As the Lomography Community keeps on growing and maturing, more Lomographers become artisans and gurus while newcomers just keep on expanding the talent pool with their raw and pure vision. Seasoned Lomographer Kyle a.k.a. sinkinanchorssince1984 and promising new Lomographer Bruna a.k.a. bwretzky share to us how they both tackle macro photography, a genre that is quite a niche even for this quirky and experimental Community!
Bruna began her journey to film photography while she was browsing online, lurking around the photography community in 2009. She was a student back then and has yet to afford an analogue lifestyle on her own. “As a broke student, the film dream was kept in my heart for years,” she said. She got herself an instant camera a couple of years ago, but she didn’t click with it. What truly started things for her was her experience with a Lomography camera.
“What really triggered the rampage was the Sprocket Rocket, around October 2019. I saw it while looking for instant photography stuff at the online shop and fell in love without even understanding what it really was.”
Meanwhile, like many kids from the ’80s, Kyle began with a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles-themed 110 camera along with some disposable cameras even after Y2K. He got really into film around 2007-2008, inspired by his stepdad who had a Pentax K1000 and around 2500ft. reel of black and white film. Here’s what Kyle’s been up to so far:
“ I am still currently shooting this expired stock of film. I took a hiatus for a while after my daughter was born, shooting from time to time but not very often as life got busy. About 3 years ago I decided to take my camera back out to get familiar, and it’s been a downward spiral ever since. 35 mm, medium format, and most recently I have taken a shine to 4 x 5 large format.”
Though other matters have slowed his analogue grind, film photography was and still is a familiar companion for him after all these years.
Both Kyle and Bruna mostly look at Mother Nature for their macro shots. For Kyle, macro photography has its own mysterious appeal. He loves the microcosmic universe found in the little details. His photographs show little worlds and surreal, abstract realities.
“Yes, we can see an object on the surface, but with macro it’s a whole other world once you delve into the depths of the carpel and stamen of flowers, the lamella of mushrooms or in between the tiny moss haploid which is part of the gametophyte. Or even the iris of your blood-born tiny human.”
Ever since Bruna started with digital she has always been inclined to macro photography and had her test the genre on film. Her gallery so far is peppered with close-ups of florals. To put her own twist, she goes for something figurative in capturing them.
“The almost abstract result you can get and how you can highlight what’s frequently overlooked. I like shooting small details with a shallow depth of field.”
A Big Challenge
Macro photography in the film community is a bit niche than most genres, but it’s incredibly challenging. For Bruna, shooting flowers pose a problem as they are seasonal and she tends to forget what they look like after a while. But that doesn’t stop her.
“Don’t be afraid to get up close and personal. Push those minimum focusing distance limits, they are simply suggestions... The right selection of focus, or the lack thereof, along with color contrast are the things I can count on to get something interesting as a result. Not worrying about the result, though, is the key to happiness.”
For Kyle, a good macro shot should be treated like any other shot. Being mindful of elements and stepping up one’s experimental styles helps in forming unique macro images. Kyle suggested using EBS, color flashes to add some “oomph”.
“If you are utilizing color and or black and white, you are looking for shapes, textures, as well as tones. Just like most of my pictures it either jumps right out at me, or it festers in my mind until it takes full form and craves to be let out. Lomography the possibilities are really, endless, put yourself there, endless possibilities.
Film Future: Expanding the Analogue Arsenal
We love that both Bruna and Kyle are currently widening their creative tools.
Lately, Bruna just got herself new macro photography gear. Most of the images were taken with a 50 mm lens, but now she’s ready to spice things up with some filters and extension tubes. She’s keen on dabbling herself with portraiture:
“One thing I really want to try is looking more at other human beings, though, for a change. That should be interesting.”
Meanwhile, Kyle is becoming more serious with his experimental grind as he just purchased a darkroom. He’s about to make developing and processing his films to be as personal as it can be.
“Besides that, keep making photographs, whether it be in 35mm, 35mm macro, medium format (my Zenza Bronica EC died after it fell 10-15 ft with me back in January hiking, but I have a graflex 23 6 x 9 attachment for my Shen Hao HZX45). I will continue my voyage with large format photography, hopefully expanding into dry plates this year (prob not until the darkroom is up and running though).”