Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Feature Photographer - Liad Cohen

In one of my previous posts - My Story - Holga Jen - I mentioned briefly about how I discovered the Holga by coming across Liad's work through a mutual friend/online acquaintance. He loved his Holga and LC-A and was a compulsive shooter. He also had a knack for double exposures and cross processing, and does some very cool double exposure self portraits.

About two years ago, he got his "dream job" (how many of us can say that?) working for Lomography. He now runs all of the direct sales in the US and Canada, so I also took the opportunity to ask him what they have in the pipes for 2010.

First, and most importantly, the photos. I'd like to introduce you to Liad Cohen from New York, and show off some of his awesome Holga panoramas.

How did you get introduced to your first Holga and how long have you been shooting?
I got my first Holga in 2003. I was in the middle of a breakup with the love of my life, and it was horrible. I needed a new hobby because I wanted to avoid the inevitable energy drain that comes after a breakup, and this was a 10 year relationship, so I really needed something positive in my life. So the first camera I bought before going completely nuts with analog photography was a Holga. I had no idea what 120 film was, or how this thing even worked. I just jumped into it and started shooting as much as I could, and way more than I could afford. But it was good for me and some of the shots I took in the first weeks with that camera are still my favorites.

Washington Square
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Seaside Heights
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What is it about the Holga that draws you to it? Why do you shoot with it?
I think it's just the unpredictability, the way the Holga sees the world. My memories look like Holga pictures, probably more than any other camera really. My mind works like a plastic lens.

"It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live..."

What other cameras do you have in your arsenal?
Oh, the list is far too long to mention here, but I'll give you a few of my favorites. I have 3 working LC-A's and 1 LC-A+ (+3 broken LC-A's), about 5 Holgas, 3 Diana F+'s, 3 SX-70's, a Horizon 202, the whole line of Lomography plastic cameras, a Ricoh GR-1V that I love, a Yashica T4, a Polaroid 250 Land camera (+several other Polaroids that you can no longer get film for), and my new favorite, the Deluxe Pinhole wooden camera that I'm just in love with. I also have a cool prototype camera from Lomography that I've been shooting like crazy with that I think is going to be huge. Obviously I can't tell you what it is though.

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Ting Panorama
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Favourite film(s)?
I've always been obsessively fond of Agfa CT Precisa for 35mm cameras. But for 120 I'm big on Fuji Provia 400X and the whole line of Kodak Ektachrome films. Lately I've discovered the magic of Velvia 50. If you haven't tried this film, you don't know what you're missing. For black and white I'm a big fan of Ilford's SFX 200 film, as well as HP-5 and FP-4. Of course you can't go wrong with a roll of Tri-X.

When it Comes to Faith
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Your favourite Holga photo that you've taken?
That's really tough. It's probably the 360 Holgarama of Washington Square Park because that was just kind of magical the way it happened. Total luck shot. But I think this shot of the little flower girl was one of my favorites for a long time, and it is probably the shot that made me realize that I could actually use this Holga properly.

What was your favourite Lomography product of 2009?
I was over the moon about the Instant Back+ for the Diana. I think it's so much fun to be able to do instant pinholes, multiple-exposures, etc. I think there is a future product that is coming out soon that will blow it away though. I can't disclose anything at the moment, but I'm so excited to get this product that I am probably really annoying the camera engineer at Lomography for a sample.

Any hints as to what Lomography has up its sleeves for 2010?
This year Lomography will release 3 of the coolest products it has ever made. One especially, which I mentioned in the last answer will be a game changer. Stay tuned!

Sounds exciting!! Thank you Liad for taking the time to answer some questions and letting me share your work!

For more of Liad's photos, visit his Flickr Site


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