Many people don't know that film photography is still alive and polaroids are making a comeback. So, it caused quite a stir when I went around this Halloween spreading some monstrous LOMO love! Read about it after the jump!
I love Halloween. It’s my favorite day of the American social calendar and my license to create and celebrate all things crazy. This year, I decided to pay homage to my new love, the Lomo camera!
After some research online, I noticed that people have made functional digital camera costumes for Halloween before, but there’s no Google-able record of a Giant Monster functional film camera. So, with 72 hours to go, I quickly went to work.
For the wow factor, I think a giant flash would suffice. But, to drive home the fact that films and Polaroids are still alive, I went to town installing an actual Diana+ Instant Back inside the costume. One good thing about working in a big science research center is that they pretty much have all the disposable scrap materials I need, from cardboard boxes to solder, to buckets.
1 Diana F+ Flash
1 Diana Instant back + Fuji mini Instax film
1 cable release
1 extended electrical cords & solder
1 bucket as the lens housing
1 beach ball as the lens optics
1 Fisheye2 packaging plastic dome as flash bulb
1 Diana packaging box as viewfinder
1 large, 1 medium and 2 small cardboard boxes
Construction-wise, there were only 4 main issues.
1) Where to place/hide the Diana Instant back, such that my hand can easily access the side slit and give away Polaroids.
Eventually, I disguised the Diana inside the viewfinder (an original Diana packaging box) sitting on top of the main camera body. A big side slit was created, so that the Fuji Instax can just slide out.
2) How to reversibly connect and extend the Diana F+ flash, such that I can still use it normally afterwards.
After some trial and error, I soldered wires onto the two adaptors that let us interchange between the 2-prong Diana F+ and standard hot shoes. Manipulating the standard/flat parts of these adaptors gave me the most reliable result, flashing 10 for 10. Soldering the 2-prong bits, on the other hand, gave me viable success rates.
3) How to get out of the box?
With 10/31 fast approaching, I had no chance of making this box looking anything like a Diana F+ or LC-A+. But the real shock came one morning, when I noticed that my white and boxy creation looked eerily like a washing machine. Ah!!! Artistic intervention!
4) What about the giant lens?
This is the part I got stuck most. I gave up after wandering up and down the supermarket aisles looking for something big and curvy and glass-like. Little did I know, that it was a blessing in disguise. Still scattered around my living room were globe-like beach balls from summer. As soon as I loaded one into the bucket, I could sense a fitting symbolism.
How do we see this world? We see it through the places we’ve been. Had we come from another country or from the other side of the border, we’d see things very differently.
The first lesson I learnt, was that the lens cap is my enemy. After several blank Polaroids and disappointed clients, I simply have to stop recapping. Period.
The second lesson? Lift! As it turned out, my actual Diana was pointing down because of the weigh of my lens/bucket at the front.
The dilemma with shooting Polaroids or Instax is, of course, to give or not to give them away. This time, only couple didn’t slip through my fingers…
As the good time rolled, I ran out of Instax films and started clicking away with my LC-A+. So here’s more 35mm goodness, to complete my very LOMO Halloween!
Who said film is dead?!
Lomo Action: Watch the behind-the-scene footage of my Lomo camera costume!