One Christmas, David Townsend was given the Konstruktor by his wife. It sparked an idea in his head, taking inspiration from Jack Lowe’s Lifeboat Station project and his love for photography. He built and beautifully customised the Konstruktor and has just embarked on his own long term analogue project, because a camera is for life, not just for Christmas. Learn more about his project in this interview.
Name: David Townsend
Where I live: Norfolk, England
Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is David Townsend. I started of my love of photography in the digital era. However, i quickly became lost with wanting the camera with the biggest megapixels, and best camera to capture perfect images every time. Not saying that there is anything wrong with the digital process as they all have there place. just for me personally I became lazy and let the technology do the work. Film slows me down… We can use all that fancy high tech equipment and produce stunning pictures, but going back to a roll of film is quite simply beautiful. When you only have 24 or 36 shots on a roll of film it makes you really think about the image you are after instead of randomly shooting a thousand shots and hoping you might get a handful of good ones.
What is the Lomography Konstruktor Project and how did it start?
It all started on Christmas Day 2014 when my wife gave me a Lomography Konstruktor camera. There I sat with a set of instructions in one hand and a box full of bits in the other. My inspiration come from a man called Jack Lowe. If you haven’t heard about him he has started a project called The Lifeboat Station Project. Jack uses an ancient process to make photographs on glass as the Victorians used to between the 1850s and 1880s. I sat back that same day as I was looking through his website and in the corner of my eye on the desk was my Konstruktor camera, and that is when I thought of my project. Watching him make the images on glass is a beautiful process. So this is how all this madness started off!
I have built and sprayed a Konstruktor camera and my challenge is to search for the perfect portrait image. Also, while i’m out and about I will be taking photo’s of the places I visit with the camera as well. My main aim of this project is to prove you don’t need a 25 megapixel camera or spend thousands of pounds on the latest equipment to produce outstanding portrait images. All you need is a £40 kit toy camera and a tripod. Next year the project will be working with The Royal British Legion and capturing portraits of war veterans from all over the world.
Where did your love for film photography start?
My love of film started in 2013 when i went on holiday. I purchased an Olympus Trip 35 (which in my opinion has an exceptional lens), and i hit the streets. The images this camera produces in my eyes are up there with any top of the range digital camera of today, but that’s in my opinion. So the answer to the question on why i love film photography? It’s the excitement of when you develop the film, it feels like your going back in time.
Please share your top locations for shooting in your town?
A seaside town in Norfolk called Wells-Next-The-Sea. One minute you are a street photographer or portrait photographer, and 100 metres day the road you are beside the coast line capturing some amazing landscape images.
If you were to invent a new film camera what would it do?
This one is easy for me… I would put the Olympus Trip 35 lens on my Konstruktor! On the other hand my dream camera would be the Lomo Lubitel 166+, hopefully one day when I can afford this camera it can join The Lomography Konstruktor Project.