We are excited to introduce the winner of our very first contest for the Indian community, Lomotyohar, Isha Raina. She captured beautiful festive sights of Indian tradition and festivals, giving us a taste of cultural experience.
Could you please introduce yourself to the community and what you do?
I am an architect by profession, based in New Delhi. I love what I do and I believe learning about design has made me see everything in a new perspective. And that is what I want to essentially capture in the photographs that I take. I have always seen beauty and order in what is generally termed as chaos, and I want to share that vision with the world.
Being from India we are exposed to so many rich cultures, be it in form of people, places, food, architecture, there is so much out there and I wish to capture it all. And that's where my love for public spaces comes in, I love capturing life as it is happening, people engaged in their everyday lives. I feel at peace in the hustle bustle of a market, It gives me a sense of belonging.
How did you find the Lomography community? What motivated you to join?
I have recently started dabbling my hand in film photography, So I have been researching a lot on the various communities out there and about Lomography as well. Lomography was recently launched in India, that’s how I came across their Instagram page. It’s a great platform to meet and interact with other people working on film photography.
You recently won the Lomotyohar contest. How was your experience shooting for the contest?
Lomotyohar was a perfect opportunity for me to further explore this medium. Festival season in India is anything but an ordinary experience. So this was an opportunity with endless possibilities. During festivals, there is so much out there to see and experience, you wouldn't know where to start. So I started with what was right in front of me, the streets.
The vibrant colors, celebrations breaking the monotony of everyday life, give a new life to the streets, You would hardly find a person without a smile on their face. And that's what
Lomotyohar was all about for me, spreading those smiles.
Any Lomography community member whose work you look up to?
I really like brine’s work. The subject of most of his work is mundane streets and its elements like branding and hoardings on street, signboards, buildings etc. which I find very intriguing.
Is there any particular Lomography camera or lens that you would like to own one day?
I would love to own Lomo LC-A+ Silver Lake (leather and chrome have been crushing on this one since I joined the community). Only thousand of these are out there. I will surely own it someday. Diana Mini and Flash Love Letters (I am in love with its peppy design) and Neptune Art Lenses are also part of my wish list.
In the age of digital, what excites you about shooting film?
The answer to that is probably the numerous photo albums my mother has in her cupboard. Those albums have mine and my sister's whole life in them, not the 2547 pictures I have in my phone gallery. The nostalgia those pictures bring when you hold them in your hands cannot be compared to anything you have on cloud. I remember how carefully my family used to manage the 36 pictures the Kodak Film allowed, sure there were no retakes or burst mode for you to choose the perfect smiling face but those pictures have so much life in them and that moment actually lives with you forever. I feel digitization of photography has taken the life out of them, like they have somehow become impersonal. You are no longer looking to capture the moment but to find a perfect shot.
Any book, song, film that inspires you?
The Song that inspires me to help me get through all kinds sorts of situations in life is "Ain’t got no, I got life" by Nina Simone. However, nihilistic the song may sound. It gives a liberating sense to life and makes me feel a little bit better every time I hear. Nina Simone has endowed us all with a message we just cannot refuse to accept, for it simply takes one so deep into its chasm that no matter how hard you try you just cannot escape it.
Are you planning to pursue analogue photography?
Yes, I have always been interested in analogue photography I would surely like to pursue it further. Shooting on films is a very satisfying and calls for discipline. You need to plan a
photograph its composition and other technicalities. Analogue photography is photography in its purest form. It is a slowdown from digital rush requires patience, every picture is your artwork unique and pure.