Please meet one of the most active Lomographers from Belgium - djcosta. An industrial engineer who travels around the world and shoots hundreds of Lomographs in his free time. He loves the Lubitel, the LC-A and got his mum addicted with the Lomo virus on a trip to London.
Name – David Costa
City – Leuven
Country – Belgium
LomoHome – djcosta
Tell the community a little bit about yourself! What funny things do you do in regular life and is it the same thing you make your money with?
I’m crazy about music. I write songs, play guitar, piano and other little instruments. Ah… and I sing. I recently started the recordings of my first EP. Not expecting to make money with it though, just want to give it away and share my music with the world.
My passion for photography started when I was a little kid. In 2001 I bought my first digital camera in. From that day I started to learn the basic things of photography. Mostly things like composition. But I never had the intention to make some money with my pictures. Even though friends gave me several compliments.
I love my current job and my colleagues. I work at an Industrial Engineering company, where I run projects within IT, Marketing, Sales Management and Strategy. My position is quite diverse and fun at the same time. With lots of challegens. For work I travel quite a lot around Europe, and this allows me to meet my colleagues abroad.
How long have you been a Lomographer and how could you describe your vision upon Lomography?
One year ago I became Lomographer. In February 2012 I got myself a Lomo LC-A+ through Lomography’s online shop – my first analog camera since I moved to digital more than 10 years ago. Lomography to me is about being creative, experimenting with cameras and film, slowing down and taking in a scene before deciding on the shot, having fun with friends, and documenting magical moments of light and color coming together in a sensuous dance. Perhaps the most relevant change I’ve seen in me is accepting imperfections, film grain, light leaks and blurriness. Now I consider them as things I appreciate and find beauty in.
How does an average day of David look like?
Working in my office until 5pm and then rushing out so I can still go for a little walk around Leuven with my cameras. Some locations I’ve shot countless times, but I still find new and special places each time I go out.
How do you capture your snapshots and would you like to reveal your secret snapshot strategy?
It depends on the camera I’m using. When I use my Lubitel 166+ or my Seagul TLR 4a I’m really slow and focused on the composition. I find easier to compose with these cameras due to the fact not having to look through a tiny viewfinder (wearing glasses doesn’t help!). I always try to have the rule of thirds in my mind while composing. If I’m taking portraits I always try to time the photo right on the moment he or she isn’t expecting it. This way I get the soft expressions and the goofie faces. How? By loudly count from 1 to 3 and then shoot between 2 and 3.
How did you like shooting with all these Lomography cameras and what did your friends and fans think about your passion for Lomography?
I truly enjoy shooting with all my analogue cameras. It has a different feeling than using a digital camera. Nowadays if I shoot digital I use my iPhone, so I can quickly share something with my friends over Facebook and Twitter. My friends think that I am a little crazy and act silly for going back to analogue photography. The funniest compliment I got from a friend was that I am not following trends: I’m instead setting trends among my friends and people around me.
You’ve uploaded more than 2.000 Lomographs on your LomoHome. How come?
I don’t know. It scares me a bit to see that last year, in about 11 months, I shot around 75 film rolls. 35mm and 120 formats. I’m curious if this is going to continue this year! But I have a little secret to share. First I bought a photo scanner and then I found a decent cheap place to develop all my film rolls (the good old HEMA shops). I pay 3 euros for each film roll and then I scan the developed films myself. That gave me the freedom to experiment and shoot as many rolls I wanted, without having to worry about spending too much money.
What is your favorite camera and can you describe it in 5 words?
The Lubitel 166+:
- cute – whenever I’m using it feels like I’m looking through a magical box
- light – I actually like that it’s a plastic camera. I have a Seagull which is in metal, and although it feels more solid, it’s actually tiring to carry it around.
- attention-grabber – strangers just stare at you when you’re taking a picture with it. Most people don’t even realize what it is. I just love to shovel through a group of Digital SLR photographers so I can take a picture of the same spot they’re taking with my Lubitel.
- balancing-act – sometimes it feels like i’m dancing while trying to balance the camera right. Just try to take a portrait shaped photo with 120 film (6×4.5) and you’ll be up for a challenge.
- sharp – the lens is really sharp, much sharper than what I was expecting for this camera. I just love the results in 120 film.
What was the strangest, funniest, or hands-down greatest Lomographic encounter since you started shooting with Lomography cameras?
Unfortunately I haven’t had an unexpected encounter with another Lomographer yet. But one of the funniest moments last year was the other day I visited London with my mother. She was using a La Sardina camera I gave her and I was using my some of my cameras. After that trip she had a new addiction because of me – shoothing photos with her La Sardina camera. Now she also has an Olympus Trip 35.
What is your favorite photo ever on your LomoHome?
It’s just a coincidence, but it’s actually my most popular photo at my LomoHome. It’s a photo I took at London Paddington Train Station. It reminds me what being a Lomographer is all about. I was returning from a business trip to London. I had been there for 2 days on a big exhibition. When I boarded the train to London Heathrow, I stopped at the entrance voor a view. The perspective lines and the light – I had to take a photo with my Lomo LC-A+. Quickly grabbed it out of my backpack, framed the shot and took it. I was using my first ever B&W film then. And it just came out perfectly.
If your favorite photo should have a soundtrack, what would it be?
Each time I arrive or leaving London I have a little ritual. I listen to Derek Webb’s “Stockholm Syndrome” album. I never understood why, but it just feels right. It goes along with this photo too.
What is your advice for future Lomographers?
If you can get your hands on an old camera from your parents or grandparents, try a couple of rolls with it. Appreciate it like a piece of heirloom passed down for generations. Or otherwise buy a used 35mm camera on eBay or a new Lomo LC-A+ or a La Sardina camera from Lomography. Both great cameras for starters! Then go find a good and cheap place to develop your film. Get a scanner and only print the pictures you feel are worth being printed or make a book with your best photos via Blurb.com. Experiment with different film, different cameras and flashes. And just have fun!
Lomo Amigo djcosta is a huge fan of the Lubitel 166+ – Lomography’s reproduction of the classical TLR Lubitel camera. Go check the Lubitel 166+ in our Online Shop and also shoot some awesome photos like djcosta!