Here, I tell about how I began my pursuits as a lomographer from an odd beginning.
Before I became an addict for analogue I was part of a college course that mainly consisted of constant use of digital. The only real time I had spent with film photography was a few lessons in the dark room, painting with chemicals. After that point it was burn this, point that, clone stamp this… However, this all changed one fateful day, just before Christmas in the year of 2010, when I found a Zenit XP12 in a bin! That’s right, as if it was a common piece of rubbish. Little did I know how much of an impact this camera would have on me.
After a few horrible days cooped up in doors with no more to photograph than some pulled crackers and a dog in a paper crown (which never came out, disappointingly) the Zenit was on it’s way for an adventure into a new year. And as with all new years, there must always be a New Year’s Eve party. This was where the Zenit would first come in to it’s own, both a conversation piece and a camera – nothing says ’I’m here to party’ clearer than displaying ‘hand made in USSR’ on your bottom.
Then came the morning after the night before, looking into the judging eye of the lens as it peers at you from the other side of the pillow. What have you seen? It is only at this point I realised that in all the excitement of taking my flash new/old camera to show off, I had completely forgotten that I had already lost two rolls of film to it’s jaws of fate, as I had no idea how to rewind the film. I said to myself in my worse-for-wear state that I should probably remember. I did not.
A few months down the line I found a guide to an old Zenit whilst researching in my college course. This prompted me to remember the camera I had taken to New Year’s Eve. I hurried home, managed to rewind the film successfully and find a film canister for it too. Then, I promptly forgot about it. Again. Until June, 6 months after it was used, I picked up that film canister after having left it on the windowsill and took it to my local photo shop. There it began, as the prints were handed over the counter, it was love at first site. Light bleeding in from the sprocket holes during its time spent basking in the sun, silhouettes a plenty and friends captured in a way I could never have done so with digital.
Since then I’ve gained another 7 cameras, played around with different films, filters and flashes, cross processed and gone underwater. I’ve never looked back once.