Canadian traveler, spunky woman and photographer! Pamela is a writer for SpunkyGirl Monologues, and also does a weekly article for CheapOair Canada Travel Blog. This year, Pamela will be doing the Mongol Rally, traveling the Silk Road, solo, and returning to Africa!
Please tell us more about yourself!
I’m a traveler, writer and photographer from Toronto, Canada. In late 2009 I started my blog, Spunkygirl Monologues , and in 2010 I left my job in retail management, sold my belongings, gave up my apartment and bought a plan ticket to Asia. I’ve spent the last two years traveling, writing about my adventures and snapping as many photos as I can. When I travel, I focus on things that are different or quirky, look for ways to connect with locals, try local dishes, and check out historical sties.
When did you first get interested about photography?
My love affair with photography started when I was about 16. I use to have this small black camera that took 110 film. I remember loving the idea of expressing myself through the lens of a camera.
Do you own any analogue camera? Would you say you have a special connection to any of them?
It’s been awhile since I’ve owned an analogue camera, but I am changing that soon! My first real camera was a Pentex K1000. I remember seeing one when I was 19. I was in Calgary and hanging out with my cousin. I had been jealous of her analogue SLR camera and wanted one, badly. Within a few weeks, I was the proud owner of a Pentex K1000. On the weekends I use to borrow the car, put my camera on the front seat and drive to random small towns to snap photos. My camera was always with me.
How was your experience using the LC-A+?
When the LC-A+ camera was placed in my hand, it was like stepping back in time. I was a teenager again, and eager to load a new roll of 35mm film. I popped the back open, placed the film inside, closed it back up and wound it. It was like I never stopped using analogue. The LC-A+ is an easy camera to use and I love the way it feels in my hands. The one I did have to get use to was switching the dial on the side based on how close or far away I was from my intended subject.
What is your opinion about analogue vs digital?
There is a sexy graininess to analogue that digital will never truly have. Although I love the sharp, crispy result of a digital photo, there is still a desire to explore that sexy graininess by experimenting with different film, lighting etc. Both styles have their uses, but for some reason [which escapes me at the moment] analogue feels more organic. More authentic.
Please share with us your most interesting encounter while shooting with the Lomography films!
My renewed love affair with analogue is just beginning, and I’ve only shot with a lomography film once. I’m looking forward to sharing some interesting encounters in the very near future.
Where was your favorite place to shoot during your travels?
Outside! I know, that is an incredibly general answer. Let’s narrow that down a bit. I have a slight obsession with markets. I love markets. If there is a market in a city, town or village, and I am close by, I’ll go. I love to shoot people as they work, and talk with friends or customers. I love to shoot stalls, and random games of checkers or mahjong. Markets are like the kitchen at your mother’s house. They are the cultural hub of a city/town/village. My obsession with markets is similar to a crackhead’s obsession with a crackhouse. Yes. I just went there.
Which street or neighborhood in Toronto/or in Canada would you say is your favorite spot to shoot?
Queen Street has always been a favourite. Back in the day I use to spend hours and hours on Queen Street, east of Spadina. But, that side has sold out in my opinion. It’s no longer an eclectic, funky hood. Now, I shoot on Queen Street, west of Spadina. From time to time I will also venture into Kensington market, or the Annex.
Describe your dream photograph that will show your personality (location, who, what, why, what kind of Camera, what kind of film)
I want that iconic nomadic photograph. I want a blue sky and golden deserts sands. I want to have a ‘lived-in’ look [but still look somewhat attractive in my lived-in, natural state]. I want a nomadic family or home or both in the background, and to the right of me. I want to look at the photo and feel as though I have truly ventured off-the-beaten-path, and slowly started to seep into the local culture. I’m looking forward to capturing this scene with the LC-A+ this year. The jury is still out on the film, although part of me if thinking black and white. An Ansel Adams-esque feel. But, that could change when the moment arrives.
What are your thoughts on documenting your travel stories with analogue photographs?
2012 is a big adventure year for me and for my website. One of my main focuses is organic, authentic travel. I want to dial it back and dig into the heart and history of the countries I’ll be visiting. I want to immerse myself in the people, the culture, the food, the textures, smells and colours. I think it’s only fitting that as I do so, I seek a more organic and authentic way to capture and help document my travels.
Please tell us your up-coming travel plans, and your dream Lomography Camera you would like to take a long!
As I mentioned above, 2012 is a big adventure year. This is the year when I push passed all my personal boundaries and I test myself. My travels start with a couple of months in Thailand to relax and prep. After Thailand comes a journey to Eastern Europe where I’ll meet two other women and participate in the Mongol Rally. We have 38 days [max] to drive a small car from Prague to Ulan Baatar, Mongolia. Our route will take us through Eastern Europe, into Turkey, through Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Russia, and into Mongolia. After the Mongol Rally I’ll leave my teammates behind and travel the Silk Road [the original trading route from China to Turkey] from Xi’an, China, through Central Asia, and Iran, and ending in Turkey. It’s an epic year, and I am ready to take on the challenge of organic and authentic travel.
Any tips for our Lomography Community?
Keep an open mind. There are no boundaries when it comes to photography and art. Don’t be afraid to experiment! There is no set style. Take photos from various angels. Use the top of your head, or lay down and take a shot upside down. Don’t be afraid to shoot up close, or from a great distance. Use your lomography camera as an extension to your mind. Find ways to photograph your thoughts. Challenge yourself. Have fun. Be daring!
Use Lomography Colour Negative 100 35mm film and you’ll be guaranteed images dripping with vivid colours, smooth grain, and fine resolution. Paired with a flash or under bright sunlight, this film will deliver breathtaking results. See our selection of Lomography films here.