Heiwa Wong, a visual artist based in Hong Kong, participated in Lomography’s new revival project, the Daguerreotype Achromat 2.9/64 Art Lens. She produced and directed a video, “The Sea Within.” Let’s enjoy her video and know more about her experience using the lens!
This lens has a fascinating history, so let’s play the association game. What came to mind when you first saw the Daguerreotype Achromat Art Lens? What is special about its build?
When I first saw its sleek brass finish, I thought the Daguerreotype Achromat Art Lens does not belong to this century. But the fact is that it can be used with modern-day digital and analogue cameras. This makes me a little lost in the mysteries of time. It’s interesting.
What did you take pictures of? What camera did you use?
I took these pictures and video in Taipei, Taiwan. A student of dance was the main subject of my shoot. As I have been learning modern dance as well, I like observing how dancers sense and space themselves in the particular environment. This time, I didn’t really have a theme, instead, I just organised what I had in mind. All pictures and video where shot using a Canon 5D Mark II.
Did the Daguerreotype Achromat Art Lens impart a special look to your pictures? Tell us about your first photo session.
Shooting in a very short distance made me feel like I could stay close with the subject and observe every part of her emotion. More importantly, the bokeh feature of the Daguerreotype Achromat Art Lens does a great job on textures, which makes the bokeh on the background looks surreal. You would never know which part in the video is “real.”
The lens is a continuation of Lomography’s experimental tradition. What special effects have you done using the lens?
Because the Daguerreotype Achromat is different from the other lens—for example, the way to focus and adjust apertures—I need time to get used to it. Also, I couldn’t predict what result would come out in the end. The Daguerreotype Achromat Art Lens breaks what we usually do, which allows us a bigger room for creativity.
How does the Daguerreotype Achromat Art Lens differ from other Lomography Art Lens?
The first thing that comes to mind is the Petzval lens due to their similar look. However when it comes to the features, they have their own characteristics. While Petzval lens allows the subject to be in focus even with the bokeh on the background, the bokeh effect of Daguerreotype Achromat Art Lens is able to make connection with the subject and the surroundings, which in turn helps us feel the atmosphere and the emotion in the picture.
Why use a special lens at all?
Let’s say the picture taken is supposed to be truly reflecting the reality and it should be the same as what we see in the real world. Yet, you can “see” another “reality” when using a special lens. This difference is intriguing!
Let’s get technical. What tip would you give to a first-time user?
Try to make use of all different aperture plates. Every one of them will bring you different and fascinating textures in the picture!
The Daguerreotype Achromat 2.9/64 Art Lens, inspired by a long-lost aesthetic, presents the return of dreamy, ethereal photographs. Honing the essence of the world’s first photographic optic, the Daguerreotype Achromat Lens offers the versatility of 21st century technology with the eminent characteristics of 19th century paintings. This premium handcrafted optic, with its unique Lumière and Aquarelle Aperture Plates, is compatible with Canon EF and Nikon F mount cameras and allows for both silky soft-focused details and crisp, defined photographs—boasting the versatile nature of the Lomography Art Lens Family.
Dare to dream and fund this project on Kickstarter to bring the delicate aura of French Romanticism and Impressionism into 21st century imagery!