Hold on! Close your eyes, take a deep breath, put on your nose clip and plug your head into a goldfish-bowl full of water. Now open your eyes and look around – do you see and feel like a goldfish? No? Then you are in the right place, as this book is here to save you the trouble of bold ventures like that and caress your eyes with the finest Fisheye-Lomography that you have ever seen.
My friend, you’ll find everything required to make yourself into a true Fisheye virtuoso: complete info on our fisheye-cameras, hundreds of hot-to-death images, a ton of tips & tricks, profiles of hardcore Lomographers from around the world and something else that’s very special. I’m talking about exclusive conversations with real-life goldfish such as Wide-angle Willie, Close-up Jimmy, Lazy John & Winnie the View – the very fish that inspired us to create our own Fisheye cameras!
Why goldfish? Well, back in 2005, the Lomographic Society began probing the extraordinary lives that goldfish lead and our curiosity was insatiable. What is the connection between these charming little creatures and the distorted circular images that have captured our hearts like a thief in the night? We could tell you the whole deal about the American physicist R.W. Wood – who coined the term “fisheye” in 1906 as the idea that fish can look up through the water’s surface and see the sky as a finite circle. But what’s the fun in stories like this? If you really want all the hard scientific facts (the history of goldfish, the story of the fisheye view, and the tale of the Lomographic Society), then check out the References section at the end of this book. For right now, just open your ears and allow us to tell you the real reasons for our goldfish love.
My friend, it all happened like this.
We Lomographers (the restless hip-shooters, lovers of plastic cameras and Russian deadstock, creators of the 10 Golden Rules of Lomography *) stumbled upon the amazing and hitherto under-appreciated lives of goldfish, and were deeply enthralled by their extraordinary lifestyle and fisheye view. Yes, we’re talking about the little fellas that swim around our fish tanks, aquariums, zoos, bowls, and outdoor gardens – the same little guys who stroll around with their aquatic friends and look at you with their big and deceptively vacant eyes. Believe us, their low-key and dim-witted appearance is nothing more than a ruse to keep you from the amazing truth: that goldfish are crazy dudes who have boundless things to teach to any and all who are willing to listen!
Having discovered the depth of their true nature, there was no holding us back.
In order to supply the ranks of international Lomographers with tools that simulate the blazing fisheye-view and allow them to stroll around in the same curious, restless, open-minded and passionate way that goldfish do – we quickly designed and produced the Fisheye and Fisheye No. 2 cameras. These clever little photographic tools offer the same sparkling wide-angle and barrel-distorted view, invite to you get uncomfortably close to your subject, provide a huge depth-of-field, boast brilliant optics, offer a built-in flash, and have handy little features like a multiple exposure switch, long exposure option, and hot-shoe flash socket. As you will see throughout this book, these gizmos make you into an honorary goldfish (without scales and slime) and empower you to see the world through their eyes! Their design and function is 100% inspired by lovely, easy-going, and highly sophisticated little golden critters.
So buddy, yah wanna meet these rock n’ roll goldfish for yourself and learn from their wisdom? That’s exactly what we – and quite a bunch of other Lomographers – thought. So listen to this: to allow everyone to benefit from our outstanding discovery, we’ve called a meeting to further international understanding of the fisheye-view. We’ve invited both our gregarious goldfish friends and a diverse crew of nosy Lomographers for a lively roundtable get-together and a large glass of schnapps. Just like bread and butter, milk and honey and John and Yoko – the results of this cooperation were sweet n’ tasty and extremely prosperous. The whole crew was broken down into individual sessions (hosted and observed by our friendly LomoScientist), with each group assigned to discuss a particular aspect of the fisheye-view. Let us tell you, the Lomographers could not believe their eyes and ears! Far from being mere vacuous animals in a pond, the goldfish are serious players, swingers, disco-queens, playboys, hippies, lovers, freewheelers, and renaissance-fish.
It’s the truth. And here’s the best thing about it: you can be just like them!
The next 300 pages are filled with images, tips, tricks, ideas, concepts, sweet nothings, and careless whispers – all designed to cultivate your mastery of the fisheye technique! You’ll be awestruck by the manifold Lomographic surprises that are waiting here for you. Through reading this book, you’ll savor the sweet fishy fruits of International Lomography and – fuelled up with zest and inspiration – start some shaky fisheye-action of your own. Believe us, it’s rather hard to become a goldfish – but very easy and rewarding to become a Fisheye Lomographer!
In this spirit: Lomo on!
Your Lomographic Society International
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