I’ve written a fair bit about light recently. It’s been fun learning more about what’s possible just by adjusting some settings or taking a snap from a different angle. Then I printed out some photos and it struck me that there was some fun to be had working with film. Since I’m not able to develop images from film myself, I would literally get what I take, no adjustments, no cropping, no quick fixes. Then I thought, if I’m going to lose some control over the end result, I might as well lose some more. So I decided to give Lomography a try.
Now, I’m aware that Lomography is a bit divisive – is it really photography or is it hipster-ism gone mad? Well, I think it’s really photography. Some of the marketing blurb is a bit far-fetched but ultimately you’ve got a camera, you know its limitations and its strengths, and you take the best snaps you can. I got a Diana F+, bought some 120 film, then started snapping away.
Below is my first attempt at capturing some of the Lomo fun. I could have cropped and re-sized the images. I could have adjusted the contrast. That’s not the point though. It’s not about capturing a perfect moment, or even about capturing a real moment, it’s about enjoying moments and having fun taking snaps.
A note of caution
If you decide to try out Lomo, there are a few things that it’s useful to be aware of:
– If you get a camera that takes 120 film, it’s hard to source somewhere that will develop it, and it won’t be cheap. Two rolls cost me £36 from Snappy Snaps in Kingston. They’re a very friendly bunch in there, but it’s the price of a decent SD card for 20-odd snaps and a CD. Processing 35mm film is much easier and cheaper.
– Light will leak in, sometimes the spool won’t wind properly, you’ll forget to remove the lens cap (repeatedly) and you’ll feel a bit of a wally walking around with a plastic camera with an over-sized flash.
– Storing film in your fridge makes you feel unbelievably cool.
– Nothing will prepare you for the excitement of waiting to view snaps that you took a week ago. It can be unbearable.