Tracing your Lomo Beginnings: Why am I shooting film again?

14

Discovering Lomography was like awakening my inner child – I’m hooked on Lomo. Read on to find out why.

I grew up shooting film. I am someone Brian Auer would call an Old School Film Revert; a pre-digital film shooter that shot film, then digital, and then film again. But I have to say, I do use my camera phone quite a fair bit too.

I’ve been shooting film since the mid-1980s but I finally switched to digital photography in 2004 after missing a ‘key’ shot during my honeymoon. And with the affordability of digital compact cameras, it was an economically logical decision to switch.

Fast forward 8 years. My wife and I wandered into a local toy camera shop and we saw the Blackbird Fly. It made my heart beat faster. So, I did some research and found out about Lomography. I discovered that I liked cross-processed photos, which was something that I’ve not done before. That was when the film photography bug bit me again. That was the beginning of my adulterous affair with Lomography (remember, I’m married but thankfully, this is an ‘approved’ relationship by my wife).

Credits: uncle_jay

Soon after, during a holiday to Hong Kong and Taiwan, my wife and I found and bought some toy cameras. We got some no-name under water cameras in Hong Kong, and I got myself a Vivitar UWS clone, the Rainbow V, in Taiwan.

Then during a short getaway to Langkawi, Malaysia, I shot my first roll of slide film in a very long time. Below is one of my first cross processed photos snapped with the Rainbow V. Amazingly it’s one of the more popular photos of mine.

Credits: uncle_jay

The photography gods must be smiling on me, because shortly after my trip from Langkawi, I found my old Canon EOS 500 left in my dry box and wanted to know if they still worked. They did.

Credits: uncle_jay

And before I knew it, I collected 10 analogue cameras, from SLRs to rangefinders to compact cameras to Lomography cameras (LC-A Russia Day, LC-Wide & Lubitel 166+) and some no brand plastic ones, over a period of 10 months. Things have not been the same since. I’ve become more observant to my surroundings, looking out for the ‘Kodak Moment’.

Now back to the question, why am I shooting film again? Here are my reasons:

1. I want to recreate the type and quality of photos I remember seeing when I was growing up in the 70s and 80s

Credits: uncle_jay

2. I want to give my photos character

Credits: uncle_jay

3. I want to be able to shoot black and white film again

Credits: uncle_jay

4. I want to experiment with cross processing slide films

Credits: uncle_jay

5. I want to make my own redscale films that I didn’t know was possible when I was shooting negative films

Credits: uncle_jay

6. I want to shoot with toy cameras

Credits: uncle_jay

7. I want to try the different brands of films (fresh or expired) that I’ve not seen before

Credits: uncle_jay

8. But most importantly, film photography brings out my inner child

Credits: uncle_jay

And when people ask why I’m still shooting film, I tell them, “It’s therapeutic. It’s like Tai-Chi, it forces you to slow down and be in the moment. It makes you appreciate things better. Are you taking time to stop and smell the roses?”

What about you? Why are you shooting film? And for those who grew up shooting film, why are you shooting film again?

Do tell.

written by uncle_jay on 2012-11-22 in #lifestyle

14 Comments

  1. tunnybird
    tunnybird ·

    Lovely story, thanks and I can relate to much of what you describe. Especially about the inner child! I grew up in 70s New Zealand and we always had cheap film cameras lying around. I remember working hard for the entire summer holidays - picking raspberries. My arms were so scratched up by the end of the season, but I had my very own whiz bang camera to show for it! I can't recall what it was - I'm thinking a Kodak - maybe an Instamatic! I think it cost about $12 bucks - a lot of raspberries!! Loved it.

  2. ricoinbrooklyn
    ricoinbrooklyn ·

    Great story and pics!

  3. renenob
    renenob ·

    "Kodak Moment" -- Love it!

  4. adam_g2000
    adam_g2000 ·

    A very similar story to mine. Very similar reasons! Nice article.

