Years have gone by and for some reason the well-known, much-loved LomoKev has never been a LomoAmigo. He has finally joined the club and is now one. Get to know the highly talented Lomographer, LomoKev!
Hi, Kev! Kindly introduce yourself and tell us about your work.
I have a real passion for photography which developed into a career. Originally I carried a camera everywhere I went which does not seem so special now but in the ‘90s it was unique, as affordable digital cameras and camera phones did not exist. Because I was shooting so much in the late ‘90s/early ‘00s when Flickr launched 10 years ago I was able to post the best of my photos for the past eight years and I quickly gained notoriety. I write about photography and have written three books to date and blog regularly. I also teach photography at various universities and colleges as well as privately.
How did you get involved in shooting with Lomography cameras?
It was in 1998 that I started to hear about the Lomo LC-A. It seems funny to think back then Lomography sold only the LC-A and the Action Sampler. At that time I was about to take a trip to New York and wanted a camera that I could carry everywhere and shoot at night with; the LC-A fit the bill perfectly. This was before internet shopping was widespread so if you wanted a LC-A in the UK you had to get in touch with the UK Lomo Embassy and make the pilgrimage to Rosebery Avenue to pick up a camera.
Do you shoot in analogue and digital formats? How do you feel about the differences between the two?
I do use both. I am lucky to have a range of digital cameras from a Canon 5D Mark III and Samsung Galaxy NX which is a small DSLR-style camera that runs Android. This means I can take high quality images and post photos to the internet straight from the camera which means I never take lower quality pictures on my phone anymore.
When it comes to what I carry with me everyday I usually carry three cameras: two Lomo LC-As, one loaded with Kodak Portra 400 and another with slide film for cross processing and the Galaxy NX. There are definitely situations where I shoot exclusively digitally like when I’m trying to capture action and I need to shoot lots of images. Shooting in this situation would unfortunately be too expensive on film. What I love about shooting film is I find it less work. I will pick a particular film type because I know the aesthetic that it will give me. Once I get my scanned CDs back from the lab all I have to do is remove a few specks of dust maybe adjust the color balance slightly and I am done. With digital images I find it much more of a chore post-processing because a digital file is a starting point aesthetically.
What are some of your favorite subjects?
Brighton Swimming Club swimming in the snow is pretty special for obvious reasons. Also Brighton Swimming Club in general – it’s full of such characters, you have to be a character to want to swim in the sea all year round. I am not that big into fashion myself but I appreciate other people’s appreciation of it. I have been taking street style pictures in a montage style for getting on for five years now which can be seen on my"trend spotting blog":http://fragmentedportraits.tumblr.com/. They’re all shot on a Lomo LC-A.
They don’t call you LOMOKev for nothing—do you have any tips you can pass on to other Lomographers out there?
I’ve been using the LC-A for 16 years now so I have picked up a few tips along the way. This is not so much a Lomo tip but more of a general photo tip. One of the things that I am most evangelical about is backgrounds. It’s not always possible to consider the background in an image like if you’re trying to capture something in the spur of the moment. But if you pay equal attention to the main subject of what’s in your view finder as what is in the background, you will see the quality of your images increase.
I think images with people in them make the most interesting photos— you can only go so far taking photos of yourself and close friends. It’s always good to branch out and start shooting strangers so you need to get over the fear of shooting people outside your social group. Once you build up your confidence in shooting strangers you approach, you will really see your photography develop.
I could write tips all day but I think I will cheekily recommend people check out my books and tutorial posts on my website.
In addition to Kev’s website, you can also check out some of his photos over at his LomoHome.