You have followed the three stages of the competition, and now we are ready to introduce you to the winner of the 2nd stage, lakandula. "There is no better way to improve one’s shots other than shooting and shooting (well, you have worry about the cost of film and developing). Discover your unique vision of the world around you. Follow your bliss. Embrace your fears and commit to learning from mistakes. Shoot as if you are preparing to capture your masterpiece shot. "
Please introduce yourself.
I’m Lakan and I work as a freelance artist-educator-consultant mostly in development and cultural work among poor and marginalized communities in the Philippines and sometimes in the wider Asia region.
What has charmed you about Lomography? How do you find it?
As a theater artist who is used to working on improvisations I needed an outlet to continuously sharpen my aesthetic skills and eye for beauty. Lomography’s freedom from conventional rules in photography has provided that.
How did you like the country so far? What locations do you recommend on visiting and what camera should they bring along?
While Seoul is just a small portion of the entire country of the Republic of Korea, my visit to this charming metropolis encourages me to dream of coming back and hopefully see other places outside the city – and maybe in a different season like spring, summer or fall. Would love to see how the country transforms its colors and textures with the changing climate other than freezing temperatures. That would be very interesting. Seoul is very different from Manila. It’s always nice to see more of the world outside your own country. Travel is a great teacher. You always learn something good and new which you can take back home.
When did you start using your first Lomography camera? What was it?
My passion for lomography started in June 2008. A week after purchasing my first lomo cam which was the cult classic Diana F+ I began collecting toycams. My lomographic arsenal is now at 30 and counting. It’s an addiction…a beautiful addiction.
What is your favourite Lomography Camera? What do you like about it?
I don’t have a favorite camera as all of them are my favorites. Each of them has distinct effects and it’s interesting to play with all of them. Sometimes I like to use a camera for producing nice results and sometimes you hate it when you get crappy shots. It’s a love-hate relationship with all of them as not all the time you get awesome shots. But like lovers breaking up and then patching up, it’s always sweeter the second time around…or the many times after that.
What was the most memorable photo you’ve taken so far using your Lomography Camera?
When you put together all my shots in chronological order you will find out the ups and downs of my lomo life from 2008 until now. As all my shots are visual records of my experience and growth in my photographic quest, all of them are valuable to me – both the good shots and the crappy ones. I don’t have a most memorable shot as all of them are full of personal memories.
What tips do you have for making your photos look natural?
Color-and-texture-wise I like my shots not to look natural. If I wanted them to be, I would go digital. My lomographs are representations of the reality in front of my lens. That’s why I love using slide films, black and white, and redscaled films. The colors are not the same as reality but creative visions of that reality. If natural means not a set-up then my answer would be to do guerilla shooting from the hips – taking photos in public inconspicuously without looking at the viewfinder – in order to capture the scene in its natural unadulterated state. Shoot as if you are invisible.
How do you like Lomography Gallery Store in Seoul?
It’s nice to be able to visit the Seoul Lomography Gallery Store. We don’t have one in Manila. The store is a lomo paradise in itself – a place that feeds my passion for lomography. Nicely designed, spacious, colorful and filled with so many lomo goodies. Plus, a team of friendly and smiling people that keeps the place warm and welcoming (not to mention the brewed coffee you can buy from the café inside). And wi-fi for free. What else can one desire?
What is your advice to those who have started using the SuperSampler camera?
For starters with the SuperSampler, your camera is a wonderful weapon to capture fleeting moments – whether your subject is in motion or not. Unlike other Lomography cameras where the photographer should be still to avoid blurry shots, your SuperSampler allows you to enjoy the moment as well. You can be running towards your subject or dancing with them, jumping or whatever action you feel like doing. And it’s great for doing doubles with other cameras.
Describe the SuperSampler in five words.
Fantastic camera for capturing action.
If you put music and your photos together, what kind of music will you choose? Please choose three songs.
My taste for music is very eclectic. If I create a presentation of my photos, the music scoring could range from classic to rock, ethnic, pop, Asian, etc. And such mix of different sounds would best accompany the rollercoaster ride view of my lomographs.
If you were given a bag full of film and the chance to travel anywhere with your LOMO LC-A+, where will you go in Seoul and why?
If I were given a bag full of films and an LC-A+, I will definitely not miss going to the Seoul City hall area where I can find the ice skating rink that transforms into a display of beautiful fountains after winter. Here I chanced upon an old man playing with several hula hoops around his neck and hips all at the same time. He told me that he ran for the marathon during the Olympics in Seoul. He was much younger then. The Deoksugung Palace that houses awesome antique Korean architecture during its royal past is just across the street. And at special times within the day you can be lucky to witness the ceremonial changing of the guards at the palace gate complete with actors and musicians dressed in traditional military regalia. On the side of the palace wall along the major thoroughfare is a handicapped (read as differently-abled) artisan who works wonders with woods. His magnificent artworks on Korean landscape and writings are on display as you walk from the subway exit to the palace. The modern architecture around the area is also worth seeing.
What is the most important thing in your life?
Chasing dreams and turning them into reality is integral in my life. To do so, I work hard to create meaning and happiness not only in private but also in public life. My lomography is crucial in documenting and creating memories of the processes and life experiences.
Can you tell me something about your lomohome? (concept and most favourite object)
My lomohome is the photo diary of my life from mid-2008 onwards. Its colors, textures and images reflect the complexity and energy of my personality. It documents my growth as a lomographer aiming to capture as much extra-ordinary beauty in my very ordinary life. Most of my shots are a revolution against boredom.
Tell me something about what you’ve been doing recently.
I recently found interest in chemically destroying my films prior to processing in the hope to achieve certain effects not found in ordinary shots. Experimenting with bleach, soda, salt, detergent, vinegar, and all sorts of stuff at home is gratifying. I love doing multiple exposures combining different cameras. The juxtaposition of distinct images in one frame makes my mind run wild.
What is your advice to people who have started taking photos with their LOMO LC-A+?
There is no better way to improve one’s shots other than shooting and shooting (well, you have worry about the cost of film and developing). Discover your unique vision of the world around you. Follow your bliss. Embrace your fears and commit to learning from mistakes. Shoot as if you are preparing to capture your masterpiece shot.