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My 2011 in Analogue: Constantly Pushing the Envelope of Lomo Possibilities

2011 may not be the best year of my life but definitely not the least to be remembered. With almost 12K lomographs uploaded, winning a trip to Rio last April and to Seoul in January 2012 plus finally being the LHOTD after 3 years, I ain't complaining. Looking back, this year has blessed me with lots of opportunities to constantly push the envelope of my lomo possibilities.

Photo by lakandula

KEY LESSON LEARNED
Early in my lomohistory I discovered my journey would be a rough one. I made shots that I myself did not like much. In fact, I made more crappy shots than pleasant ones. While people in this community would generally embrace those mistakes as beautiful, as years go by allowing me to have more hands-on encounters with different cameras and films, I started to believe that not all mistakes are beautiful. Some are really awful which by the way should teach me a lesson or two not to repeat the same mistakes again; some are beautiful accidents that open up positive surprises and other ways of appreciating beauty. Knowing the cruel difference between pathetic and decent shots have helped me evolve my sense of aesthetics by which to benchmark and improve my craft (and prevent my shots from just running around in circles). My shots are not perfect and still far from the level of many seasoned ace lomographers in this community. I would describe my body of work as an acquired taste – something not many people would probably like or comment about that’s why you would seldom see my shots in the popular section (or perhaps many of my friends find it difficult to comment due to the language barrier or are just off-line most of the time… :D). But I can categorically say based on my own standards I’m making less bad mistakes now than before. Somehow that belief has given me confidence to keep going. I’m evolving. I’m a work-in-progress.

MY GEAR ACQUISITION SYNDROME
This year I added the Diana Mini and the Sprocket Rocket to my lomo arsenal. I recently used my piggies for a La Sardina Marathon hoping the package would arrive in time for Christmas but as of the time of this writing, no shadow of the package has been reportedly seen at the doorstep.

LOMOGRAPHING MY OTHER PASSIONS
I documented my journey through the 365 days of 2011 in the many facets of my life…

As a mountaineer and nature lover trekking towards mountain peaks and exploring many other possible outdoor adventures like rock climbing and swimming…

As a passionate cultural worker engaged in development work in mostly poor and marginalized communities specially in remote villages of the Philippines…

As a political activist making a stand on social issues such as armed conflict, disasters, sexuality, reproductive health, social justice, climate change, etc.

As a wild artist finding his voice through experimental analogue photography and creating his own body of work…

As an active member of this community participating in collaborations like film swapping with Isabel Romua (ceduxion) and Sammy Magsino (sami-san) and analogue projects like Richard Legg and Jake Woods-Maher’s Have You Seen Bob, and Whilst We Wait by Erin Emocling (basterda) and learning so much in the whole process. I have sent Mohd Ariff (ripsta) a few rolls from Rio and awaiting progress.

A VARIETY OF MUSES
I am dreamer and my visions come to me inspired by different muses…

My niece Ayana who is ever fearless of the camera and game enough to try crazy ideas appearing in many of my portraits…

My artist-friends who would immediately jump in to spontaneously improvise poses, characters and attitudes and whose company has artistically drawn out the best in me…

Heroes and cultural icons – local and foreign – who are worth emulating or whose life is a vast source of inspiration…

FAVE SUBJECTS ASIDE FROM SELF-PORTRAITS
As I am more inclined to have an eclectic style that is more spontaneous yet purposeful, my subjects are born out of a wide range of interests that are not merely limited to…

Interesting places visited, work-related or not (Baywalk, Sagay, Talisay, HongKong, Calape, Los Baños, Divisoria)…

And cultural events witnessed (e.g., Aliwan Festival, Pahiyas, Pasinaya, Caracol)…

TRANSFORMING CHALLENGES INTO OPPORTUNITIES
Embraced the challenges that arose this year like shooting with my LCA+ with a seemingly faulty lightmeter. Still loving the results but the camera is now under surgery in a Hidalgo shop.

LOVING MX
Fused different images together in one frame by using different cameras – first frames marked or unmarked – to enjoy…

Doing doubles…

And exploring triples…

GOING CRAZY
Experimented with various media and tried every weird idea that came to my brain in terms of using and playing with:

Colors and textures…

Film negatives…

Sprocket holes…

CDs…

Texts…

Framing…

Bokehs…

PENCHANT FOR DESTRUCTION
Dared to destroy my films prior to developing through induced chemical reactions using soap solution, saline bath, coke marinade, strawberry wine, sour soup mix, bleach… practically whatever was available in the kitchen. Well, the bleach doesn’t belong in the kitchen, right?

KEEPING MY LOMOHOME ALIVE
Aside from uploading tons of lomographs, I tried my best to be active through almost daily posts, shouts, comments, selective likes, articles, blogs and joining competitions.

