For him, film photography should be enjoyed in the same manner one savors a fancy chocolate bar. Let's all welcome Poland-based visual artist Charlie Dance, or micky_s in the Community, our LomoGuru of the Week!
Name: Charlie Dance
Location: Warsaw, Poland
Number of years as a Lomographer: 4 years
Number of years in the Community: 3 years
Tell us about yourself.
I am a visual artist and curator. You can look at some of my works here.
Currently, I live in Poland but I work for a gallery in the UK. Also, I am studying in the Netherlands for my Masters in Fine Art, so my life is rather complicated. Sometimes, I struggle to remember where I am but living in Poland for the last eight months or so has been amazing. Warsaw is a great city filled with wonderful people.
I love riding my bike around the city or on longer trips to the countryside. I try to take it for a spin every day although sometimes I prefer a more relaxed amble around. I think I would be very sad if I will not go outside at least once a day, even on the coldest days. This summer has been amazing and I will definitely miss it when it’s gone!
Tell us something about your LomoHome’s name. Why did you decide to have that username?
I have a long and complicated relationship with my own name. My LomoHome name gives a clue to what my real name is. Sometimes, I wish I could change my LomoHome name but whatever, that’s life.
Share with us your most memorable experience in the Community.
Getting my friend whatisphotography addicted to analogue was pretty fun! She got totally hooked!
Also, getting my first article published was a good feeling, especially because Lomography had helped me get through some hard adjustment time.
Have you actually met people in the Community that you now consider as close friends? If yes, name at least one of them.
A couple here and there but whatisphotography is kind of the reverse: a real life friend I introduced to the Community. There’s a number of Community members that I chat to quite regularly, such as palepony and marta1901, but I’ve not met them yet. I keep meaning to meet up with tall_bastard now that I live in Warsaw but we haven’t gotten around to it yet.
Do you think you’ll still be taking Lomographs in the next 5 years? Why?
Yes, of course. I love taking images. Although I am a visual artist by trade, Lomography actually comes as an relaxation aid that allows me to escape from the conceptual complexities of my work. Taking an analogue camera with me on trips and days out is much more fun than digital. Looking at life through a real glass lens is much more satisfying. It also means you spend more time actually looking at real life rather than viewing it through an LCD screen. Digital also reminds me too much of work!
What is your favorite Lomo camera and why? Do you have any memorable experiences using this camera?
This is tough because a new camera has recently come into my life – a Petri 7s II which I nicknamed Snickers. This camera is a little beauty! The latest couple of albums on my LomoHome will show you how amazing the images this camera takes are. They are crisp, clean, and have amazing colors.
My stalwart and the camera that had always accompanied me around before I found the Petri was my amazing little Smena 8M. This camera takes amazing images. It is light and very versatile. You can easily shoot redscale with it. Read my tipster about that here.
So right now, these are my two favorite cameras. The other great thing is I got Smena for around €4 and Snickers for €12! I love a bargain!
Neither of these and a very few cameras on my whole collection need batteries. I love this fact. It is one of the reasons the LC-A doesn’t come out with me that often.
Please share with us your favorite Lomographic shot and explain why you love that particular image.
This image is my favorite – ‘The Magic Bike.’ I shot this in Warsaw when I went for a visit a couple of years ago. It was during one of my saunters around the city, exploring back courts and staircases. At the top of one staircase in the Praga district, at east side of the river, I found this old abandoned bicycle and shot this with Smena. I love this shot – the window, the light, everything. It was one of the first shots I took with Smena and has been a firm favorite ever since.
Please share a Lomograph you wish you had taken and explain why.
This is a really tricky one and it is really hard to think of which one because there are so many amazing shots out there. Some are complicated, elaborate, technical shots, and some are off-the-cuff quick snaps. Some are actually rubbish photos but hold in them the charm of true analogue love.
For the shot I’ve chosen, it’s not really about any of these things. The shot I’ve chosen explains how I wish I could be braver and be a bit more audacious with taking images. I am quite shy so I find it very difficult to take pictures of random people – people on the street, people whose faces are interesting or are doing something interesting. Often, I see a scene that I want to take an image of but by the time I’ve plucked up the courage, it is already too late and the moment has passed. So, I picked this image:
It encapsulates my own thoughts and wishes. These two old guys chatting away and making gestures that suggest that they are talking about the couple across. While they themselves are being observed by the photographer, sirio174. sirio174 is quite safe and unobserved by either party but not until he click the camera shutter!
What’s the best Lomographic or photography advice you think you have given?
Just relax and enjoy it. Don’t think about too many things apart from maybe getting the shot straight and all the rest will look after itself. This is a classic example of an advice I give but don’t take myself. I always manage to take wonky photos but let’s call it style. If it’s going to be a great photo, it’s going to be a great one. And if not? It’s still great!
If there’s one song or movie that best describes your Lomo life, which one is it and why?
Man, this is a tricky one and I really do not know. This is such a fluid situation that moves all the time but one of my favorite movies of all time has to be The Motorcycle Diaries.
It tells the story of Che Guevara’s journey around South America and the shaping of his political and social mind. The shots are beautiful and they make me want to go to all those places, especially the scene where they cross Chile on a boat. It has so much atmosphere. It is great. There are also plenty of photos from that trip that I really like to look at and a few of which are shown during the end credits.
Is there any advice you can give to new analogue shooters?
Take your time. Remember, this is analogue so it won’t work out every time but that’s fine. You’ll learn from your mistakes.
Don’t take analogue photos like they are digital. Film is expensive and supply is running low so just enjoy it like you enjoy a fancy bar of chocolate – it’s a treat!
Cameras that need no batteries? IT’S THE FUTURE!