Joel Byron is a long-time fan of Lomography and uses analog methods in his work at his video and film production agency BigPlus. Back in 2010 he painstakingly put together the Lomography Caterpillar Matrix video which had over 60,000 hits! We lent Joel a Petzval lens and asked him to capture some video footage of London. The results were pretty stunning.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am a visual artist and Creative Director at BigPlus Productions. BigPlus works on commercial and artisan projects producing visual media content both using analogue and digital formats.
How was it shooting with the New Petzval lens?
I often shoot with a set of zoom lenses so it was a new experience being fixed to an 85mm lens. Filming on the London Eye has its own logistical challenges. Protocol requires filmmakers to ride with a minimum of three crew [members] per capsule. A single rotation goes quickly when filming so it is useful to have more hands and eyes in order to make the most of the 30 minutes! I shot the London Eye film with a Director of Photography: Adnan Hemani.
The Petzval Lens is pretty unique and has its own set of quirks and wonders. Whilst the aperture plates take a bit of getting used too, they are novel and I enjoyed crafting our own Star plate (from cardboard) to fit inside the lens slot. Operating the side-focus mechanism which was a change from the norm and worked really nicely. If I have a negative then it’s the loose fitting lens cap, ideally it should have a thread so the cap can screw on securely.
Any future projects?
Most recently BigPlus has been filming shows at Brighton Fringe Festival.
I’m also working on a series of collaborations with different artists producing Super 8mm portraits. These have involved working with painters, a stilt walker…and the next will be with a Type Writer Artist (Keira Rathbone). The project is ongoing and has no set brief so each film/piece has the potential to go in any direction. The exposed film cartridges are processed at home in a Lomo tank so there is always further room for experimentation, for example solarization or tinting & toning within the photo chemical process.
I’m also playing with my new toy – The Pixelstick, so watch this space!
Watch the Lomography Caterpillar Matrix film: