Based in California, travel photographer Mike Pham documents his friends and the beautiful sights he witnesses while on the road. Always keeping his LC-A+ in hand, Pham shares his adventures with us below through his film photographs.
Welcome to the Lomography Magazine, Mike! We're happy to have you here. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hi! Thanks for having me! I’m a California-based adventure photographer who focuses on action sports, portraits, travel, and the outdoor lifestyle. I live in Costa Mesa, and when I’m not travelling you can find me surfing around Newport, Laguna, or San O. I love to be outdoors and on the road between work.
How did you get into photography?
I have always enjoyed taking photos, either on my GoPro, iPhone, or point and shoot growing up. I started taking photography seriously about 4 years ago when my boss at the time sold me his Canon 7D and kit lens for $1000 with a tripod. That was my “real” first camera where I learned to shoot in full manual.
Do your travels inspire you to take photos or does your passion of taking photos inspire you to travel?
My passion for taking images brings me to travel! I love to shoot new places and explore everything and repeat. I love portraits so much so I am always asking my friends to come along on trips so I can photograph them and the experiences.
What do you like about film photography in particular?
I like that fact that it is less stressful for me at least. I started with digital and realized you can keep shooting until you get the “perfect” shot which includes having the right lens and gear(which can be a lot). With film, it has taught me patience and to slow down and think more about what you are shooting because you only have so many shots.
I love it! it’s a perfect point and shoot film camera I can bring on all my trips and shoots! I wanted to change it up and decide to get the "Lomo LC-A +"https://shop.lomography.com/en/lomo-lc-a, which is one of my favourite cameras because I can take it anywhere! I also love the imperfections of film, which brings a sense of authenticity to it. Also, I get lazy with editing digital photos so with film there is none! I love the fact that I can also shoot underwater and surf with it! There are not many underwater film cameras out there so I was happy to hear Lomography has one.
You seem to be an outdoor adventurer. Tell us one of your favourite stories you've experienced so far.
My favourite trip was backpacking up in Mammoth area to the Minaret Lake with a couple of close friends. I enjoyed this place more than Yosemite because there was no one there. We fished for trout and swam in the glacier lakes. However, my favourite story that came to mind would be when my friend almost lost her Mercedes off a cliff. She got stuck in the mud up in Washington next to a cliff in a narrow road and we had to backtrack but there was no room to turn around much. There was about five of us trying to help her get out and she almost ended up sliding off the edge of a cliff. It wasn’t fun or funny at the time, but we definitely all laugh at it now. So if anyone plans to off-road in wet mud, make sure you have a 4x4.
If you could take your camera to one place in the world to take photos, where would that be and why?
These are tough! I want to visit Norway super bad! I love going to extreme cold places. Northern Western Norway has incredible landscapes and little islands to see.
What's the most important advice you could give someone who wants to shoot nature like you?
Plan for the worst and make sure you have water for yourself and your dog (if you have one). Being cold sucks. Having the proper gear for your trip can make or break your experience. Get yourself a good sleeping bag and a sleeping pad! Just remember whatever your sleeping bag is rated, add 15 degrees to it which is considered comfortable.
What's next for you? Any cool plans ahead?
I am planning on going to Australia for the first time, so I am working on the details now with that! Will you keep you posted!
Any last words to our community?
Have fun, get out there and shoot what you love. Gear doesn’t matter.
written by sragomo on 2018-09-28