We first interviewed Elzi Boba about her fantastic film soup photos where she used a mix of gin and teas to create unusual effects. We were intrigued to see how she would cope with a new challenge, so sent her the HydroChrome Sutton's Panoramic Belair Camera, which enables you to fill your lens with lots of different liquids. We talked to Elzi about her love for analogue and her experiences shooting with this unconventional camera.
HI Elzi, First off, can you tell us why you still shoot analogue?
I believe that film helps me stop and think, I would always prefer something analogue to digital and film helps me be in the moment. I also like that you can do loads of experiments with film such as double exposure and film soup. the fact that I am limited to 12, 24 or 36 exposures is great and wonderful and exciting that I can cherish all the photographs made, be excited when the film has been developed and the photographs that I have taken in a year or two now bring me back to that moment when they were taken. And I can experience the same emotions looking at the photographs that I have experienced while taking the photograph. Is just magical and I am so passionate to continue shooting more and experimenting with new techniques on film.
What do you usually like to shoot?
Nature talks to me on a deeper level, I cannot go past the beautiful path surrounded by the trees or flowers in the back garden. I would be in the trees in the mountains in the flower beds (literary) to get closer to nature and the beauty of it, all those colors and saturations. And the smell that surrounds me, the birds chirping and being in the woods makes me very happy. I am in my favorite place when I am with nature. It is just sublime and meditative to shoot in such a peaceful environment.
How was your experience using the Hydrochrome?
The cool thing about the Hydrochrome is that it also looks like a mad scientist's camera, the one that suited me so well with the syringe to put the liquid into the lens. The first time I picked up the camera, I wasn't sure how to use it, but then I looked at some videos on the Lomo channel and it was very helpful. So I loaded it with film and some Rosehip fruit tea and when shooting my favorite flowers and trees.
I like the panoramic effect that was possible with the camera, all the subjects were seen at a wider angle that is very interesting to experiment with. Some of the shots were intentionally overlapped and created multiple exposures. And the fact that you can change the liquid in the lens makes so much more creative possibilities which makes this camera so fun to use and experiment with. I would love to create more with the camera and mix up different liquids as colorful filters for the lenses.
What are the mixes you tried for the liquid solution and are you pleased with the results?
I have tried adding color to the shots by using rosehip fruit tea that was seen bright red on the lens but upon developing gave more saturated greens to the flowers and trees that were shot with the liquid. I liked the unexpected effects and as soon as got the results my mind started wandering as to what liquids would give foggy or multi-colored effects. It will be an experiment for the next time.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to shoot with this camera?
There is no right way to use the camera and I think the fact that it has so much that you can do with it - multi-exposure, long exposure, panoramic, flash photography and use of colorful liquids with film soups, makes the shoot with Hydrochrome more exciting and more fun! My advice would be not to put yourself in the box of limitations and go all out and try all the things that Hydrochrome camera offers on the same roll of film maybe even using a LomoChrome Purple film or to be newly released LomoChrome Turquoise film (so excited for it to come out). Have fun and all the craziest experiments with Hydrochrome and Lomography!