  5. vonkrueger
    vonkrueger ·

    what a great article!

  6. uncle_jay
    uncle_jay ·

    @tunnybird: Thanks! And the Instamatic sure brings back lots of memories for me too! :)

  7. uncle_jay
    uncle_jay ·

    @adam_g2000: Thank you! :) Glad that my story resonated with you. I see parallels in our stories. :)

  8. uncle_jay
    uncle_jay ·

    @ricoinbrooklyn @vonkrueger: Thanks for reading my story! :)

  9. uncle_jay
    uncle_jay ·

    @renenob: Heh heh, the phrase rings a bell too? ;)

  10. wuxiong
    wuxiong ·

    Very good article..

  11. gelagoo
    gelagoo ·

    Great article @uncle_jay! It's nice to read stories from people who grew up with the medium and continue to use it. :)

  12. uncle_jay
    uncle_jay ·

    @wuxiong: Thanks wuxiong. And please do write an article on why you are shooting film again. I am confident that it would be motivational. :)

  13. uncle_jay
    uncle_jay ·

    @gelagoo: Hello! Glad to know that you found my story interesting. Hope it will spur more people to shoot film, or at least to give it a shot! :)

  14. lokified
    lokified ·

    What a lovely story! I too am an Old School Film Revert, and similarly was woo'd back by a plastic camera (in my case a Diana Mini).

    I think part of my love of film is not just the oddball effects and character that each camera can bring to the film, or the different ways each film can be shot, but the mystery. I mean, I have a very good digital camera that I am good enough with. It takes perfect photos nearly all of the time. I always know what I'll get with my digital. With film, I might get a ruined shot, or I might get a wildly unpredictable amazing shot. I'll never know until I develop it. :)

More Interesting Articles

  • Summer Hot Spots: Blaavand, Denmark (Part Two)

    written by dermanu on 2014-09-22 in #world #locations
    Summer Hot Spots: Blaavand, Denmark (Part Two)

    When I was a child, I regularly went to Blaavand, located at the Danish west coast, with my brothers and parents. I stopped going there as I grew up. In 2012 however, we hit the road again. It was my first return visit in about 20 years. I took the chance and packed as many cameras as possible into my luggage. In part two of my journey log, I'm going to show you the pictures I took with my Lomography cameras.

  • The New Petzval Lens: For Portraits with Swirly Bokeh

    written by wesco on 2014-11-27 in #reviews
    The New Petzval Lens: For Portraits with Swirly Bokeh

    My brother purchased the new Petzal lens by Lomography and Zenit through the Kickstarter campaign. Last spring, I was able to borrow it for a few weeks. Read on to find out my first impressions of this portrait lens!

    1
  • Summer Hot Spots: Blaavand, Denmark (Part One)

    written by dermanu on 2014-08-31 in #world #locations
    Summer Hot Spots: Blaavand, Denmark (Part One)

    When I was a child, I regularly went to Blaavand located at the Danish west coast with my brothers and my parents. However, I didn't anymore when I grew up. But in 2012, we hit the road again. It was my first visit there in about 20 years. I took the chance and packed as many cameras as possible into my luggage. In this article, I'm going to present to you the photos I took with my Nikon F-501 SLR.

  • Shop News

    Try the LomoLAB Development Service!

    Try the LomoLAB Development Service!

    Whatever kind of film development you're after, you'll find it here! Now you can confidently shoot from the hip without having to worry where to develop those film rolls!

  • Is Having Your Analogue Treasure Repaired Worth It?

    written by inrod on 2014-06-30 in #gear #tipster
    Is Having Your Analogue Treasure Repaired Worth It?

    Sometimes it is worth having your analogue camera repaired instead of getting a replacement. Read on to find out why.

    9
  • Film Experiments: A Roll of Film in Acid

    written by simonesavo on 2014-08-29 in #gear #tipster
    Film Experiments: A Roll of Film in Acid

    This is a film soup that I came up with a long time ago but was not happy about it at all. In fact, I've slightly modified it for this tipster that I'm about to share with you. Read on to find out more.