BAD HAIR DAYS
Bounced back from losing a lot of rumbles and resolved to do better next time. I comforted myself with the thought that defeat is just a technical rehearsal for success.

CLOUD NINE
On few occasions, mostly unexpected, I counted the flood of congratulations as a humbling experience and a great opportunity to expand my comfort zone and know the world through free travels. Gaining friends and saving piggies had been welcome expansion.

NOTES TO LSI
As I begin a new chapter in my lomolife in 2012, I look forward to seeing more improvements in my lomohome.

Photo by lakandula

Since I love making multiple exposures using different cameras, please make tagging the multiple cameras in the lab to really work. Sometimes I noticed that the ones I tagged eventually appeared to only register one of the cameras (and mostly biased for the Lomography-branded). It is frustrating that I tried to patiently tag properly my lomographs and then to no avail (sometimes).

I have made comments in the past re: the albums keep changing order. Can it be simpler that albums appear automatically in reverse chronological order based on date posted? Or make this an option. I value the order of my albums as a personal visual timeline to track the ups and downs of my photography.

Liking or commenting on collaboration photos can sometimes be cumbersome when the collaborators are all your friends. Can LSI create a mechanism that can automatically register the like or the comment in the lomohome of all those involved? Just the same, can posting collaboration album be also automatically replicated on all lomohomes concerned?

Photo by lakandula

MY RESOLUTION
I have high hopes for 2012 and the years to come. I plan to shoot more because I know every shot will be a preparation for something great (at least in my dream). I’ll squeeze some more creative juices out of my mind to come up with other ways I have not tried.

Photo by lakandula

Maybe I’ll still make lots of crappy shots but I hope they’ll be much less compared to the ones I’ll be proud to call my own. Will keep pushing the envelope of my lomo possibilities.

Photo by lakandula

As film photographers, our photos become part of our journey through everyday life. For this year’s series, our Lomographers encapsulate their trials, joys and the various highlights of their lives in 2011. Read more articles on the Year Ender series.

written by lakandula

21 comments

  1. mephisto19

    mephisto19

    wow!

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  2. maxwellmaxen

    maxwellmaxen

    DOPE!

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  3. ripsta

    ripsta

    awesome! hai lakan,got many things to do,i try my best to finish it : )

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  4. twinklecat

    twinklecat

    These are wonderful! Such fabulous colors and a wide-angle range of images! Lomo on!

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  5. grazie

    grazie

    Wow! Awesome Lakan! Truly one of my favorites here and you've inspired me to take more and more lomographs this year, and to experiment more . Always proud of you my friend! Mabuhay!

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  6. superlighter

    superlighter

    what a fantastic image creator! a true master!

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  7. vicuna

    vicuna

    Fantastic 2011 retrospective, full of great pictures!!!

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  8. bylcuenca

    bylcuenca

    thanks @lakandula for keeping me inspired... shooting the lomo way... happy new year! =)

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  9. tallgrrlrocks

    tallgrrlrocks

    One of my idols, the great @lakandula ! Your creativity and passion is truly inspiring :) Enjoy your Seoul trip!

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  10. superkulisap

    superkulisap

    We haven't really met in person but I've heard a lot of great things about you and those great things really manifested in your work. Truly one of Manila's finest lomographers.

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  11. lawypop

    lawypop

    @lakandula Always inspired to see your work EVERYDAY! haha i really have to take my lomo hat off to you for having this incredible passion to take so many lomographs and they are often Award winning! and YES after Rio and then Seoul! :D Let's ALL push the creative envelope :D

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  12. zoe191

    zoe191

    excellent!

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  13. renenob

    renenob

    Lakan, thank for set the bar so high! Thank you for the inspiration!

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  14. thomas-matthew-wood

    thomas-matthew-wood

    Wow, an incredible set of inspiring photos and ideas that we can all learn from! Many thanks and have a happy new year.

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  15. antibiotyx

    antibiotyx

    *applause* isa kang alamat, lakan!

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  16. houda21

    houda21

    Thanks for such an inspirational article! I've only owned my Diana Mini since July so I'm still making silly mistakes but your article has inspired me to keep going! Hopefully I'll get as good as you eventually. Plus I love your double exposures!

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  17. stouf

    stouf

    How could so much talent fit in one person ? Have a fantastic year my friend !

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  18. borisgloger

    Wow - I am impressed. You did a great job! I am very impressed .... thanks for sharing this with us.
    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  19. kdstevens

    kdstevens

    @lakandula you are a true Lomo hero and an inspiration in so many ways. Looking over your work in this article has made me realize how much you have helped define analog photography for me and how many of your ideas have been adopted by myself and others. You are a visionary my friend and I look forward to watching your work evolve in the New Year.

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  20. boobert

    boobert

    Manila's Finest! Great job! looking forward to another year of your Lomo creations!

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  21. af-capture

    af-capture

    superb!!!!

    almost 2 years ago · report as spam