A Bike Tour of Sweden with the Neptune Convertible Art Lens

Bike touring is a great way to take your time on a vacation and intimately get to know the place you're visiting. We recently had a chat with German photography enthusiast Michael, a.k.a. @michaclimb, about a bike tour he took in magnificent Sweden last year where he visited several sites such as Urshult, Kåseberga, Kyrkö-Mosse and Baskemölla.

He took with him the Neptune Convertible Art Lens System, pairing it with the Nikon FA and a few film stocks including Lomography Redscale XR and LomoChrome Purple.

Michael has appeared several times in the magazine, such as in a 2020 feature on his landscape photos, and another one in the same year for his Baltic Sea images taken with the Fantôme Kino B&W ISO 8 Film. Let's catch up with him in this interview and learn more about his approach to film photography.

Credits: michaclimb

Hi, Michael! Can you tell us a little more about yourself? How did you get into film photography and why do you still take pictures today?

I got into photography as a hobby when I was young, I can't remember exactly how. At that time I probably had the compulsion to record everything and to decide everything myself. The postcards weren't that pretty and most of the time I was out in nature.

What are the biggest hurdles you currently face when it comes to film photography?

Actually, I am only regulated by time or my own creativity when taking photos. Not all days are the same. When I'm on a bike tour, I don't always have time to run through all possible angles in order to take the most exciting picture. The photos here are often directed towards the landscape from the lonely bicycle lane. But some shots need patience, and I also test out the different focal lengths, which I can easily swap out.

I cannot develop my photos myself, nor scan them myself. I'm dependent on the laboratory for that, unfortunately.

Credits: michaclimb

How was your experience shooting with the Neptune Convertible Art Lens System? What do you like most about it?

I chose the system for two reasons. I only returned to analogue photography in 2019. After buying a couple of Lomography toy cameras and still enjoying analogue photography, I bought an SLR. I had already squinted at the Neptune system and somehow it also looked strange.

Also, all these digital gadgets and new lenses from the other side of photography take photos so sharp it hurts your eyes (well, not really, but maybe you get what I mean.) I was amazed by the analogue look that only analogue can create. There is no exaggerated hyper-sharpness and perfectly electronically exposed photos that can be overlaid with presets afterwards. A camera was quickly bought, and I only needed lenses.

In my free time I travel a lot and I also tour other countries for a few weeks with my bike and tent. That's why I was immediately enthusiastic about the Neptune system. Three different focal lengths so compact, great. This also fit a Sprocket Rocket or Holga or a Lomo L-CA in my pocket. I also got small bags sewn to match the small lenses. I was excited!

Credits: michaclimb

Can you tell us more about your album Velo-Tour Schweden 2022?

Before I go away I always have a hard time choosing the right film. The decision-making process can take several days and I'm still unsure at the end.

I also like to shoot old expired film, not all of which give good results. It's a risk I'm taking. But this time I was lucky, almost all photos turned out well. I love those imperfect pictures where the colors change wildly.

With the Neptune system, I have noticed that the individual photos appear homogeneous and somehow light. They often do not offer a very pronounced contrast and sometimes, depending on the film, they are even very soft. Especially with expired films.

But if I want a bit more contrast, I can add a bit of contrast to the development of the photos, just like I used to do in analogue times, but now on the computer. But only within the scope of the possibilities that existed before.

Credits: michaclimb

Any stories you would like to share behind your photos?

I especially liked the jetties that lead into the water in Sweden. Almost every evening we arrived at a campsite that was on a lake. They were built differently and the water landscape was always different, but the photo motif attracted me everywhere.

It evokes a summer mood in me. Sometimes when the sun is very high at noon, there is this glaring light refracting on the waves.

Sometimes you get really blinded. On the other hand, the low sun in the evening creates long shadows, the water is smoother and reflects the surroundings. Calmness slowly returns to you.

Credits: michaclimb

When I glide so calmly through the landscape on my bike, I occasionally come across small, hidden areas. That's the special thing about these vacations that I appreciate so much.

Not everyone knows these little patches of earth, they are hidden and only the people from the area know about them. Sometimes they even seem a little enchanted and my biggest wish is to be able to capture this magic, which is very difficult.

When I then unpack my cameras, I always hope that I have just inserted the right film or that I'll still manage to capture something special. I take my time.

Credits: michaclimb

It was particularly exciting at the car graveyard. There were a lot of old tails lying around in the forest. These are all ancient cars, covered in a patina weathered by weather and time.

I forgot the time myself and roamed around for hours, changing my small attachable focal lengths from the Neptune system, which I could hide in my trouser pocket. That was handy. I've never taken so many shots from one place before.

How does the mood change here when it gets dark? It must be spooky.

Many thanks to Michael for sharing his stories and images with us! To keep in touch, visit his LomoHome.

written by sylvann on 2023-02-19 #culture #people #places #sweden #lomography-redscale #lomochrome-puple #neptune-convertible-art-lens #michaclimb #biking-tour

Neptune Convertible Art Lens System

With the Neptune Convertible Art Lens System, you’ll be ready for anything. With three interchangeable front lenses with fixed focal lengths of 35 mm, 5 0mm or 80 mm, be prepared for any shooting situation with just one lens system.

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