Mark Sovel took everyone's favorite analogue pocket camera, the Lomo LC-A+, together with the Wide Angle Lens and the ColorSplash Flash to the biggest party in the desert - Coachella, and captured everyone from Beth Ditto to Devo!
“Mr. Shovel” (Mark Sovel) is former music director for LA’s now defunct (and epically missed) Indie 103.1 where he also DJ’d the local show “Check One… Two” and produced “Jonesy’s Jukebox” with Steve Jones of Sex Pistols fame. Sovel has since moved to Rogue Radio and continues to keep himself busy in the LA music scene both personally and professionally. A new buddy to the Lomography Gallery Store LA, Sovel took a Lomo LC-A+, an LC-A+ Wide Angle lens, Color Splash Flash and a bag of film to Southern California’s biggest party in the desert… Coachella!
Check out his photos from the festival weekend!
REAL NAME Mark Sovel
CITY Los Angeles
How long have you been a Lomographer (or are you new to this whole thing?).
I gave an old school LC-A to a friend about 10 years ago, and I was able to mess around with that a little. What got me back into it recently was when a friend invited me to attend one of your Diana workshops at the new Lomograpgy Gallery store on Santa Monica Blvd.. Shooting with the LC-A+ at Coachella was an extremely gratifying creative experience. I’m hooked.
Describe the LC-A+ in five words.
A surprise in every frame.
Ok, now describe Coachella in five words.
Tribal Pow Wow with bands.
The strangest, funniest, or hands-down greatest photographic/Lomographic encounter you had at Coachella.
I stumbled upon Devo as they were prepping to go on stage, so I started taking shots. They had new suits that were made of reflective material and Mark Motherbaugh wanted to see what the suits looked like with a flash. I had to show him the back of the camera and say, “I’m shooting with film”. He was flummoxed. You can see the shots in the slideshow, the suits look like they are made of light.
If your photos shown here could have a soundtrack of three songs, what would they be (song title & artist please). If they’re artists from this year’s Coachella you get brownie points.
• Devo – Peek A Boo
• Echo & The Bunnymen – The Killing Moon (The song perfectly fit the setting that night)
• Radiohead – Everything In It’s Right Place (Yes Thom Yorke played it acoustically and it’s what I listened to driving through Joshua Tree).
How many brownie points do I get?
It looks like you got some serious backstage access! What was your favorite behind the scenes moment?
Yes, I’ve been very fortunate. I was taking a shot of The Specials exiting the stage after their performance and Lynval rushes up to me and grabs my hand shouting “eyyy mon, you’re one of my heroes!”…He thought I was Josh Homme who was playing next. I just went along with it.
Also there was the moment when I was standing in a corridor between fences showing the Lomo to a friend who then took a shot of me. Right then a security guard gently asked me to step aside and Jay-Z and Beyonce brushed past amidst a phalanx of security. I went to snap a shot but the film wasn’t advanced to the next frame. I MISSED THE SHOT! ARGH!
If you could take your LC-A+ and a sack of film anywhere in the world right now, where would you go, what would you do, and why?
It might take a really big sack but I’d want to tour all of Europe, starting in the north. There’s far too much of Europe that I haven’t seen. The beauty, culture and history there leave me very humbled as an American. Then I would do a Forrest Gump and just keep going all over the world.
What are the three hottest bands or albums set to come out this year?
Well “Hot” doesn’t imply “Good” . Glee is “Hot”. Everest is “Good”.
Personally I’m looking forward to the new records from LA’s Autolux and Shadow Shadow Shade. I hope to see an album from Io Echo and Love Grenades. Other LA bands I’ve been listening to a lot are Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Best Coast, Warpaint and Fool’s Gold. We can expect good things for Local Natives, Avi Buffalo and The Henry Clay People. I’ve been into Surfer Blood from Miami and Beach House from Baltimore. My faves of the past 6 months have been The XX and Little Dragon. It goes without saying that the new Radiohead and Arcade Fire will be living in my car stereo. I also think Little Boots will be a massive pop star.
That’s more than three isn’t it?
The one person (living or deceased) who you would most like to photograph.
Jesus, cuz I could get some decent money for that. Don’t worry I wouldn’t let anybody put it on souvenir towels or anything.
What do you think sets analog photography apart from digital?
The warmth. The organic process of light physically affecting tiny particles cannot be duplicated digitally.
Your advice to future LC-A+ shooters.
You can learn from my elementary mistakes…
Remember to check the film speed setting when you change rolls.
If you’re in a dark area changing rolls, have a tiny flashlight to view the film speed window.
Check the focus setting often, as I tended to bump it unknowingly into an unintended range.
If Jay-Z and Beyonce blow past you, make sure your film is already advanced to the next frame so you don’t miss the shot.