Toby’s First Lomo Affair is truly an eventful one! Imagine attending a Lomography workshop and getting trapped in a swarm of zombies all in one day, talk about an exciting analogue adventure. Read on to find out more about fotobes’ First Lomo Affair with an LC-A!
Name: Toby Mason
Location: Brighton, United Kingdom.
Tell us something about yourself.
I’m 39 years old, recently married, with a two year old son, and an eight year old step-son. Through photography, I have become far more aware of the beauty of the world around us, and I enjoy trying to capture a little of this. Aside from photography, I have a passion for music, and I think that photographs can be enhanced with a little musical accompaniment, both whilst taking pictures, and also when viewing them.
For my job, I import wine from around the world and supply this to pubs and bars. This allows me to travel around with a couple of LC-As at my side.
When was your first try of a Lomography camera or film? What product was it?
I grew up on film photography. I remember my mum and dad using an Olympus Trip and an old Pentax SLR. I loved the excitement of film photography. As a boy, I used some sort of 110 cartridge camera, I’ve forgot what it was exactly, and felt like I could capture secrets. And when I was about 18 or 20, I bought an Olympus OM1. After a couple of years, I replaced it with an Olympus OM10 which I still use today.
My introduction to Lomography came when I picked up a copy of Hot Shots by lomokev in 2010, and realized that great shots can be achieved without using fancy equipment. My girlfriend, now my wife, then bought me a place on one of his courses, on which we each shot with one of Kev’s LC-As and two films, Lomography Color Slide 200 and Kodak 400VC. I got so hooked that I bought my first LC-A on that same day.
Was the Lomography product yours or did you borrow it from a relative or friend?
So, the actual first LC-A that I used belonged to lomokev. But later that day, I purchased my own LC-A from the excellent Zoing Images down in my hometown, Brighton. It hasn’t left my side since, and although I now have 3 LC-As, that first one will always have a special place in my heart and hand.
How was the experience? Any funny or strange occurrences?
My first day using Kev’s LC-A, involved shooting two rolls of film as part of his course, and trying to photograph 66 things from a list. I remember a real mixed bag of results. Incorrectly set zone focus was my common error.
The course coincided with Brighton’s Zombie Walk, and that was a surreal experience as hundreds of zombies took over the streets of the city. It gave some excellent opportunities to get up close and personal with some ghoulish characters.
Have you used that Lomography product again? Why or why not?
Yes, I have used the LC-A and LC-A+ many, many times since then, probably a roll per week on average. I own around 20 analogue cameras, but only around five are used regularly, and the LC-A, albeit now with modified MX switch, remains my weapon of choice.
Can you share with us your favorite or most memorable shot from that First Lomo Affair of yours? Why is it your favorite?
I think my favorite shot from that first roll of cross-processed slide film was this photograph of a girl’s Dr. Martens boots. I shot this on the street. It was the first time that I had asked a stranger if I could take their picture, and it gave me the confidence to do this more often. The image encapsulates my enjoyment of taking photographs of the little things around us that often pass unnoticed. Plus, it demonstrates how the grain, saturated colors, and contrast of cross-processed slide film kick-ass!
How did LC-A affect your love for film photography?
For me, photography is all about taking pictures that evoke a sense of feeling. It seems to me that an average digital shot can be made into something “amazing” through somebody’s computer skills, rather than photographic ability. With film photography, there is far more emphasis on ensuring that the picture is right in the first place and then embracing the imperfections once the film is developed. The world around us is not air-brushed, and we would all do well to marvel at the quirks of everyday scenes and chance sightings. I like to use film because I feel this gives photographs more character, in the same way that listening to music on vinyl isn’t as “perfect” as CD or digital. It does have more soul.