She considers herself “a bit crazy” but I’m pretty sure that it is the good kind! A lover of the sea and the sun, this damsel from Russia is here to tell us a bit of her insane Lomography story and how, in the span of six years, has made her to love this Community and the friendship it brings.
Her LomoHome name can be mistaken of a man’s (sure, I was fooled once) but don’t let her film photographs deceive you! For they are beautiful and sure have become a favourite of many! Let us pop the champagne for this week’s LomoGuru, japsix!
Name: Dasha Altabaeva
Lomography Username: japsix
Number of years as a Lomographer: 8
Number of years in the Community: 6
Tell us something about yourself… What do you do for a living? What are your main interests?
As you can see from my LomoHome, summer is always on my mind. The sea and the sun, my dear friends, family, Sevastopol, taking photos, and enjoying everyday life… These are my main interests, I guess.
Unfortunately, I cannot spend all days traveling and taking photos as I have to work, like all of us do. But after all, that’s not so bad, ‘cause there is always a bit of magic in every single day, even if it was a hard-working day.
Tell us something about your LomoHome’s name. Why that username? Or if that’s your actual name, what would be a different LomoHome name you’d like to have?
Oh, this is a hard question for me! To be honest, there is no particular reason. When I was creating my LomoHome long ago in 2007, I wanted to name it Dasha, like my real name. But the name was already unavailable so I tried two more options I had in min. The same result, then two more, but still no success.
It is always such a headache for me, when I have to name something! So I was starting to feel like quitting everything and not creating a LomoHome at all… And then I remembered about the silly name of my mailbox “japsix” which in Russian could actually mean “I’m crazy.” The story behind that is very simple; I was 17, creating my first mailbox. After submitting about 50 different versions of mailbox names (which were all already taken, of course) I got so mad, that I decided to name my mailbox “I’m crazy” and it worked! The mailbox name was finally available! Afterwards, I got a lot of versions of the meaning and transcript of “japsix.” My favorite one is “Japan six” whatever that means.
Many people here in the Community said that they thought I was a man because “japsix” sounds very masculine and because of all those pretty girl’s portraits I post. First I even thought about creating a new LomoHome with a different name but decided to leave everything as it is. After all, I am a bit crazy!
Share to us your most memorable experience in the Lomographic Community.
The most memorable experience the Lomographic Community gave me is friendship.
Thanks to Lomography, I met my dear friend Vanya lomovan, the lovely Katik katya-leontyeva, and the kindest man on Earth plavaliznaem. A true LomoGuru grad and Julia wondersattva, traveler and adventurer Willie wil6ka, Denis life_on_mars and his beautiful family. There are many others whom I love though we have never met: jeabzz, adi_totp, atria007, bravopires, dakadev_pui, cyan-shine, disdis, grazie, itisanormalname, pepper-b, stouf, satomi, 134340, sobetion, mafiosa among many others!
Have you actually met people in the Community that you now consider as close friends?
As you already know from the previous question, I did meet some and is hoping to meet many others in the future. So I’ll tell you a bit more about how I met my best Lomofriend.
I think it was in the beginng of 2009 when I saw a gorgeous photo of Sevastopol in one of the albums of the Russian Lomographic Community. I wrote a comment, asking if the author actually lived there and a few months later, when I came to Sevastopol to visit my parents I planned to meet this talented photographer. But as it usually happens, I was so busy meeting all the members of my family that I didn’t manage to meet a new friend. Imagine my surprise, when a few days after my return to Moscow, Vanya posted a photo of me with a comment: “I guess it was you carrying a yellow Fisheye on the Fiolent beach last week.”
Vanya (lomovan) has a true talent in capturing the atmosphere of the moment, the beauty of the light, and moreover, he is one of the kindest and nicest people I know. Looking at his photos, I can the smell the air and the warmth of the sun. Riding his bike, Vanya has collected a huge number of gorgeous shots of the Crimean nature. And I promise to make a special article about it very soon.
Do you think you’ll still be taking Lomographs in the next 5 years? Why?
Sure! Taking photos is a part of my life and it is my favourite.
What is your favorite Lomo camera and why? Do you have any memorable experiences while using this camera?
For me each camera is unique. Different moods are drawn from different cameras. My first true love was the SuperSampler and its four eyes (I’ve got six broken SuperSamplers and I can not imagine throwing them away as I love them so much.)
The second and long-lasting love is my dear LC-A+. It is fast, unpredictable, and so small you can carry it in a pocket wherever you go.
Dasha shares a short story about her and her beloved SuperSampler!
The funniest and most memorable Lomographic experience I’ve had happened while using the SuperSample: A couple of years ago I was in Sevastopol and together with my Mom, we went to the local market. We were in the meat department, scary and fascinated at the same time and place! You know, all those big knifes, white aprons covered with blood…
I had a SuperSampler with me so I decided to take some photos. I took it out of my pocket and started moving my hand along the counter. A saleswoman, two of her neighbors and some customers, who stood next to me suddenly stopped talking and drew their eyes to me and my buzzing plastic friend with a look of complete confusion on their faces. My Mom, who knew what was going on, giggled by my side.
Then after a few moments of silence, one of the customers asked me in a very demanding tone: “What is it? What are you doing?” While I started mumbling something about the film camera, he continued: “Is it some kind of a device that measures radiation? So how is the result? Is this meat safe?” And suddenly everyone around me seemed to breathe freely again and the customers asked me if the meat was good or not! So the saleswomen claimed to prove that it was very good and no one absolutely wanted to listen about the SuperSampler being an analogue camera!
So all I could do was play along and state that everything was okay with radiation level and everyone could buy whatever they wanted. Unfortunately, the photos didn’t turn out very good as there was not enough light in the market. Still, this is the funniest Lomographic experience I’ve ever had.
Please share your most favourite Lomographic photo that you took and explain why.
For now, this is one of my favorite pictures. I like how redscale film and the Lubitel worked together to capture the warmth and tenderness of that moment. It really feels like summer when you look at the picture.
Please share a Lomograph you wish you took and explain why.
This is a picture from my dreams: sea, beach, a running horse, and a dog by its side — happiness and freedom! I hope one day I wiil see it with my own eyes.
What’s the best Lomographic or photography advice you think you have given?
Trust yourself and don’t stop shooting.
If there’s one song or movie that best describes your Lomo life, what is that and why?
This is a tough question, just one song or one movie to describe my Lomo life! Well, let it be Depeche Mode’s “Just Can’t Get Enough.” ‘Cause I just can’t get enough of Lomography!
Is there any advice you can give to new analogue shooters?
Shoot more and don’t miss the every day that wonders around you.
Do you think you’re qualified as a LomoGuru? Got something to share in our Community? Then drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and you might become the next LomoGuru!