Thanks to those useless viewfinders, Lomography cameras produce some of my favourite mistakes.
I’ll level with you: I’m a control freak. When people tell me my I’ve got a cool, relaxed demeanour, I’m always shocked. I must be very good at hiding the inner turmoil, because every time the boyfriend hangs towels over the door frame instead of the specifically assigned rack, I…go…batty. Add artsy-fartsy to the mix and you’ve got yourself a full-blown neurotic.
So when I was introduced to Lomography by my friend Laphoto (assuming his home will be merged soon), I was frightened. It’s pathetic, but the idea of having to relinquish so much control scared me to death. I mean, let’s face it: that viewfinder is a false prophet. It’s mostly there for decoration, and it doesn’t lead or guide. Still, when I saw the results on Laphoto’s Lomo home, I just had to give the plastic thingamabob a shot.
At this point, I’ve been a Lomographer since 2005, so I’ve had the chance to practice. I own a Supersampler, an Actionsampler, a Colorsplash, an Oktomat, a Diana, and a Holga. Still, in the four years I’ve been collecting and clicking, I can’t say I’ve garnered that much wisdom about taking the perfect Lomograph. And it doesn’t help that some of my favourites are pictures I never intended to take.
There are the photos that are actually a mistake: something went wrong with the film or the camera, or I accidentally turned the flash on in broad daylight. Then there are the unexpected outcomes: those pictures I didn’t try to produce, that I didn’t think could exist, but owe their existence entirely to Lomo mechanics.
The good news is that there’s one area of my life I don’t micro-manage. When I have a Lomo in my hand, I immediately accept defeat. I hope for the best, as always, and I try to get the best photos out of the experience. I know how everything works, but I’m also resigned to the fact that the ensuing image is going to be a surprise, regardless of my technical prowess.
When I get my Lomos developed, I’m actually hoping a couple of gorgeous goofs will make grace the mix. It’s my way of embracing the analogue accident.