About how I got into Lomography in the first place and lost my heart to a camera.
(Above: London, Hyde Park, summer 2003 (I think!))
The first time I ever heard the word “Lomography” was back in 2002. It was my first year at university. Besides making us take tons of pictures ourselves, our photography teacher made a point of introducing us to as many different styles and techniques of photography as possible. And one day he introduced us to the world of Lomography.
The thing is, the way he did it, he made it sound like “it’s some trend some students in Austria created back in the 1990ies, but nobody really cares about it anymore”. “Well,” I thought to myself, “story of my life” and cursed my late birth – can you tell I grew up as “the little sister”, the one who’s always too late, the one who always discovers new things just to find out everyone else has already moved on?
So, back in 2002, when everybody was still raging about “the digital age”, when digital SLR’s offered incredible 4 Megapixels for more money than I could ever dream of in my student life, and those colourful iMacs were the hippest thing ever – I fell in love with analogue.
Though this is not quite right: I’ve been shooting analogue, well, forever. With my father’s Minolta XE-1, which is a good deal older than me, and with my own Kodak point-and-shoot.
The good thing: I was never scared of film, the entire analogue process, I’d even done my own prints in a dark room at school, and had a basic idea of photographic theory. Which didn’t matter until much later, because the first object of my lomographic desire was a Supersampler.
So, in May 2002 I spent a week in Berlin with some friends from uni – my very first time in Berlin, and I fell in love with the city on the very first day. It’s also where my lomographic love-affair began. On the third day we visited the “Museum für Film und Fernsehen” (Film and TV Museum) and I bought a Supersampler in the museum’s shop. The pearl edition. I convinced a friend to get a Cypersampler (now better known as the silver Actionsampler), and we made a deal to swap cameras now and then.
(Above: Pictures from my very first Supersampler-roll. Tiny, because they were among the first pictures I uploaded to my Lomohome back in summer 2002. Do you still remember the old site? It’s odd how tiny the pictures seem nowadays.)
I’m a bit ashamed to admit it now, but for a long time I never saw the point of getting an LC-A. After all, it was just a regular camera, wasn’t it? But after a year or so of sampling my world, I felt the urge to try something new, so I bought a Holga. Or rather a Woca. That’s what the glas-lens Holgas were called back in the day.
Pictures from my first rolls with Woca.
And while I was absolutely stunned with the results of my Woca-experiments, I made the mistake of buying the camera in winter, and grey days and bad light conditions don’t work so well with that camera in the long run. So I eventually gave in and bought an LC-A, a 2nd-hand one, built in 1986, as I didn’t have the money to afford a new one. After the first roll, I knew I was in love. Hell, why did I ever wait that long?
Ever since then, I take my camera, my LC-A, everywhere. And I mean it, literally. I don’t leave the house without my LC-A. It’s bruised and battered by now, has been repaired, I dropped it several times and at one point it was only held together by duct tape. I love that camera. And even though I have accumulated quite an amount of cameras over the time, the LC-A is the one I love most, the one I always come back to. I wouldn’t want to be without it, ever again.