Three years ago, Li Hui , a film photographer from Hangzhou, China firstly debuted on Lomography English website. At that time, the interview with her was such a blockbuster and her kind of gentle and exquisite way of expression is gradually spreading around the world. Three years later, fate brought us together again. Tthrough the Daguerreotype Achroma Art Lens shooting experience from Li , It is lovely to see the great combination between human and nature by her multiple exposure journey, leading us to fall into her world between dream and reality.
Hi Li Hui, can you share with us your first impression on Daguerreotype Achroma Art Lens ?
Well, I was quite satisfied and enjoyable, like unboxing a gift. It was really considerate in details as there was a brochure and a leather bag for carrying aperture plates. The whole lens was exquisitely made and surprisingly with extra weight. I have to say i do appreciate that the product design was traditional but still contemporary.
The shooting of this time is closely related to your most familiar and favourite elements, the nature and shadow, creating a gentle yellowish air. Did you shoot them in Hangzhou? How about sharing with us the story of your shooting theme?
Yes, the photos were taken in Hangzhou. I chose my most familiar theme and went to the most familiar place because this was the first time I used this lens. About the story, it was more about my interaction with this lens during the shooting. Now I will find the suitable aperture before I start shooting, so that I can switch freely after i became more familiar with the lens. The difference from the ordinary camera is that the manual mode in setting aperture added more interest and possibility of experiment. I feel this familiar expectation only appears when I use double exposure because i can basically predict the result in ordinary shooting, which makes the experiment more distinct.
After shooting, you said Daguerreotype Achromat is very suitable for making multiple exposure, why?
I think Lomography has been encouraging people to experience the interest of photographing, to have fun when you are taking photographs. For me, making multiple exposures is a way of taking photographs. After I get the results, I could find more ways to use this lens. When i make multiple exposures, I prefer to make unreal scenes look more authentic with uncertainty, because all the things are combined naturally after multiple exposures. I also try to avoid complicated images when I use multiple exposures. Making the advantage of multiple exposures, this lens just helps me to avoid the possibility of combining the unnatural, since it is gentle and inclusive, especially tolerant to more lights compared to those conservative lens.
I found that many of your photographs were taken with special aperture effects, which one is your favourite?
My favourite one is the oil-painting effect and the ordinary aperture in small, medium and large size. it is very simple to take photographs with oil-painting effect, even to see the objects from the viewfinder is enjoyable.
Where do you want to bring Daguerreotype Achromat Art Lens to in the future?
I want to bring Daguerreotype Achromat Art Lens to Japan or Italy.
In the previous interview, you said all your film was printed by yourself. What does it mean to you throughout the process of photographing, printing and getting result?
I am trying best to manage all my work on my own because each part is likely to be affected by different settings on the equipment. I find it quite worthy although it takes more time.
Last September, you published your third photo book "NO WORD FROM ABOVE", it seems to be unavailable on the website now, when will them be back in stock?
There are still 20 left on this photo book and i leave them all in China market, that's why it is unavailable on the international website. Thanks to those who support and like me. I already planned to prepare my next book, which is supposed to include more new work with more imagination.
No matter publishing photo book or daily work, I have been feeling the great combination between humans and nature, like a delicate artwork. Some ordinary and easy-reach things have their unique features, which allow us to think about the possibility of each person and object. To discover the pluralism of the world, is this also one of the messages you want to deliver in you last year's photo book?
In last year's photo book, I focused on the close relationship on human and nature, human with each other. Since the details are easily ignored, making the experience of these relationship more mysterious. I just expressed them in the way of photographing, which is also a common way for people to know about and get closer to themselves.
Your previous interviews were also focused on how photographers express their emotions in the photos. You seldom talked about your interaction with the models who rarely showed their faces. And your shots preferred to feature on some body languages. Do you prefer to let models have free style or give them some directions before the shooting?
I think there are both. Their most interesting condition is when they have most comfortable postures. I always observe this kind of change during the process of shooting. When there is only one person, I prefer them to have their free style and I will also make some adjustment. If there are two persons or more, I will give more directions to avoid chaos in frames.
You are holding an individual photography exhibition in Tokyo, Japan now. Can you tell us your future plans on photography or other fields?
I started to get in touch with fashion photography because curiosity and hunger for knowledge push me to try more possibility on photography, I think this will be my new direction.
Thanks Li a lot for her user review and work on the Lomography Art Lens. Hope we can meet again and create more memories in the future.