Mod Alumnus LaFoto!

Discussion in 'Interview with Mod' started by TPF Staff, Dec 2, 2008.

  1. TPF Staff

    TPF Staff Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2006
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    By terri at Fri, 2006-06-02 21:17

    <p>If you've been around The Photo Forum for any length of time, you probably know the name LaFoto.&nbsp;&nbsp; She is our European liaison, and always seems to have a thoughtful comment on an image or a funny story to tell.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; We thought it was time&nbsp;everyone got to know her a little better!<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p>
    <p><strong>1) LaFoto, let's start with the main question - what brought you to The Photo Forum? How did you find us?<br /><br /></strong>Oh, well, let me think… I had been member on another internet discussion forum for quite some time ( and every now and again also photos were sent to that forum, but all in all it is designed to be an author's fan forum with discussions on all things to do with her books, education, special education and so on. But I had a larger and larger number of photos that I felt I would want others to see, too. So in the end I guess it was the good old Google that - after I had given in &quot;online photography forum&quot; - put out right at the top. I clicked the link, came here, saw the photos shown and the replies given and decided: this is the forum for me. And dived in head first! In over 2 years I haven't for once thought it could have been a wrong decision.<br /><br /><strong><img vspace="2" hspace="5" border="0" align="left" src="" />2) You started off shooting film-only, then made the transition over to digital. Are there any film cameras in your arsenal that you still enjoy shooting?</strong> <br /><br />Yes. Though as much as I always plan to also bring my trustworthy Canon EOS 500N back to use, that is not the one I am using any more these days (but I still plan to do so!), but the Leica M5 that actually belongs to my father, that was in my sister's possession for ever so many years, and that I borrowed from her for an undefined period of time. With all the digital photography I felt I would need to get back to the roots and somehow learn more about photography than just shooting my 350D in automatic --- which I no longer do, anyway, mind. But when using the Leica with the 35mm prime lens I feel that I have to look all differently since I cannot change the frame as I please. Taking photos with the Leica therefore feels different, not only is the sound different and the fact that I have to manually wind the film and all that, but planning the frame is different. Still new, still thrilling. But I must admit I take the majority of my pics with the 350D these days.<br /><br /><strong><img vspace="2" hspace="5" border="0" align="left" src="" />3) Some of us recently had the pleasure of meeting you and your husband when you came over from Germany to attend the 1st International TPF Meetup in Washington, DC. Have you been Stateside before? What was your impression of DC and New York? Tell us one of your favorite moments of that trip. </strong><br /><br />The trip over to New York and Washington was my third trip to the USA. The first time I went was in 1995, when we also took the children, who were little at the time. We then flew into Houston because my husband had to do business there, and travelled from there via New Orleans, Natchez and Biloxi into Florida, where we visited St Augustine, several famous spots around Orlando (guess which ) and Cape Caneveral, then spent some time with my pen-friend in Fort Lauderdale from where we visited Miami and the Keys before we flew back to Houston (more business for my husband to do) and home. The second time was Texas again in August of 1998, once more for business reasons, and this time it was only my husband and I. While he had to work I took the hired car and went to places such as Corpus Christi, San Antonio, New Braunfels and Gruene (places that our LittleMan knows only too well ), Lake Texarcana, and together we even went Laredo on the Mexican border. <br />Therefore seeing the east coast up north was an entirely new experience for me (my husband's been over - including Colorado and Washington DC - some 14 times or so), and New York was very interesting and exciting to both of us. We heard it was far from being as safe as we experienced it to be some 10 years or so, but we found it a pleasant, albeit very big, very busy and of course quite high-risen city. I thought it was offering photo ops on each and every corner - which drove my husband to distraction, heehee. And while New York is the big metropolis, Washington is so different, all wide stretched and white and sunny (not on our meet-up day, I know, but on all the days after that one), with lots of green and parks and so on. <br />To tell you which one was my favourite moment of the trip fills me with mixed emotions, for it was the moment I stepped out of the Museum of Natural Science and saw JonMikal standing there. To see that he had come to meet us after all made me so very, very happy. And now he no longer comes to this forum, which makes me sad.<br /><br /><strong><img vspace="2" hspace="5" border="0" align="right" src="" />4) We see your images in several of the different galleries at TPF. Is there a favorite subject matter that you prefer over others?</strong><br /><br />I guess that would be Landscape and Nature, though actually I like to at least try out everything, and maybe my New York pics showed that also a big city can inspire me - and the feedback I got for those was quite reassuring and made me feel happy. But we live in the countryside, so anything out there is … well, so easily &quot;just there&quot;, you see? I would like to do some more street photography, or try my hands at sports photography (which would primarily be swimming for our daughter is quite seriously into swimming), and I would like to learn more about portrait photography … I guess it is easier to name those fields that do not appeal to me as much as most do… <br /><br /><strong>5) Aside from photography, what are your favorite ways of spending leisure time?