. I also give them names. The names also help my friends feel more relaxed in front of the camera. Especially when the cameras look complicated and intimidating, a name can loosen things up! For example, my large format Linhof Technika that I used the Metropolis with is called "Clarice". My Olympus OM-1n is called "Olga".
Can you tell us what exciting projects we can look forward to from you in the future?
Last year, during my first exhibition, I discovered a completely new world for myself, bringing my paintings in their physical form into ever new contexts. Picture frames, printing methods etc... What comes next will be to reshape my pictures through tiny prints. To do this I am currently working on making earrings and other jewellery with tiny picture frames. Tiny Framez. I can't wait to publish this soon, at my next exhibition: "A crater where you meet your creator" at the beginning of June in Schwerte near Dortmund.
I also want to start hiding tiny little prints in public places or abandoned buildings. You will also be able to see all this on my YouTube channel Victor Nordland! I'm also working on a "Top Secret" project that will drastically reduce the cost of professional scanning and developing in Germany, but more about that soon on my YouTube channel.
Thank you Victor for the lovely interview! If you want to see more of him, you can follow him on Instagram.