I had my first toy camera in 2000 and 12 years later, I finally understood and appreciated the true meaning and the entertainment behind film photography. I hope to inspire the newbies out there to not give up and don’t be afraid to experiment. Here’s an account of my journey with analogue photography for your reading pleasure.
I was given an ActionSampler in 2000 by a bank for signing up for a debit card. I didn’t know what to do with it and back then, even Google wasn’t much of a help. I’ve seen countless ActionSampler photos posted on Flickr but found no tutorials on how to actually use it. As I’ve been so used to digital cameras, I was uncomfortable with using film and not knowing if I had wasted the shot or not. I bought a roll of film from a supermarket (the cheapest one I could find) and decided to give it a try.
Any sane human being would have given up already with photos that looked like that. Before I could do so, the ActionSampler gave up first as I accidentally broke the rewinding spool.
In 2006, I met a colleague who had always wanted to pick up a lomo camera and we found a good deal online for a Holga N. Heck, we even bought the 35mm mask for the ‘sprocket’ effect. Once again, I went to a supermarket and bought some cheap ass film we could find and went out to take it for a spin during lunch hour. Here’s the result.
When I received the scans I was ecstatic to see the sprockets and the grittiness in quality. BUT it didn’t turn out looking like the photos most lomographers are showing off on Flickr. It looks normal to me. So I decided to give up again until my boss found out I just bought a Holga, he gave me some expired films to play with. So here’s the result.
Now, I got really excited and decided to continue (since the films are free) and kept using it until I got sick of the fact that all my photos always turned out green/yellowish tone. I was told by a friend that maybe that’s the characteristic of my Holga N. So this n00b actually went out to buy another Holga just so that I will never see another green/yellow photos anymore. Of course. they still turned out looking the same and I’ve decided I had enough.
2012 came and I heard from another colleague that there’s a lomography store that just opened and decided to check them out on Facebook. Just so happened that they were going to conduct a Summer School workshop (it was in March 2012). I got to learn how to use La Sardina (it was very new to me, of course) and finally learnt how to use 120 film with a Diana F+! That was just day 1 of the workshop which I really looked forward to because of the 120 film. Not only that, I managed to finally learn that its the film that will affect the colour tone of the photos, and not the camera. Yes, can someone give me a hug right now?
I’m really grateful for the workshop as it had given me that faith to start playing with my cameras again and I have been actively doing so until now. I must say that my skills had improved tremendously in less than a year and I’ve never been so motivated to try new things. If you were to check out my albums right now, you will very much agree as well. Of course, I may not have the best photos right now, but I am still out there experimenting and trying new things.
If you are new to this and having doubts, feel free to contact me and I will be more than happy to help. If you’re residing in Singapore, I’ll bring you out for a lomo walk! Thanks for reading and lomo on!