You have probably seen one or even several of his Lomographs that showcase lovely buildings and structures around Europe — all of them stunning and done in pure analogue!
But behind all of these buildings that is a big part of his life, real-life architect, artichekt, or Tim outside the Community has made Lomography a very essential part of his life. Lomography has made him see life and the world that surrounds him in a very lovely light.
Here is an in-depth interview with Tim as we asked him to share his LomoDiary for this month. Come and read all about his amazing Lomo life below!
Name: Tim Feldkamp
Lomography Username: artichekt
Location: Düsseldorf, Germany
Number of years as a Lomographer: 2.1 years
Number of years in the Community: 1.8 years
Kindly relate to us any memorable experience, whether happy or sad, you’ve had in relation to Lomography.
There are three little stories that I would like to tell you.
All began two years ago with the Horizon Perfekt that I got for my birthday from my ex-girlfriend. Well, she wasn’t my ex by then! It was not only the present that made me happy, but also the circumstances: she organized a surprise party with my best friends – at the by far most charming place in Düsseldorf, the Dolcinella. The curious little photo machine really matched with the scene – the whole event could have been a commercial spot for the Horizon Perfekt. It was a Perfekt evening – and when I had seen the Horizon shots in comparison with the digital photos from that evening I could hear a loud click in my brain and I knew that it was the end of my digital photo era. The digital pics were… “dead” – while the analogue photos told the story of that special evening. Unfortunately I can’t upload the photos here because some of the persons would kill me if they find their photos on the internet.
I had to decide how to develop the films. Problem because I boycott chains like DM which is a drugstore with a photo service. And I like to know the people who develop my films in person and not only by mail. I found Foto Söhn, a small shop that does all C41-processings in-house. A very sympathetic team, the owner is Italian and Alex, one employee, is a very cool analogue freak. It’s always nice to go there for a chat, train my Italian, drink a coffee – and Alex has always something special to show up with. Since my last visit there he got me hooked on getting a “noon pinhole” camera. 6×12 pinhole panorama shots! Awesome!
Well, as soon as it got colder and the summer said good-bye I got nervous. Why? Because I felt the indescribable need to go skiing. Once upon a time I used to be a serious downhill skier but as my old bones started creaking I chose the analogue way of skiing: Telemark. I put the skins under the skis, I hike up the mountain and I ride it down again in the very old fashioned style. My first winter as a Lomographer was a special one. Usually you try to avoid any dispensable gramm when you do 2000 to 3000 meters of difference in altitude uphill per day. Everybody asked me why my backpack was sooo biig and sooo heavy. At the mountain top on almost 4000m I took out the Horizon, the Lubitel, the LC-A and the Kodak Retinette and a load of films. What a scene!!!! You should have seen their faces and heard their comments!! They took me for absolutely crazy – but after they had seen the photos nobody laughed at me the next time we went hiking up the mountain together!
Actually I have met a lot of very nice people thanks to my Lomo activity. Some of them became really close friends. And it’s incredible how this Community makes our world seem small. There are some personalities that I really would like to meet some day.
I would not say that Lomography changed my life – but it enriched it! Definitely!
Tell us a story in which Lomography or the Lomographic Community has been a great part of. We’ll be glad to hear it.
Let’s make an experiment. You don’t need anything to do this with me, just one of these computers dealing with ons and offs as a device to read this article. And your brain….
Turn back the time – not just some years – but back to point when you were born. I don’t think that anyone of you can exactly remember this day, this hour. So do a simulation by yourself.
You open your eyes for the first time in your life – what do you see? A doctor, a nurse, a midwife, your mom, a room with a pvc-floor, tiled walls and a suspended ceiling? A black chair, a white cupboard, reflecting medical instruments, dazzling lights, a green melamine resin coated door with a stainless steel handle?
No, I’m afraid, you definitely don’t see these things. You see colors, schemes, your eyes need to learn how to focus, need to learn the meaning of all these weird shapes and volumes and colors. Things are moving, changing shades… it’s like the birth of the universe. It’s kind of a topological way of seeing.
Imagine this sensual experience! This must have been the absolute mind-blowing visual kick! Forget all drugs, all mind-expanding substances – I am sure that this experience has been totally unique and unreachable.
Okay – now let us analyze and evaluate what we have seen there – and last but not least what that means to us:
We have seen the world in its original beauty.
From this point on we started building a certain library that allows us to understand more than we see. Experiences help us to interpret the fragments that we perceive. What happened is something like a involuntary digitalization – a vectorization – of our environment.
So when I see a curved red shiny surface reflecting the amorph green structures of trees and the blue and white of the sky in a very sensual way because of the distortion and the colors, my brain gives me the information: I see a 1954 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible, 6,4l V8 big block, I instantly mean to hear the sound of the engine and I start wondering who did such a good job to refurbish this car and how this has been done. That’s a lot of information that I effectively don’t see but that blinds the original perception of what I really see. The sensuality of the moment gets lost.
What we do is, we disassemble our world, build our own library of fractals, link all these fractals – to get along in our complex life. And this is practically the same concept that some smart guys used to create the jpeg and mpeg compression (I mention this just to close the circle and get back to digits.
Everybody who knows me or reads my nickname knows that I am an architect. Architecture is a significant part of our life, we are almost constantly accompanied by architecture, it’s our third skin. And because we are faced with architecture every day, every hour, every minute, we get used to it. And each one of us builds his own library of fractals – and we kind of get blind for the sensuality in architecture that surrounds us.
Lomography showed me a way to capture some of these sensual moments and leads me a bit closer to the original beauty of life. It’s not only the photo itself, it’s also the way how I experience my world by walking around with the camera in my hand looking at things and wondering “is this worth a photo?” It’s not only the result, it’s also the process that counts.
And the Lomo way of photography offers the possibilities of abstraction that is needed to express this beauty.
That’s a lot of words, but this is actually what it’s all about for me. This is my story. My motivation to shoot architecture. And I’m still learning on the other things to shoot! ;-)
What are the emotions that best explain this story you have? What are your thoughts about it?
Well… I think I wrote a lot about emotions and about my thoughts about it. But after so much theory I would like to add something very practical:
Example: I have been in Florence in January 2012. It was not my first time in this city – I’ve been there 15, maybe 20 times – but it was my first time with my analogue camera equipment. The most famous and most photographed building in Florence is doubtlessly the cathedral. I took maybe 100 digital photos of it in the past, but no single photo was able to “transport” what I felt seeing this wonderful and unique building. When I saw the results of the three photos that I took with the Horizon and the LC-A using a Velvia 50 and a Provia 100F cross-processed I knew: That’s it! That’s what I’ve been longing for!
If ever this experience did not occur in your life, what kind of person are you right now? Are you not the same person without this experience?
Well – as I didn’t write about a single experience but about my personal “Lomo Experience” as a whole I must say: Without this experience I would still struggle for enlightenment in the sense of what I wrote above. It’s not that I found it, but I have the feeling, that Lomography offers me the possibilty to fill the space between my job as an architect and my very private life as a “seeker." Without my experience to link Lomography and architecture I would still try to fill that space with art, with my drawings, and paintings. I still do that, but the Architecture-Lomo-thing makes it complete.
Here are the five Lomographs that best explains Tim’s Lomography Diary
My second roll with the Horizon, my fist Lomographic camera. This photo was something like the ignition, it absolutely blew me away. It was the first time that I found the qualities that only a drawing or a painting can have in one of my own photographs. I needed more!
I found a passion in taking pictures from a natural perspective, from where I am. And this particular perspective is very important for this cathedral. Why? Here is the story: Before the World War II the cathedral has been implemented in the historical urban structures – with very little space around it. Like it is in Strasbourg still today. After they bombed everything in Cologne they fixed the cathedral but not the surroundings. What an idiotic idea to create an enormous plaza in front of and around the cathedral! The impressive effect that you have when you can’t see it in its completeness, when you see it through narrow streets, from tiny open spaces right in front of it, gets lost when you place this monument on a huge tray.
Please Cologne, give the dignity back to this unique building!
When you live in Düsseldorf and you like to photograph architecture you can’t avoid these buildings. I still take pictures of these things from time to time and I feel always confirmed concerning my inofficial and very personal report card: Architecture: F and Sculpturing: A+!
I took some photos of this observatory with the goal to express the perfect fusion of architecture and nature. I didn’t expect that this pinhole shot that I made to fill the roll would be the best one of the series, but at the end I’m convinced that in its smoothness it represents best the sensitive dialogue between nature and this wonderful and poetic building by Erich Mendelsohn. Great job and rest in peace.
My architectural passion is the urban design part of my job. And I love Italy, I love the principles of the ancient Italian urban design, I love Siena and I am pretty happy with this photo taken from the famous tower called "Torre Del Mangia” last January when the sun melted away the morning fog that tried to hide in the "Ombrone” Valley. These are the urban structures we can still learn a lot from!
Aside from these magnificent Lomographs that we have seen, reading Tim’s story sure was a pleasure! Cheers to that!