<br /></strong><br />Well, my biggest other pasttime next to photography is singing. I sing in an unknown, small church choir and we have a very ambitious young choirmaster who has brought the choir out of nothing to where we are now. We have about three performances a year (to only a small audience, I'm afraid, but that is the countryside for you, I guess) and sing classical church music, and so far our most successful performance was Händel's Messiah, though that one is by far not the most difficult to sing. Some Bach-cantatas are quite more of a challenge. I particularly like all the pieces by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy that we have sung so far.<br />Other than that I ought to be out doing more rolling through our lovely countryside on my roller blades … I plan to get back there as soon as the nasty weather changes for a bit of summer.<br /><br /><strong>6) Where did you get the name &quot;LaFoto&quot;?</strong><br /><br />I read English and Spanish in university and actually am a translator, with a degree and all. And the Spanish word for &quot;photo&quot; is &quot;fotografía&quot; or simply &quot;foto&quot;. That word together with the feminine article &quot;la&quot; became my name here … and to give myself this name has no tradition or so, it was a spur-of-the-moment decision when I joined.<br /><br /><strong>7) You push back your chair from the dinner table, and announce: &quot;That was the best meal, from start to finish, that I ever had in my life.&quot; What did you have? Give us details!</strong><br /><br />This must be the hardest question of the entire list. What makes you ask this, I wonder!?!? How many courses do you think my dinner had? <br />I think I would always prefer a salad to a soup as starter, unless it was very cold weather and I longed for something hot. But a nice, fresh, very varied salad with nothing but olive oil and salt as &quot;dressing&quot; is … hmmmm! If they'd then serve some very nicely cooked fish with a touch of lemony sauce and tiny, round boiled potatoes in melted butter, maybe even some horseredish in sweet whipped cream on the side … that would be nice. A dry white wine with the fish, please. Riesling, perhaps? Some lamb chops in a garlicky sauce would then be nice, with some green beens and breadcrumbs-in-butter dressing. White bread on the side and a red wine … never sweet for me, please, always dry. A dessert would always need to have the taste of fruit, preferably tropical fruit or a lemon taste - never any chocolates. Is this detailed enough? Phew, this was a hard one!!!<br /><br /><strong><img vspace="2" hspace="5" border="0" align="right" src="" />8 ) Which members on the forum inspire you the most? Are there members whose posts you make sure you don't miss?</strong><br /><br />Yes, there are a couple of members whose posts I make sure I don't miss. First of all there is Tuna. And furthermore there are all our Canadian bird photography specialists (including &quot;steel birds&quot; ), then all photos posted by our members from India - and actually I try to at least see all the photos shown in the main galleries, though I cannot comment on each and every one of them. I am fascinated by the great variety of photos shown and enjoy that very much. Some of the creatively arranged still life photos with some extra nice lighting tell me that there's yet one area for me to explore, but often I feel I just lack the creativity for that.<br /><br /><strong>9) Aside from TPF, you've mentioned some other internet sites you enjoy. What challenges have you faced with language barriers? Can you share any good stories related to those barriers?</strong><br /><br />There is one other forum in the internet that I go to and enjoy, i.e. the one mentioned above, the author's fan forum of Torey Hayden. The language there is primarily English and for most of the time I no longer feel any barrier there. I sit down and type English as fast as I would type German and also think in English when I write or speak it, I don't translate into it. <br />But I once wanted to describe a soup that I had cooked on that other forum and could not think of the word of the vegetable that I used for that soup. I only knew it had two &quot;e&quot; in the middle and was kind of similar to our German word. Which is &quot;Lauch&quot;. Well, I was almost convinced I knew the equivalent word in English and was too lazy to get my idea confirmed by my dictionary. So I happily wrote to that forum that I had cooked a &quot;Cheese and Leech Soup&quot;.<br />Oops.<br />At first I did not understand why they all went &quot;Ugh&quot; in their replies, and &quot;you are kidding, aren't you?&quot;<br />Then I took out my dictionary. Ouch! What had I written? The English word for &quot;Lauch&quot; is &quot;leek&quot; … oh triple-oops. <br />And I once told them that my pot plants always die on me --- erm, someone told me I am most likely speaking of &quot;potted plants&quot;, maybe???? Oh dear. Yes! Of course!!! <br /><br /><strong><img vspace="2" hspace="5" border="0" align="left" src="" />10) Is the role of moderator as easy as you thought it might be when you accepted the challenge? Why or why not?</strong><br /><br />When I was first asked, I got all nervous and thought, wow, I am sure I can never do this. But Chase said for me to just carry on the way I always was, even before I was a moderator, offering a bit of guidance here or there, no more. And I feel that is what I am doing now - and also tried to do before. So while at first I did not think it would be easy I am now finding it easy enough. Sometimes times can get rough, but for most of the time TPF is a friendly and quiet forum where people of all ages can feel &quot;at home&quot;, all forgetting about age, getting together through their one big passion: photography.<br /><br /><strong>We'd like to thank LaFoto for the wonderful interview, and for sharing some of her images with us. More importantly, we'd also like to say &quot;thanks!&quot; for all her hard work, and for the contributions she makes at The Photo Forum. </strong></p>


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