Trippy, dream-like images captured with the Lomokino, this week's LomoAmigo shares with us how he was able to creatively mesh together skate-photography with inspired shorts featuring his talented and fun-loving friends.
REAL NAME: Philip Evans
Tell the community a little bit about yourself. What do you do for fun and is it the same thing you do for a living?
I am very fortunate, as most of the things I do for fun I also do for a living. I make films, mainly about skateboarding, and I also paint and exhibit from time to time with my friends at Human Pyramids. I’m quite lucky as I get to travel a lot with the film stuff and traveling is one of my favorite things to do, so it’s really nice when I get to combine traveling, skating, filming and art!
Tell us about your project Format Perspective?
Format Perspective is a documentary I made about six different photographers that shoot skateboarding. I’m always looking for something new to keep myself motivated to shoot, and I started shooting one of my photographer friends Stu Robinson, as a joke one day (instead of shooting the skating and stressing that was happening) and then I realized there might be something behind it, so I asked Stu if he was down, and we worked from there. I knew Stu was shooting some very interesting dark landscapes from some of the no-go ghettos around North Belfast, that he was taking big risks to shoot, so I knew immediately that there was a story here to document beyond just shooting skating.
I also wanted to show a nice cross-section of skate photography, so each of the six guys involved have completely different stories and backgrounds, and consequently a different photographic approach to the same subject of skateboarding. Not only did they shoot skating differently but there was a nice diverse selection of photographic formats involved too, from simple 35mm set-ups, to digital with multiple flashes on slaves, to medium-format Hasselblad, large-format Polaroid; and one guy Sergej Vutuc even processed and printed all his own work with some amazingly experimental and trippy results.
From the start of the project I wanted the photos to be the center of the showcase, so I decided that Super 8 was the ideal format to tie the whole project together. The grainy, gritty, scratched nature of the Super 8 provided a perfect contrast to the meticulously composed well-lit still photos, so they end up standing out to the viewer a lot more.
What do you think are common factors between skateboarding and photography?
Skateboarding is a very aesthetically pleasing activity especially when done right so I think it’s quite natural to want to document it, especially when you skateboard yourself. It never seems to work when people who don’t skate try to shoot it, so I guess you are looking to represent what inspires you most about skating in the way that you shoot it.
Apart from the activity of skateboarding itself, there are a lot of other elements that go along with it, namely travel, mischief, and DIY activities. Most street skating is done where other people don’t want you to do it so there’s always an element of adventure to it. Skating is a very individual activity too, so there’s often skaters taking matters into their own hands and building there own little spots and communities, which is often a very interesting thing to document purely from a social point of view.
What got you into photography in the first place?
Skateboarding, no surprise there!
You shot with the LomoKino and got some wonderful stills as well, which are your favorites and why?
I shot quite a lot but here’s a few that stand out for me.
1. Edu in Terrassa – I was in Barcelona to do an exhibition with the Human Pyramids Collective but one day we ended up in the next city called Terrassa with our rad local guide Edu Castillo. Edu took myself and my friend Mike, all around the back streets of Terrassa, bombing through alleyways and narrow streets on our boards, eating tapas, and drinking beer. Edu is leading the way in the shot and Mike just right in the foreground, reminds me of one of my favorite parts of traveling, new friends and new adventures.
2. Hovin Half Head – My mate Hovin organizes lots of exhibitions with the HP crew, I’ve traveled a lot with him lately, I don’t think I’ve ever seen him get angry? They say some of the best people travel, well here’s Hovin, I took this by the beach in Barcelona but when I cranked it through the Lomo viewer, it ended up looking like his head was chopped off from the rest of his body as it stopped at half-frame, I like it, Hovin, you look good decapitated.
3. Purple clouds: I used a Black-and-White Ilford print filter and stuck it to the front of the Lomokino, I think I was shooting on an expired tungsten reversal film? Anyway, I shot a timelapse and the clouds ended up looking like paintings, I shoot too many clouds but it’s hard to resist, clouds are rad!
4. Purple Landscape: This is the same technique as the purple clouds except I shot a timelapse out of my bedroom balcony. It’s the same thing that appeals to me, it’s film, but it looks like a painting which makes it nice and surreal.
5. Rob powerslide Bray: This was the first thing I shot on the Lomokino, I was outside my place in Bray skating by the sea at one of the favorite spots with my friend Rob. He was just pushing around and doing ‘powerslides’ which as the name suggests, is when you slide on your wheels by just cranking your board 90 degrees to the direction you are traveling…it’s basic, but it feels really, really, great! Even though Rob is mostly cropped out of the photo, I caught enough of him to tell it was a powerslide at one of my favorite spots!
6. Hardcore Seb: This is my Chilean mate Seb, he’s one of those people who seems to always have a lot of energy, and is just a good dude to be around. We were out skating one day, and I shot a few frames of him air-drumming to his favorite hardcore punk music. I shot the picture on reversal film and then played with light leaks on the Lomo viewer to make the colors bleed all over the frame, which happened to compliment that endless energy that Seb seems to have. Yeah Mayng!
Tell us about the concept of your LomoKino movie featured here. The music accompanying the short was created specifically for it, how did you go about creating the piece?
The concept behind the edit is based on dreams and memories within dreams. You know the way dreams are really hard to remember, but somehow make sense at the time? Well the Lomokino seemed to be the best tool for this, and the closest representation I’ve had to recreating dreams on film. Its fuzzy, vague, and quite trippy-looking and I can never fully grasp what I’ve dreamt so this format seemed to fit prefect.
There’s a few ideas within the film, like a Spice Girls’ song! Me and my mate Mike were trying to remember the words to a Spice Girls’ song one night as he was singing it all weird so I recorded the whole thing and spliced it throughout the edit, like when you’re trying to remember something in a dream and it’s really frustrating?
Anyway, I shot it using quite a wide variety of films and in different locations – Bray, Dublin, and Barcelona as when I’m dreaming, the location seems to change for no apparent reason so it seemed to work.
My housemate Tiarnan Jones and his friend Eoin Whitfield did the track for me, I wanted something that was kind of drone like and just represented the confusing nature of dreams and travel and dreaming while you travel; I think they did a good job, cheers lads!
How did you like shooting with the LomoKino and what were people’s reactions to the camera?
I was quite excited about the opportunity to shoot footage with 35mm as there’s quite a variety to choose from compared to Super 8, which is a bit more limited in terms of film stock – so that’s just what I did, I shot in as many formats as I could, color neg, black and white neg, reversal, tungsten reversal, high speed, low speed, lots of interesting results, I’m still experimenting with it! People’s reactions were always very curious, they usually assumed it was an old camera and most of them couldn’t resist cranking it!
What is your advice for LomoKino shooters?
Experiment! Not only with the film you shoot, but try taping filters to the front of the camera or maybe play around with how you capture the film or how you choose to hold or mount the camera, there’s infinite possibilities!
Describe the LomoKino in 5 words.
Click, clack, clickity, click…. clack.
Enter a new analogue dimension with the LomoKino. Lomography’s own 35mm analogue movie camera allows you to capture action and immortalize your story on film! Shoot 144 frames on any 35mm film and create your own cinematic masterpieces. Want to watch your movie the old-school way? We also offer the LomoKino and LomoKinoscope package!