Meet our first On The Road Amigo! To celebrate the opening of On The Road on December 21st, we gave some of our favorite American photographers Lomo LC-A+ cameras and handfuls of film! Meet the first, our dear friend (and he’s also pretty popular on the internet), Chris Connolly!
Tell us about yourself. What do you do for a living? What are your interests?
By day, I’m a product designer for Spotify in New York City. It’s a nice mix of my obsessions of insanely great music and creating products that people use every day. Outside of that, photography pretty much drives my life. And coffee. Lots and lots and lots of coffee.
How long have you been a Lomographer (or are you new to this whole thing)?
I’m fresh! I’ve played with Lomo cameras in the past, but have never owned one or shot seriously with them. Now I’m sort of kicking myself that I didn’t get into them before.
What was your LC-A+ shooting experience like?
The LC-A+ ended up being a really good “quick” shot. All of the other cameras which I typically use take time to manually set up or fire up a screen and adjust focus points. With the Lomo, you can get a frame in mind, and adjust settings in your pocket or discreetly in your hands, and quickly fire off a shot before the scene changes. It’s so quiet, too!
How would you compare the LC-A+ to the equipment you usually shoot with?
Lighter, quieter, much easier to throw in a bag and have with you all day. Doesn’t freak people out when they see it, unlike some bigger cameras do.
Describe the Lomo LC-A+ in 2 words.
Can you share one of your secrets to taking great pictures?
Not really a secret, but helpful. If you find yourself somewhere amazing, find the one thing in the scene which is the most amazing there, and focus on bringing that quality through to the photo. Everything else is secondary.
What do you like best about low-fi/alternative photography?
Embracing abnormalities and imperfection. Forces you to let go, and in the process, creates “truer” moments. Life is dirty and unbalanced at times, you can fix these “flaws” in the digital world, but it’s embraced in the analog world.
The one person (living or deceased) who you would most like to photograph.
I think Nikola Tesla would be a fascinating personality to photograph.
What’s strangest, funniest, hands-down greatest or most “unusual” photographic/Lomographic encounter that you have ever had?
Just a few weeks ago, I was down on the street photographing the flooding of the East Village from Hurricane Sandy, and roughly a block away, a power plant exploded in a huge ball of green and blue glow. That was pretty special.
If your photos shown here could have a soundtrack of three songs, what would they be (song title & artist please).
If you could take your LC-A+ and a sack of film On The Road to anywhere right now, where would you go and why?
Definitely for a road-trip across the country. The United States is amazingly beautiful when you get outside of the cities and hit the open road. Last year, I drove across the country over the course of a week, and has stuck with me as a project I’d love to do again and expand it. There are huge swaths of this country which I’d still love to shoot.
What was your thought process in taking these photos? How do you think they communicate the themes of Americana / Kerouac / the Beat Generation? What was your favorite part of On The Road?
Americana is a tough subject when you’re in a big city, but really, cities are just concentrated chunks of America – what happens when masses of population are jammed in a small place. Most think of Americana as small cities and open roads, but that’s just one part of the American experience. America is a big, unwieldy, amazingly odd place. Hopefully that comes through in some of the shots.
What’s coming up on the horizon? New projects? What’s in the works and what’s on your mind? Who/what would you like to shoot next?
I’d just like to keep shooting every day until I die. Keep trying to get better, keep making interesting content. Never let that flame be extinguished.
Your advice to Lomographers and/or low-fi photographers?
Never stop shooting. Ever.
Take a look at Chris’ shots here:
Submit your photos to the Get On The Road with Lomography and On The Road Competition before December 10th 2012! Don’t Forget to help us celebrate the competition winner in our Lomography Gallery Stores in NYC, SF, LA and Austin on December 20th as well!
Looking for more Beats? The Lomography Gallery Store NYC is going Kerouac crazy with a Beat Generation Photowalk on December 15th!
Don’t forget, On The Road opens on December 21st!