My photographic journey started as a child when I got my first camera, a Kodak Instamatic. It was soon replaced by a Rollei 35 – a camera that I still use. It’s a fully manual point and shoot camera with a built-in light meter – the perfect camera to take everywhere and to learn the basics of exposure time, aperture and depth of field. And to train the sense for the distance, since there is no coupled rangefinder. As a student, I invested my first salary from an internship into a SLR that accompanied me through many years. I was mostly shooting on slide film.
In early 2007, I discovered an article about the Holga, a Chinese medium format plastic camera. I was familiar with medium format, occasionally using my father’s old Zeiss Ikoflex TLR, and I was curious enough to have a go with the Holga. I immediately liked the special signature of that crappy camera, the blurry corners and the vignette. That’s when the analog bug got me (again). In my professional life, I’m a researcher in life sciences. In the old days, we used to spend days at the microscope shooting on film, developing and printing the shots in the darkroom. It was only logical that I started developing my films myself, first only in black in white, then also the color negatives and slides. Experimenting is my second nature, so I soon enjoyed trying different film developing techniques, experimental films, building a pinhole camera, adapting old manual lenses to my DSLR.
As a non-professional photographer, I have the privilege to shoot whatever makes me happy. I can spend 20 min on finding the perfect settings with my large format camera and don’t have to worry about how many shots I will bring home. But I can also take my DSLR if a feel like I want to have an immediate feedback or if I easily want to share my photos with other people. The number of shots taken, the latest top-notch equipment or the most elaborated post-processing techniques were never important to me. For me, it’s about light, lines and composition. And fun, of course! Enjoy!