In our last conversation with Yameen, we saw him venture into the wonders of wide-angle photography. Since then, he hasn't left—he's been experimenting more and more and challenging his creative vision. This time, our panoramic 35 mm camera Sprocket Rocket captured his attention. Exposed sprocket holes and a wide-angle lens made a perfect opportunity for Yameen to catch greater frame details and work with distorting effects. He talks with us about his time below.
Hello Yameen, glad to have you back in our Magazine! What have you been up to these days?
I’ve been getting pretty experimental, to be honest! My exposure to the LC-Wide really turned me on to wide-angle focal lengths and I’ve been trying out a few new ways to shoot film stylistically.
I’ve also just released my latest photo book, Kuya which has been keeping me busy!
Thank you for having me back!
You’ve worked with a variety of our Lomography products. What about the Sprocket Rocket caught your attention?
The sprockets are of course a headline feature, and I really do love that visual artifact and aesthetic.
What film did you decide to accompany this camera?
I used a mix of Kodak Ultramax 400 & Lomography 400.
How did you decide to go about what to shoot?
With the expanded width of the panorama, I tried to find compositions that could fill as much of the frame as possible. I expected some visual distortion on the sides due to the focal length and plastic nature of the lens, and so I tried to lean into that as a creative tool to draw more attention to the subjects in the center.
What did you think of the results? Any first impressions?
Using the Sprocket Rocket was just what I needed. I was becoming bored and uninspired in my photography when I took a chance on the Sprocket Rocket without really knowing what to expect; it really energized my creative process. The moment I looked through the viewfinder I knew I had to think completely differently about my compositions. I shot mostly in San Francisco but I did take it with me on a trip to Virginia as well. It’s extremely light and easy to travel with. It’s very simple to use and because it is recommended to shoot 400 ISO speed film, it can also act as a great point-and-shoot for street photography under the right lighting conditions. I used it in such a way on the beach to get a few candid shots.
Do you have a favorite one out of this collection?
I really enjoy the way the buildings was framed and how the colors were rendered on the film. The Golden Gate Bridge photos also seem to work well for the panoramic format.
Is there anything you would do differently in the next roll?
I learned there’s a bit of a height compensation I need to make when framing compositions to account for the sprockets. I went so far as to make myself a note on tape and have it applied to the bottom of the camera to keep me reminded. I’ve already used the camera quite a bit and the marker is rubbing off so I may need to work on my muscle memory or find a more permanent writing solution, haha.
Who would you recommend the Sprocket Rocket to and why?
If you’ve ever been curious about panoramic, wide-angle photography, I can’t recommend the Sprocket Rocket enough. It has made me think of compositions and photography in an entirely new way. The results can be as fun and chaotic as you want them to be, with continued use of the camera a key to learning its traits and characteristics to your creative advantage. Exposing the sprockets onto the film also adds another dimension to the results that are hard to emulate elsewhere. It’s a lot of fun.
Thanks again, Lomography Magazine for having me!