When the streets of Taipei City meets an ultra-wide angle lens...black-and-white fun of wide angle street shooting begins. Here's a mini-review of the Lomo LC-Wide as a "street" camera.
I don’t remember how it began, but I was always fascinated by visual arts like drawing, painting, cinema, photography, etc. Though I cannot explain why I was so interested in street photography in particular, I just felt excited and relaxed every time I went out to take pictures of random people and scenarios.
“Why film?” You may ask? Well, I actually I began shooting film in the summer of 2011, I saw a well-written article/review about the Yashica Electro 35 GS, and after I read it, I immediately got one from an overseas student who collected cameras in Hong Kong. Right after my first couple of rolls, I fell in LOVE with film, I just loved how simple everything was, so I learned how to develop black-and-white film but that’s another story.
Why ultra-wide? (you may also ask), funny thing is that: I don’t own ANY kind of ultra-wide angle cameras/lens, not even a Vivitar Ultra-wide & Slim! So I borrowed an LC-Wide from my friend Carlos for a whole semester to test out on the streets of Taipei.
Also, another reason to shoot black and white is: film speed; because sometimes I had to compensate for the rather small aperture of the LC-Wide so I chose the Kodak Double-X 250 motion film pushed to ISO 800 and Ilford Surveillance 400 P4 at ISO 800, and Kodak Tri-X 400 at ISO 1600.
I was used to the 35mm on my Yashica Electro 35 CCN so using the 17mm lens of the LC-Wide like a “street” lens was very difficult, since you have to get really, really close in order to get a decent composition of the environment and your subject, plus taking care not to scare your subject away. I might get away with it thanks to the compact size of the LC-Wide.
Almost every time I went out shooting, everything was easy-peasy when the sun was bright, but the real fun was when the sun went down. I tested the LC-Wide to the limits, from 12-o’clock-sunny to 11-pm-I-can’t-see-a-thing. To my surprise, it performed pretty well.
The more I shot with the 17mm the more I loved it, it becomes a trigger-happy addiction that “evolves”. And it may sound familiar but “the wider you shoot the closer you get”; I was skeptical at the beginning, but I was surprised after I realized I was shooting from distances around 0.8 meter to 1.2 meters.
Most of the time I ride my bike and I fool around with the camera to grab some shots, and thanks again to the compact size of the camera it allowed me to “grab” some interesting pictures while riding around the campus of the university.
In conclusion, using an ultra-wide angle for street shooting can be really fun! So, let me sum up some tips for you if you’re shooting streets with the LC-Wide:
1. GET CLOSE!
2. Use fast film, preferably ISO 400 to 1600.
3. Use the cable release! For crazy low or high angle shooting, plus it gives you an extra stop for low-light situations.
4. You can attach the Color Splash if you want to shoot flash, I don’t recommend using other flashes unless it’s small and light like the Color Splash.
5. Use a soft release if you can. Though I haven’t tried that yet but I’m pretty sure it helps a lot since the “throw” of the shutter button of the LC-Wide is really deep.
So what are you waiting? It’s time for you to rock out the streets of your city with a crazy wide-angle. Happy Shooting!
Special thanks to:
fukaluo’s Lomo LC-Wide and fukaluo (of course).
bq. The Lomo LC-Wide boasts the newly-developed 17mm Minigon Ultra-Wide Angle lens. This 35mm camera wonder is the perfect companion for your photo expeditions. It produces eye-catching splashes of colour with astonishing saturation and contrasts with the added versatility of 3 different formats. Open up to a new photographic experience with the LC-Wide, available in our Shop.