Low-fi photography represents one of the best metaphors of Life. The emotions you get from the Diana, Holga, and all the other plastic analogue cameras are the same that you get from living the fantastic experience of Life.
For quite some years, I’ve been a big fan of digital photography. I spent hours reading reviews of dSLRs and lenses, buying the latest and most advanced digital cameras, working behind the screen with the latest Photoshop version, calibrating screen, and printers. I was constantly looking for perfection in any aspect of my images, framing, subjects, light, exposition, contrast, saturation, sharpness…
The possibility of immediately evaluating the shots was ensuring that only good captures would reach the post processing phase, making the all process very well predictable. The results I was obtaining were good but they were lacking of taste, emotions, ultimately they are without life. Dissatisfaction was then the ultimate feeling.
One day at the shop of the Dutch National Photography Museum of Rotterdam, I saw a Holga and I bought it for the curiosity of having a plastic toy camera. Since then, my approach to photography changed day after day by the discovery of something different. Today, my first Holga is in the company of the complete Diana family.
Low-Fi photography is an experience which goes beyond the images, it involves you as a person at a very intimate level.
Shooting with any plastic camera means uncertainty, mistakes, expectation, faults, attempts, dreams, frustration, hopes, believes, joy, freedom…. simply because there are too many details and conditions which are out of your control. Exactly as in life.
The fast memory card downloading is replaced by days or weeks of waiting to have the film back developed. Those days are ruled by curiosity, expectation, impatience, desire, hopes and they seem to last forever. Exactly as in Life, when waiting for the results of an exam, for your wedding, for the birth of your child, for the doctor’s diagnose…
And exactly as in Life, when you receive the prints and look at them, you are surprised, happy, frustrated, sad, excited, proud, disappointed, encouraged, shattered, because sometimes you find the images as you expected, sometimes you have in hand only a meaningless sequence of black squares, sometimes you find a marvelous gem from a roll that you didn’t really even want to develop.
Any image is then worth looking at and in the end, you find something nice in each of them, even in the worst ones, even in the ones showing nothing more than you lens cap.
I started to really love Life quite some years ago when I discovered that Life’s true beauty resides in its uncertainties, unpredictability which provides all the feelings and emotions we know. Good and bad ones, all are indispensable for us to live life. Exactly as in photography.
Lomography is not only photography, its is a way of living this wonderful Life we have.