The name Hodachrome is one of the most popular in the Lomography community. It has become synonymous with the acronym EBS, which stands for exposing both sides of the film. These multiple-exposed photos have an unmistakable style in the vein of ecstatic carnivals and exaggerated dreams. The man behind the vivid shots, Hodaka Yamamoto, talks to us about the habits of a good experimental photographer.
Hello, Hodaka! How have you been? What have you been up to these days?
Hello Lomographers. I have recently been spending much time on photo exhibitions and workshops. I know that showing photography is important but also I am thinking much more of teaching photography or sharing how I feel when taking photography. These activities are mainly domestic at present but I would like to spread the project abroad in the future.
Since joining the community about five years ago, you have grown to become not only one of the most popular but also one of the most respected Lomographers here. How do you feel about this?
Actually I haven’t had that kind of realization but it would be great if my photos could have a nice influence on Lomographers around the world. I am very grateful and honored. Being part of this community has helped me grow as a photographer. I hope that Lomographers find the infinite possibility of analogue photography.
How do you think you have evolved as a Lomographer?
At first I didn’t know anything about Lomography so I learned little by little by seeing wonderful Lomographs from the community. My photo skills and techniques have gradually improved since I started multiple exposures using various accessories such as the Splitzer. At the same time I was trying to establish my own photo style. I was always asking myself, “How can I express the beauty of my country by using these cameras or films?” And my style has finally been established through the repetition of ideas and practice. That kind of effort led to my evolution as a Lomographer.
You are known and praised for your signature style. Some even try it on their own. What other photographic techniques do you like to do?
Not sure what techniques are included in “other photographic techniques” but my favorite techniques are long exposure, damaging films (film soup), exposing both sides of the film (EBS) and so on. For every technique I like to link with multiple exposure. All the original multiple-exposure techniques that I’ve been building up since I joined Lomography several years ago are all great to me, but I think that there are more ideas to explore. I see more potential in it.
What do you do to be constantly creative?
I do various things, but most important is to pay attention to everything I see in daily life. It’s easy to do whenever and wherever, for example, while driving, walking, or working (not good if you slack off at work though). And I expand original images based on them. Another way to keep the mind creative is to come in contact with other arts (design, painting, sculpture, film, and various other arts, not only photography) as much as possible. We can learn plenty from them.
By doing these things, my right brain is always inspired or stimulated and I am motivated. And I always try to think of creating new photos from these “hints” I got, but in my photo style and using film cameras. A lot of things seem to be unrealizable by film photography (especially with classic cameras which are not easy to control) but actually could be done depending on ideas and efforts. One more thing, I make a habit of taking a memo wherever and whenever something popped up in my mind, this is very important!
Are there other creative projects you would like to explore?
I would like to try other arts in various ways. Movies, designing. I have actually started some of them. I am sure that make use of my creative experiences as a Lomographer in other fields. I hope to widen the scope of my creative activity.
What advice can you give to your fellow Lomographers?
Lomography is a wonderful culture that includes both old and new, so I would like all the fellow Lomographers to enjoy it to the full without any fixed rules. Don’t hesitate to try, don’t be afraid of failure, just press the shutter button with your flexible mind. And, as I said in another Lomography article, I advise other community members to not only take photos but sharpen techniques and knowledge to make even more interesting ones.
What are your plans for the future?
I would like to hold photo exhibitions and workshops around the world in future. It’s not going to be easy but I don’t think it’s impossible. It’s going to be great if I could tell as many analogue lovers in the world as possible how wonderful analogue photography is. I also want to try more challenging and original photography which has not yet been done by anyone.