In which our hero details his secret origins in Lomography...
I am Shadrack. Often thrown into the fire, but often finding a way out. I will never win a contest here, and I will never be featured on the most popular wall, but Lomography and I go way back. Photography and I go way back.
A lower middle class teen in a a very preppy school, the atypical outcast kid in any John Hughes film from my high school era, I always wanted to be into photography. It was in my blood. My great grandfather worked for Eastman Kodak back in the 30’s. My grandfather was an aerial photographer during WWII. It was there lingering, but economically out of reach.
On a flight from Tampa to San Francisco I read an article in Details magazine about this amazing Russian camera that was becoming all the rage with the art crowd. I had this weird hang up about all things Soviet. I was socialist before socialist was cool. I decided I must have one of these LCA Cameras. And I put the magazine away and promptly forgot about it…
A year or so later I stumbled over the lovely LCA on the bewildering interwebs and I scrimped and saved, until I had one. Serial Number XB162856. Clunky and smelling of cosmoline, we fell in love.
A few days after 9-11, in the midst of the anthrax scare, a box wrapped in twine, giving off a fine powdery substance arrived from Russia. A Lubitel 166 joined her Russian cousin in my gear bag. Quickly the plastic lens of a holga joined the aresenal. Now I had a full complement of film cameras to spy upon the world.
Then my son arrived. The cost of film developing was replaced with the cost of diapers. The cameras went to the shelf, their cold dark eyes gazing out at a world longed to catalog.
It was a few years until I could fully embrace my love for the analog world again. Now the once lonely cameras have been joined by new allies. A zorki, Spinner 360, Holga 135, most recently a Sprocket Rocket. While the low class Wrangler jeans wearing kid from the DC suburbs could now afford the big fancy DSLR’s of the professionals, he still loves to pull out a plastic lensed camera from the eastern bloc and have people go:
“What the hell is that?”
Always leave them wondering…