When using the camera to take a photo, there are loads of things to bear in mind in order to get the best results. Here is a guide that will help you make the most out of your camera.
There are tons of concepts that we know, don’t know, or that we know but take for granted. Besides, Lomo-newbies always have the same doubts: What is the best way of taking a camera? Why is what I see through the viewfinder is not what I get? And many more… Lots of questions that we just don’t dare to ask, because we don’t want to look silly or just because we omit them.
Let’s start from scratch.
1 – Holding your camera
Loads of cameras (Lomo, Lomo-reflex, reflex, etc.) have a light meter, shutter speed adjusters, etc. The thing is, is that the way we hold our camera will help us take photos with a slower shutter speed or in B Mode.
We normally tend to hold the camera in different ways, but one of the best and most comfy ways of doing it is the following (from my point of view):
- Palm-up hand, fingers pointing to the other arm (if you are left-handed, your fingers must point to your right arm and for those right-handed, the other way round).
- Put the camera on the palm and your thumb, forefinger and/or middle finger either on the lens or on the sides of the camera.
WATCH OUT for your hand, as it might appear on the frame of the picture.
This way, our camera is more stable when taking photos in bad lighting conditions (and therefore needing a slow shutter speed). Our hand becomes some sort of natural tripod.
2 – Aim and shoot
When we are newbies, we often ask ourselves: Why is that what I got was not what I saw through the viewfinder? I asked myself this very question many a time when I started using my Fisheye Nº2. I used to take the photos looking through the viewfinder directly and my photos were different. The reason is quite simple: These cameras are not WYSIWYG, so what we see is only a reference.
We normally look through the viewfinder (in this case the Diana F+, but it happens with most Lomo cameras), which is denoted by the yellow arrow. However, what the lens sees, vector wise, is the green arrow. (It obviously captures a wider field, but to be more practical I used the arrow).
The distance d is the difference between what we see and what is shot. That is, the difference we see when we develop the film. The distance d is the distance between the center of the viewfinder and that of what the lens captured.
When I took my first pics with the Fisheye Nº2, I saw a circular number scheme. I focused, centered the viewfinder and shot. The result? It obviously was not what I wanted:
To focus, look through the viewfinder and then lift the camera a bit, trying to put the lens at the height of the eye.
The distance d is reduced almost to zero, since we can always fail. But with practice, we will be able to do it systematically and get perfectly-framed photos.
WATCH OUT! This works with all non-reflex cameras. We must take the height of the lens into consideration in order to get the results we want. I have added some photos taken with the Fisheye to explain it better.
But at the end of the day, my tips are not that important. To adjust and move the camera before shooting might seem a bit tedious. However, after some time, these movements will be more natural and will help us get better-framed and more stable photos.
…But as one of our Golden Rules say, “Don’t think”. It doesn’t matter how many tips I can give you. The don’t-think-and-shoot rule will help your photos give life, movement and Lomo-love.