    1
  • Summer Hot Spots: A Morning Sunbath in Varazze

    written by sirio174 on 2014-08-01 in #world #locations
    Summer Hot Spots: A Morning Sunbath in Varazze

    This is the story of my first adventure on the beach this year. In the middle of June, I took my first sunbath along the seaside on a small public beach in Varazze - a rather small and unkempt place which I will never return to in the future. Read more to find out why!

  • Shop News

    Get 20% off on the Lomography Experimental Lens Kit

    Get 20% off on the Lomography Experimental Lens Kit

    Satisfy your hunger for creative snap-shooting with this lens package made especially for Micro 4/3 digital cameras.

  • My First Lomo Affair: Wesco and his La Sardina

    written by icequeenubia on 2014-07-17 in #lifestyle
    My First Lomo Affair: Wesco and his La Sardina

    It may take a while for some lomographers to figure out the perfect combination of camera, film, and accessory that suit their needs. But, Wessel de Haas, aka wesco, has been extremely lucky to find his early on his journey to Lomography. Find out what film and accessory he likes pairing his La Sardina 8Ball with in this edition of My First Lomo Affair!

    2
  • Wide-Angle Photo Tips: Size matters!

    written by dopa on 2014-07-15 in #gear #tipster
    Wide-Angle Photo Tips: Size matters!

    In your daily photo practice, a slight difference in focal length can have a huge impact on your images. Does it adjust everything in the photo? Do I get that entire steeple on the image without having to go so far back and then shooting in the sun? How exactly does a fisheye lens work? Read on and find out the answer.

  • Linuxbcn and His Weapon of Choice: Lomography Redscale ISO 100 (120 mm)

    written by icequeenubia on 2014-04-17 in #lifestyle
    Linuxbcn and His Weapon of Choice: Lomography Redscale ISO 100 (120 mm)

    Awed by the eye-popping fiery red shade the film produces, Joan brands the Lomography Redscale 100 (120 mm) as the most original emulsion in Lomography's catalogue. Aside from this, he also enjoys experimenting with the film's ISO to produce a variety of stunning results. Read on to find out why linuxbcn chose the Lomography Redscale 100 as his Weapon of Choice!

    2
  • Shop News

    Immortalize your best shot on Aluminium!

    Immortalize your best shot on Aluminium!

    Carefully enlarged from your negatives onto premium photographic paper by lab professionals, each picture is a unique piece of craftsmanship.

  • An Interview with Film Photographer Julia Tröndle

    written by chooolss on 2014-03-26 in #lifestyle
    An Interview with Film Photographer Julia Tröndle

    Young Austrian photographer and Fine Art student Julia Tröndle first caught our attention earlier this month through her fascinating work in poetic photography. When we got in touch with her for an interview, we were also able to find out that she not only shoots but also writes poetry, and is a big fan of Lomography as well! Read on to find out more about our featured photographer – from her beginnings in analogue photography to The Poetic Photography Collection – as well as see a selection of her work that she has personally collated!

    5
  • Film Photography Day Events in Soho

    written by hannah_brown on 2014-03-24 in #events
    Film Photography Day Events in Soho

    To celebrate Film Photography Day, Lomography Gallery Store Soho has organised a very special Scavenger Hunt! You'll be put in groups and given the task of finding and shooting as many items on our list. This event is FREE and there are prizes to be won! Alternatively pop in store on the day for the chance to win an LCA+. Read on to find out how.

  • On Discovering the LC-A+’s Charm

    written by chooolss on 2014-03-19 in #reviews
    On Discovering the LC-A+’s Charm

    During the last two weeks of February I was finally able to shoot with the LC-A+. It was only then that I was able to find out for myself just why many lomographers love to shoot with this awesome little camera.

    2