This is the story of how I fell down the rabbit hole of Lomography, discovered a new language of light, and learned to see the world anew.
The little blue camera caught me by surprise, winking at me from inside its box. The lens was round and glassy, like a bright pupil resting in a brilliant blue iris. It begged to be let out and chased, to see the world, to have grand adventures and narrow escapes. I obliged and tumbled through the lens of my new friend, thirsty for light. Like Alice, the girl of wonderland, I had discovered a hidden landscape of color and perspective, where the boundary around reality was blurred and the busyness of life buzzed in my ears and in my eyes.
The Lomography Fisheye was given to me by a dear friend several years ago when we were both enrolled in a photography course at our school. We had limited experience with film, and no experience at all with “toy” cameras. At the time, photography was a serious subject, with tricky light meters, fickle chemical recipes, and heavy lessons of composition and concept. The Fisheye freed me from all that. One aperture, one shutter speed, and one lens to befriend. In mastering the ultimate point-and-shoot, I hardly even used the viewfinder.
The Fisheye was my constant companion. Hand in hand, we visited natural history museums, airports, cathedrals, birthday parties, and even the beautiful and bleak beaches of Normandy. I started university, and soon the demands of higher-ups pushed photography to a back burner of my head, but it was just hibernating and waiting for the thaw.
A few months ago I rediscovered my old Fisheye, buried in a box, but dust-free and ready to go. I loaded her up and started shooting again, waiting impatiently for my prints from the lab. I joyfully discovered the Lomo website and the smorgasbord of cameras, photos, tipsters, and analogue love. After careful consideration, I purchased a Holga 135, and set about getting to know its idiosyncrasies both charming and mysterious. The old photography lessons came back to me as I reacquainted myself with the viewfinder and the practice of manual focusing and, yes, even the heavyweights: composition and concept. I love the Holga 135 to plasticky bits, but I will always have a home in my heart for the Fisheye.
Since reigniting my affair with Lomography, I dream more vividly and more often. Dream-colors are extra juicy, time is tangible, the light is piercing and brilliant.
My doppelgänger, Alice, muses, “I wonder if I’ve been changed in the night? Let me think. Was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a little different.” Like the stranger visiting a land of wonder, I rather think I’ve been changed.
Lomography’s Fisheye One is the world’s first compact 35mm fisheye camera. With a sweeping 170-degree view and slamming colours and contrasts, the Fisheye One will certainly give you great circular shots every time. See it with the rest of our Fisheye cameras here!