California photographer, Ryan Schude, gets his hands on a Lubitel 166+ and falls candidly in love.
REAL NAME: Ryan Schude
CITY: Los Angeles, California
How long have you been a Lomographer (or are you new to this whole thing?)
I originally had a little plastic 35mm Lomo around 2000 but broke it when I dropped it from the top of a carnival ride somewhere along the central coast of California. I was driving from LA to SF with a friend and we randomly stopped at the smallest fair in the world. The ride operator said, “No cameras” and of course I almost killed him with it when it fell, what a jerk. Anyways, I haven’t shot with one since then until recently when I was invited to join the Lomo Amigos program and got my Lubitel.
The strangest, funniest, hands-down greatest photographic/Lomographic encounter that you have ever had.
Oh, this is a good question, hmm, there is a diptych I found on one of my rolls where a guy is approaching a girl in one frame, and then the next frame he is taking her away somewheres. By the time I had it developed, I could piece together where and when it was taken but the circumstances surrounding the individuals involved remain unclear. This encounter kinda represents why I love carrying the camera around again since it has been years since I’ve had anything handy to snap candids with. It’s a total departure from the work I’m used to making these days and a welcome return to something from the past.
You attended Phoot Camp, with Laura Brunow Miner, what were your favorite moments from that weekend?
Running in chaotic circles while naked and drunk with a bunch of strangers in a dark, cold forest at midnight for a group photo was definitely up there as one of my favorite moments. But the experience overall was expectedly amazing. From the first email I received about the event, I knew it was pretty much the end-all, be-all of photo nerdery and I needed to be a part of it. Watching everyone collaborate brought it all together considering we had architects, designers, programmers, scientists, filmmakers, conceptual artists and everything in between getting all jazzed on making photos together. I could write the rest of this interview pumping Phoot Camp but I suppose we will have to do a separate story on that after this year’s version as well considering it was also just weeks before I got my Lubitel.
If your photos shown here could have a soundtrack of three songs, what would they be? (song title & artist please)
“The City Never Sleeps” – Lee Hazlewood
“Cuddle Fuddle” – Passion Pit
“Howlin’ At The Moon” – Hank Williams Sr.
If you could take your Lubitel 166+ and a sack of film anywhere in the world right now, where would you go and why?
On a roadtrip through the southern U.S., been trying to get back there for sometime now just because it’s full of characters, great tasting food and the kinda cultural experience I don’t know nearly enough about.
Tell us about some future projects you have coming up. What will be keeping you busy in the near future?
I will be directing a music video in collaboration with several members of our great little community here in LA which entails building an old school wood cabin set in our studio and having two old timer war vets blast each other’s heads off. Should be a hoot.
The one person (living or deceased) who you would most like to photograph?
hah, impossible question. How about the girl who played Little Orphan Annie in the 80’s movie version? Short, red, curly hair and freckles pretty much rule life so anyone with any of that going on is good.
Your advice to future Lubitel 166+ shooters
Get a super sweet, old-school, leather bag, carry the thing everywhere you go and act really aloof and arty when explaining to people how you love shooting film again. Not that you have anything against digital, in fact, you love it and will punch anyone in the face who says otherwise or tries to say that film is the ONLY way to go. Also, make sure to tell the lab who processes your film not to sharpen their scans because their crappy scanner is already killing the essence of the film as it is and anyway to lessen the blow of that would be great thank you.
When you were picked as a Lomo Amigo, you were shooting primarily in digital format. What else brought you back to film?
The Lubitel brought me back to film. I was really excited he did because I was shooting a lot with my iPhone at the time and trying to process these crappy snapshots to look like film. I had sold my Hasselblad years ago and just didn’t have any motivation to carry a film camera around with me. Since I got the Lubitel I have made it a point to always have it with me and a whole new body of work is emerging that would have been lost in iPhone photos I could never really do anything with outside of the web.
A lot of your photographs include elaborate set ups and planned shots, did you approach your Lomo Amigo project differently?
Yeah, my approach is completely opposite. My Lomo Amigo work is almost strictly candid. I have busted the Lubitel out on a more staged shoot and was quite pleased with the results but have gotten too used to a digital workflow. The Lubitel is better for the candid work because I can’t look at it and obsess over it, you just shoot, wind the film forward and move on. The work reflects it too, the imperfections become part of the charm at times and certain happy accidents emerge to create images I would have never made otherwise.