To be able to freeze a moment within a perfect frame is the greatest gift photography has given mankind. Like most people, Michal Novota, or novotao in the Lomography community, takes photographs for posterity and his charming LomoHome serves as an ode to the memories he shared with family and friends.
Aside from being an avenue to share snippets of his personal life, the community also paved a way for him to connect with like-minded people and eventually meet the love of his life. Michal talks more about his Lomography adventure in this LomoGuru interview.
Name: Michal Novota
Location: Bratislava, Slovakia
Number of years as a Lomographer: 5 years
Number of years in the Community: 4 years
Tell us about yourself and what you do.
I am on parental leave now so I take care of my son Félix who is two years old. In January, I’m going to start at my work again.
Tell us something about your LomoHome’s name. Why did you decide to have that username? Or if that’s your actual name, what would be a different LomoHome name you’d like to have?
The story behind my nickname, “novotao”, is really simple. I put an “o” to my last name Novota and it sounds good to me because it also includes term “Tao.” Philosophy of Tao comes close to mind.
Share with us your most memorable experience in the Lomography Community.
Every picture counts because these pictures help me to remember a lot. My two sons, parents and friends. Those many places and situations I might forget but thanks to my cameras I will never. One of the most memorable experience I had in the community is when I won Photo of the Day, which was something I was hoping to get for a long time.
Have you actually met people in the Community that you now consider as close friends? If yes, name at least one of them.
First of all, it is @dagmik. This beautiful girl was my main reason I entered the world of Lomography. She was already a member then and told me about Lomo Community. And now we have two sons.
Here in Slovakia, I met my friend @emkei. He is very good and creative photographer. Check his LomoHome!
@allanbendiksen and his wife came from Denmark to visit me during their holiday. We spent a couple of nice days in Bratislava talking and shooting pictures.
Do you think you’ll still be taking Lomographs in the next 5 years? Why?
I believe I’ll be taking pictures for a long time. My sons are growing up fast and I want to remember these moments. For me photography is something like an extended memory. There are many photos that give me a certain feeling when I look at them. Of course, I want to teach my sons how to use and shoot with analog cameras.
Taking pictures with an analog camera is also kind of “therapy” for me. I need to focus on an object (and its background too), choose the right exposure, and change composition if needed. I love it when I have a time to precisely prepare my picture. This moment, found and focused on the viewfinder, is stolen from the fast everyday life and belongs only to me.
What is your favorite Lomo camera and why? Do you have any memorable experiences using this camera?
Lomography Diana F+ with Premium Glass Lens. I never used plastic lens. At first sight, the Diana looks like a very simple camera but it offers many shooting possibilities. Different formats and accessories like the Splitzer allow you to experiment with the Diana a lot. With its glass lens, I can take more “serious” shots with a good quality therefore Diana can’t be consider as a toy camera anymore.
Please share with us your favorite Lomographic shot and explain why you love that particular image.
This is a shot from my first film roll taken with Belomo Vilia camera. This Russian camera belonged to my father. I didn’t know anything about aperture, shutter speed, etc. then. This camera has simple weather symbols for exposure settings so I just chose a setting and photographed. When I saw the picture I was amazed how flying pigeons were captured. The picture has a specific atmosphere and I am dreaming that it becomes a cover for a music album
Please share a Lomograph you wish you had taken and explain why.
Look at any of @hodachrome's perfectly matched EBS pictures. They are flawless in technical and artistic way.
What’s the best Lomography or photography advice you think you’ve been given?
I read some photography books by Andreas Feininger. He was a LIFE photographer and I took some good tips from him:
“It’s nothing but a matter of seeing, thinking, and interest. That’s what makes a good photograph. And then rejecting anything that would be bad for the picture. The wrong light, the wrong background, time and so on. Just don’t do it, not matter how beautiful the subject is.”
If there’s one song or movie that best describes your Lomo life, which one is it and why?
Ghost Dog: The Way of Samurai
This film is part comedy, part thriller, filled with contemplative quotes and an excellent performance from Forest Whitaker.
Is there any advice you can give to new analogue shooters?
A technically perfect photograph can be the world’s most boring picture.” – Andreas Feininger
I think experimenting lies in the heart of Lomography. Be creative but don’t waste your films a lot!