Lorraine Healy is a self-confessed "Holga and Sprocket Rocket nut." We recently discovered her fantastic Lomo'Instant Wide images on her Lomohome and decided to find out more about the stories behind these shots and the person behind the camera.
How did you get on shooting with the Lomo'Instant Wide?
My friend and mentor, Sharon Shoemaker, has been a Polaroid fine artist forever, and she kept trying to get me to work with some sort of Instant film. I started trying with a variety of her cameras, Polaroid Land mostly, and I borrowed her Lomo'Instant. I really liked the look of the peel-apart instant film on the Land cameras and then playing with the negative images, but I had trouble getting the images smoothly through the rollers. Those cameras are old and my hands are getting there too, so I didn’t have enough hand strength to pull them through in a way that made the emulsion work uniformly. The Lomo'Instant Wide was seamless and easy, so I bought my own one.
What did you choose to shoot?
From the very beginning, I brought the Lomo'Instant along any other cameras I was shooting with. I wanted to learn how to use it and I figured the only way was by shooting and practicing, seeing what worked and what didn’t. I went on a 3-week road trip last year, going through 18 states, and shot LOTS of everything, including instants. I tried landscapes, signs and old stores (which are some of my favorite things to shoot in any medium), Route 66 detritus. On a recent trip to Buenos Aires I shot a huge amount of street art. A week ago I went to Portland, Oregon, and by chance stayed in a hotel that was next to a small amusement park, so I shot quite a bit there at night. It was a rare occasion to use flash, and it worked really well.
What are your favorite local areas or attractions to take pictures of?
I love to shoot locally, partly because I live on an island and getting anywhere involves ferry rides, and waiting in line, and you have to do a bit more planning than just spontaneously grabbing your camera bag and going. On the island I love shooting at Fort Casey, an old abandoned military fort a half hour north of where I live, also Deception Pass Bridge, at the very north tip of the island. In general, I love strong vivid colors, so that’s what I look for. The Skagit Vally Tulip Festival is happening right now, and that’s only an hour and a half drive from where I live, so that’s where I’ll be shooting tomorrow.
What’s coming up in 2017?
Trying to do more shooting with instant, learning the subtleties of the camera, like doing long exposures and “fooling” the light meter. I would love it if Lomography created an instant wide with a glass lens! I would really, really love that and I know of many fellow Lomographers who would, too. I think we are all hoping that Lomography will offer one some time in 2017! But essentially I feel like I’m very much a newbie with this medium and I need to get better at it, so more practice is what I have in mind.
Lorraine Healy (@lorrainehealy) is an Argentinean writer and photographer living in the Pacific Northwest. A long-time fan of plastic cameras and she is the author of “Tricks With A Plastic Wonder,” a manual for achieving better results with a Holga camera, available as an eBook from Amazon.com.