Stories On Film is a new series where we invite community members from around the globe to share their personal experiences with analogue photography. We talked to Jorge Sato about how the LC-A+ changed is approach to photography and the opportunities that came with shooting on film.
Hello Jorge, tell us a bit about yourself?
Hello Lomography, I’m just a simple person struggling to see and feel reality in a different way, using some techniques to achieve it such as overlapping, inverting, mixing space and time straight on film. Despite being a full-time photographer, I believe I study more about paintings than even photography, trying to go deeper into the origins of art. The composition, visual approaching, color and tones are endless references and inspirations. My favorite movements are Romanticism, especially the painter Caspar David Friedrich who used to support the idea of a spiritual and peaceful connection between the vastness of Nature and the Artist, the avant-garde movement called Futurism and its idea of speed and Art Deco with its monumental aesthetics. Classical music is a subject that is common in my routine while post-processing images both for personal or commercial work. Stanley Kubrick´s movies have a great influence on my work and he used to employ music to create a stronger connection between the plot and the audience.
Tell us about your relationship with the LC-A+, when did you first discover it?
My story with Lomography started in 2008 when I was working as an assistant of a Brazilian fine art photographer who would tell me to get to know the analogue universe where photography is slower, more introspective and tactile. I must confess that professional SLR cameras would scare me a bit at that time since I used to shoot only digital. I picked Lomography as a transition from Digital to Analogue but during the journey, I changed the plans and what would be temporary end up being the goal. I first met the LC-A+ on the galleries of Lomography.com. I remember checking out some vibrant images with the Splitzer and I said: “- Wow! This is Art!” But it took me two years to get one, but it was worth the wait!
How did it effect your photography?
The idea of having fun while shooting film changed the way I used to see analogue photography and LC-A+ was the perfect tool to start this change. It is discreet, fast, powerful and simple to use. I stopped worrying about technical terms and started focusing on ideas. This is gold for creativity, it just flows. The concept of multiple exposures straight on film is not new but it´s brilliant. To imagine a scene before you press the shutter and leave a gap for randomness during the process is instinctive and magical, you can really achieve great results, especially when you begin to create a narrative, a dreamlike story for your work. I do believe in the beauty of unpredictability.
Did it lead to any new opportunities for you?
For sure. This idea of “recreating” reality using multiple exposures and the Splitzer ended up being my work´s signature and as consequence i took part in solo projects and collective exhibitions in Brazil and abroad. People don´t believe the photos have been taken with such small camera. I think this conflict is beneficial because it shows that it is possible to do a good work without having the latest gear of the year.
Tell us a bit about these photos you took?
The Carnival is well-known for being one of the biggest cultural festivals around the world, both for their size and for their diversity: samba schools’ parades, carnival balls, and the street blocks. It is just surreal to go outside and see children and seniors, all together wearing costumes and following the parties. There are so many options scattered throughout the city (both in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo city) that lots of people create even some kind of schedule to not lose any details of the revelry. It sounds crazy, but people arrange among friends the best and funniest costumes months before the Carnival, they exchange fabrics, ornaments and even sew to create new pieces so that they can parade in many block parties without spending much.Thinking about this creative explosion´s context I had to shoot my favorite party blocks in Rio and São Paulo using the lovely LC-A+ and applying the unpredictability and enthusiasm as a creative process. Since this camera is discrete, light and small, it would never intimidate people, resulting in spontaneous and a lot of fun shots. I have been shooting the Carnival since 2011 and have used lots of different film rolls from iso 100 to 400, color negative, chromes developed in XPRO, redscale (from Lomography and hand-made) and so on. My favourite camera is the LC-A+ as you might have realised, but there are lots of cameras that I enjoy using: LC-Wide, Supersampler, Holga, Fisheye 2.0 + Ringflash and the Spinner is awesome as well.
If you were trying to convince someone to use the LC-A+ for the first time what would you tell them?
I would say to relax and enjoy the journey. Don´t worry too much. Yes, I know… once you start it´s difficult to stop, it´s completely addictive. Welcome to analogue way of life.
What's coming up in 2018?
This year I’m trying to spend some time in Europe to start a new project about the reinterpretation of European cities and to study new techniques and references. In Brazil, there will be an exhibition in honor of São Paulo inspired by Metropolis movie (director Fritz Lang). I have been working on this project for more than 3 years and this year finally will be finished. Oh… and there´s another project that I want to finish this year, it´s called “Olhográfico” which is a mysterious and futuristic reinterpretation of Oscar Niemeyer´s work (he is a well-known modernist Brazilian architect).
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