With the beginning of 2013, a whole new year of analogue opportunities awaits. But, with the endless ideas the Lomographic Communiy has to offer, it’s hard for a newcomer to pick which idea to try first.
As someone who is fairly new at lomography, it is quite overwhelming to see people succeed at capturing such artistic, and down right beautiful pictures. The first thing that comes to mind is: I want to be able to do that too! So, when looking around the site, you see all these wonderful ideas, but since the Lomographic community is filled with great talent, it’s hard to keep all these things in mind.
So, I have made the ultimate must-try bucket list for all the newcomers at lomography and that I myself will try to accomplish this year:
Stop being afraid to waste film
When I just started shooting film, I was hesitant to waste even one frame. I wanted all my pictures to come out right, but I have soon realized it’s impossible to make every shot a great one. It would take me over two weeks to shoot one roll, because I would only take one picture every time I saw something I thought was worth taking a picture of. But if that picture turns out bad, you don’t have a backup and you can say bye bye to that beautiful scenery you had in your mind. So don’t be afraid to take multiple shots of the same subject!
Shoot a roll in one day
To go back on my previous statement, shooting a roll in one day is a good way to learn to make the most of your film. Do it on a day you know you wanted to take some pictures anyway (at a party or something) but try to finish off the roll that day. Before the event, you can always go on a walk and shoot some pictures there, so you won’t have to shoot your entire roll at one party. You will still have finished your roll but just in different places. This will make you more accustomed to the feeling of pushing down the shutter button and will not make you want to hoard your film missing opportunities you have to shoot a beautiful picture.
Try out different kinds of film
Black and white film
Honestly, I myself am not really a fan of black and white pictures. I don’t know why but they just don’t appeal to me, and I am sure there are other people like me out there. But, it’s a bit presumptuous to say you don’t like shooting black and white, if you’ve never tried it. So just try it, maybe you’ll surprise yourself and actually do like how the pictures turned out.
I don’t think that there are many people out there who don’t like slide film. The effects it gives to your pictures are just phenomenal. But, you have to keep in mind that there are many different slide films out there. You can go with a more subtle effect (like the X-Pro Sunset Strip) or the really flashy ones (like the X-Pro Chrome and X-Pro Slide). I’m not going into detail about which film gives what effect (especially because you also have non-lomography brands), that’s up to you to find out by testing hem out!
Redscale film can either give a beautiful golden hue to your pictures or a deep red color, it all depends on the amount of exposure you give it. So if you have already shot some redscale but don’t like the redness, you can read this article by kazarareta on how to properly expose your redscale film. And being on a tight budget shouldn’t hold you back to try out redscale film, you can easily make it yourself with a cheap roll of film you have lying around. Just read this article by mandecster
Expired film isn’t so much different from normal film, but it sometimes yields some interesting color shifts. It all depends on which kind of film you use and how long it’s expired. There is a bit of difficulty with long expired film that you have to overexpose it a bit. You achieve this by setting the aperture switch to cloudy on a toycam or if you have a fully manual camera you have to overexpose it by one or two stops (here’s an article by antoniodezner with some information) but this is more advanced photography.
Do a photo shoot
It’s sometimes hard for newbies to ask for a person to stand or pose in a certain way. But posing is critical is you have a certain image in mind. Find one of your close friends and ask to do a photo shoot. It doesn’t have to be much, you can just go outside and have them stand somewhere or look at something, but it will be easier to give guidelines the next time you want someone to pose in a picture. Here’s a “photoshoot” I did with my sister:
Use a mask
You can make a mask for your camera in two ways: you can either put it in front of your lens or either put the mask in between the lens and the film (inside your camera). It’s up to you which one you prefer. A mask you put in front of your lens you can easily take off when you want a picture without the mask. A mask you put in between your lens and the film gives consequent pictures throughout the film without you having to mess around with taping the mask on and off. Either way, it is something you should try. Here’s an article by buckshot about a mask inside your camera and here are some examples:
Shoot with a color filter
There are two ways you can spice up your pictures with some color: you can use a color gel in front of your flash of you can put a color filter in front of your lens. Either way works and it’s up to you to see which one you prefer. Here’s an article about color filters by esmondsit and here are some examples of both:
Doing double exposures if you have the right camera is quite easy. But for some reason the urge to wind the film to the next frame is just too strong while it can sometimes make for some fascinating results. If you are having trouble with this too, you can commit yourself to doing a whole roll with only double exposures, after this you will know which combinations work and which don’t. Here’s an article to get you started (from shamini).
Buy a second camera
There are so many cameras out there, but which one do you choose? You could go for a camera with a different film format like 110 and 120 like the Diana Baby and the Belair. Or you can buy a camera that takes multiple shot on one frame like the ActionSampler, SuperSampler or Pop 9 or has a cool effect like the Fisheye cameras. You could always try to get hold of a secondhand camera online, at garage sales, good will stores or second hand stores. The possibilities are endless. Having more cameras to experiment with can really make your analogue life more interesting.
Follow at least 50 people on Lomography
It’s important you keep yourself interested in lomography and get some new ideas from time to time. When you follow lots of other lomographers, you can get inspired from their pictures and you get more eager to get shooting yourself. So get out there and start following people you think have nice photos, you don’t only get some great ideas but maybe you can get some tips from your senior lomographer.
This was pretty much the basics of what every newbie lomographer should do when starting with lomography. There are a lot of other great things out there you can do once you check off everything on this list, so get started!