I knew about film photography as a child, but it took years (and after much digital mishaps) to rekindle my love for analogue. This entry is about that experience.
I already knew about analogue photography way back when I was a kid. I used to have this Mickey Mouse Japanese-made camera where you had to slide “Mickey” to reveal the lens and take a picture. It was the coolest thing in the world to my 7/8-year-old self. Then the world changed and turned digital.
Around 5 years ago, I got my first digital camera. After several months, I noticed that I would give it to my friends at events for them to take pictures as I had no interest at all in doing so and even felt burdened by the thing. Then I got an iPhone and tried all photography applications available, but after a few months of ownership I had to sell it because of my destructive hands- it won’t be long before I totally destroyed the phone and I had to find a hardier replacement- and also because again, I lost interest.
So how did I get back to using film and rekindling my love for photography? It all started with my first glimpse of double/multiple exposures. When I first saw those photos, I got intensely curious on how they are created. I loved the dreamy and out-of-this-world look they had. I loved how two or more different subjects can create a collage of some sorts, and become a totally different entity and composition when combined. And through this (and with the help of my friends who are into analogue), I found out about lomography.
It was easy getting back to it. I won’t get into much detail about my first line up of cameras (from one acquisition, I currently have four that I lug around everywhere), but I can still remember the excitement I felt about everything related to it: from choosing your camera and film, to understanding its mechanism, on selecting subjects and taking pictures, to rewinding and having the rolls processed. I spent hours on the net researching film descriptions, lusting after the wide array of cameras, and to learning how to take good photos. But what I love most about it is the element of surprise, of turning mistakes into opportunities, and to how analogue makes you more observant, adventurous, and spontaneous yet calculating. The contradiction works since you have to plan your shots, but there are times when you just have to go ahead and shoot.
My first two rolls were slide films, and I was utterly blown away by the results. I didn’t expect the vibrancy and the splashes of color: it seemed like the images I took are alive. And they are, after a fashion, as they are captured moments of time.
But the best part was seeing my first double exposures:
The delayed gratification and the whole process of experimentation stroked the fires in my curious mind. Yet what got me hooked was the idea of analogue, where you have this set of limitations that you have to work with, but is surprisingly not intimidating. I felt more freedom with my film cameras than with any other digital gadget I had. And the photos I got felt true and had a spirit to them I have trouble finding in digital images.
So for 2012, I aim to take as many film photos as I can and to expand my knowledge and skill in lomography. And in doing this, possibly rekindle something within my soul that recognizes the spirit in the photos, and in the experience that is analogue.