Levi Cyr-Redcross Tests the Lomo LC-A 120

When we stumbled upon Levi Cyr-Redcross's TikTok videos we were joyed by his zealous character and the genuine spirit that he brought to his film photography. With a quick scan through his recorded adventures, one could see that Levi is passionate about diving into this art form, as he takes us along his home development and scanning processes as well as multiple format experimentations.

We connected with Levi and equipped him with our Lomo LC-A 120 to see how his photography translates with a Lomo flare. Check out a few of his results and videos he produced, along with our conversation.

Photos taken by Levi Cyr-Redcross

Hi Levi, it’s great to have you here on Lomography’s Online Magazine! May you start by telling us a bit about yourself?

I’m Levi Cyr-Redcross. I was raised in Pittsburgh PA. I’m married. I live in a small apartment.

When did you first press the shutter button?

I started shooting on digital. I was working at a boarding school at the time and they needed someone that could produce a large library of good photos for their newsletters and seasonal school publications. My partner had an old Canon EOS Rebel DSLR. I loved it, and very quickly acquired a ton of digital photography equipment.

My mother recognized my newfound passion for photography and asked me to take home her grandfather’s cameras. I said no at first. But after my mother implored me to come home just to look at the camera, I did. Turns out Great Grandfather George had taste. My mother passed down a Nikon F2 in perfect working condition and a whole kit of lenses to boot! After going out to purchase my first roll of Fujifilm 400, we returned to my childhood home to shoot my very first photo. I had already fiddled with the camera enough to know where the self timer was. I knew that I wanted my very first photo to be one of me, my father, and my mother to represent the significance of inheriting family heirlooms.

So my first photo on film is at my childhood home with my parents. It has a little light leak on the left side. And I think that the little imperfections make it all that much better.

Photos taken by Levi Cyr-Redcross

How would you say your style of photography has evolved since then?

I don’t have a style. I think it’s important not to really think about a style. Style seems to be something that beginners spend a lot of time looking for, but looking for it seems to narrow creative vision. I see beginners try to edit all their photos the same way, or find a single preset that will cover all their photos, or only shoot subjects from one angle, or only shoot during one time of day.

I am so new to photography–not just film photography, but photography as a whole. I’m happy to explore. I want to make new work as frequently as possible because I think that the most beautiful work come from a willingness to be experimental.

You’ve experimented with multiple film formats—35 mm, 120, and 4x5. Does your choice of format affect your artistic vision and the way you approach photography in any way?

Small format is a daily carry kind of camera. It lets you take a camera with you wherever you go. I like the small format for its convenience. I think it makes me more willing to shoot absolutely anything. I can also shoot fastest in this format. Street photography and events just come easily on this format.

Medium format is truly for artists. Medium format gives you the highest resolution and the widest variety of camera bodies. It’s easy to find cameras in this range that are inspiring to each individual. Personally I love TLRs. I think it’s the best camera. I don’t care what everyone says. I want to enjoy Hasselblads and SLRs but I just don’t. Medium format is probably what I would shoot if I were doing more portraits. But I don’t really do that much.

Large format is one that I’d love to shoot more. It requires the most focus and intention. When I think of a composition ahead of time, I always imagine it in large format. I’ve only shot three frames on this format, but that’s because each frame took me two hours minimum to create. I wanna shoot more large format. But I never have time.

Why did you gravitate towards the Lomo LC-A 120 ?

I’m actually a little upset that Lomo reached out to me so early on in my film photography career. Lomography is all about experimentation and taking risks. People who shoot Lomo cameras aren’t afraid to be a little wild in their shooting style. I’m not ready for that. I’m experimental, but not liquid-lens-elements experimental.

I picked the Lomo LC-A 120 because it seemed like the most reliable camera. It produced consistent and predictable results. But I know that isn’t the Lomo way. Perhaps I’ll return to Lomo cameras in the future with the intent to be a little more wild with my photography.

How was your experience shooting with the camera? Are there any features you’d like to highlight?

Two things! Wide angle on medium format is really unusual, and super cool. It’s a toy camera that shoots pretty sharp.

I’d consider this to be a “reliable” camera. The lens is fairly sharp in the middle or the frame and it doesn’t have too much vignette. Furthermore it offers a wide-angle lens on medium format. I’m not sure if that’s something that you can find on other cameras so that’s pretty cool.

Which film did you pair the camera with?

LomoChrome Metropolis and Portra 800. This was the first time shooting on Lomo Metropolis. I really liked the bleach bypass look. I think I’ll shoot on it more. This camera is so funky that it deserves weird and colorful film stocks.

Do you have any tips or tricks for those looking to try out the LC-A 120?

I really didn’t have the time that I wanted to shoot on this camera. I was only able to put two rolls of film through it. Just shoot as much as possible on it so that you can get a feel for it. Also, maybe put a high ISO stock in so that the camera shoots with higher shutter speeds.

Keep up with Levi's exploration with photography through his Instagram, TikTok and website.

written by kaylalew on 2023-08-12 #gear #videos #medium-format #lomo-lc-a-120 #tiktok #lomochrome-metropolis

Mentioned Product

Lomo LC-A 120

Lomo LC-A 120

The Phoblographer Editor's Choice Award Winner "The best street photography camera: film or digital. Pretty much nothing will beat this."

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