I’m Frank Lehnen from Luxembourg, 52 years old, married with 4 big kids and working as a civil servant here in Luxembourg (not necessarily meaning that I have a lot of time for photography…). I love photography of course, reading, listening to good music, this definition being VERY broad!
2) How long have you been taking photos?
I’ve been a passionate photographer since I was around 15, first with film gear (of course – digital was a bit rare in those olden days), then a too long digital period and now, apart from my iPhone, I’ve gone back to film.
3) What sort of photography do you enjoy or partake in the most (street, landscape, etc)?
I like walking around with a camera in my hand or at least in my pocket, and I make pictures of anything that marks me. I do this mostly in my home city, in Luxembourg which offers a nice display from medieval to modern. But I won’t go as far as calling what I do street photography. That’s too daring a term. I consider myself an urban landscape photographer which does not exclude the occasional human being in my pictures.
4) Which is/are your favourite 35mmc compact/rangefinder cameras?
I tried a lot – from the Leica CL (sorry, can’t afford / justify a ‘real’ Leica) to my Canon A-1, by way of Kodak Retina IIIc, Olympus 35SP and Olympus Trip…. My all time favourite compacts are the Olympus XA2, the Trip35 and a newer acquisition, a Lomo LC-A
5) How big a part of your photography life are 35mm compact cameras/rangefinders?
Might be about three quarters…. at least
6) What about the experience of shooting with these cameras appeals to you?
I love the thought of the cost of film – any time I press the trigger there goes a lot of money… But no, just kidding, I like the feel of the cameras, I like that there’s no screen to smudge with my greasy nose, I like that I’ll have to wait quite a while before seeing if my pictures are worth anything, that I’m not able to chimp…
7) How do you feel they have effected your style? become part of it? or are the reason for it…?
I am much more deliberate when I shoot film, so as to get an appalling number of keepers on film (ok, my threshold for keepers might be a bit low) which is not the case with digital. I try to get everything right first time, the framing, the exposure, the light, the moment. It’s a much more involved type of photography.
8 )What is it specifically about these cameras that appeal to you so much?
The feel, the handling, the fact of winding on the film (that’s why I dislike those noisy motorised cameras (sorry Ricoh GR, Nikon 35Ti…..
9) What was the path to this shooting habit? How did you discover it appealed to you?
The path, better call it the long any winding road…. As said I shot film in my youth and went everywhere with my Nikon F (still kick myself for selling it) and a basket full of lenses. Then I get the same type of equipment in digital – Canon 300D and 400D, always with some zoom lenses and seamless focal lengths – you never know… Then I noticed that I left the cameras at home most of the time…. bummer. Sold them and I get the hottest kid on the block in 2011, the Fuji X100. Wonderful camera! But it had one flaw…. It tempted me to go back to film. And go back I did, with many detours and backing up. Often tempted to go digital, mostly because of the price of film, I have stayed strong and bow to film.
10) Show us your favourite/best image(s) taken with a compact or RF?
Yes, here’s a batch from my trusty Olympus XA2
And then there’s the new one, the Lomo LC-A:
More on my Flickr