Hello! We meet again. Welcome to Writer’s Notes, the article series where I share a few behind-the-scenes glimpses of photowalks, observations while surfing the millions of photos on your LomoHomes, interviews with artists, and my own experiences trying different film and film cameras!
In this edition I feel honored (and a bit shy!) to be sharing with you my first year shooting with Lomography cameras, and more.
I celebrated my first year with Lomography last May. It was a pretty nostalgic day for me as things had been so different the year prior. I was so excited to start out my first fully creative job, where I could use my background in writing and journalism as a medium for other people to be able to share their stories. I still feel the same whenever artists express their gratitude for being featured!
Concluding the Dear Young Shutterbugs Series
Talking to many film photographers here in the community, especially through the Dear Young Shutterbugs series, was a great experience not just for the artists and magazine readers but for me as well.
After all, I was that young shutterbug asking for advice from the community! Meeting many welcoming seasoned film photographers made me more confident about sharing my own photos, making mistakes and enjoying the whole process.
Since the series has ended (for now), I give my sincerest gratitude to everyone who very readily gave their time and effort to answer our questions and share their work with us. Some of them are the most active members of the community, or were mainstays in the website in its early days, from Europe, Asia, the US, and New Zealand. All of them shared their passion for film, free-spiritedness and love for the Lomography community.
Many thanks to @klawe, @jess_spd_, @stereograph, @waggrad00, @eva_eva, @kitos_lab, @annashotadze, @herbert-4, @hervinsyah, @LizKoppert, @crismiranda, @pearlgirl77 and @adi_totp for sharing your wisdom, experience and wonderful photos with us.
I had a journal as a teenager and one of my favorite entries was about a time I told myself that I should always just keep moving forward, so when I received Adi’s letter and read his advice to keep moving forward, I was particularly awed. It was such a sentimental experience working on the article! Will the series be back? Maybe, but in another way.
A Year of Lomography Cameras
Since my first foray with the Lomography Simple Use Camera, I’ve since used the Lomo LC-Wide, LomoApparat, and the La Sardina – my favorite Lomography camera so far! The La Sardina holds the most charm for me, perhaps because the first time I used it I was thinking that the whole roll was actually blank, so I didn't have any worries about the results.
As Rule No. 6 of Lomography's 10 Golden Rules states, don't think, just shoot! I played around with the multiple exposure function, took photos of anything under the sun (and it was a sunny day!) and was awed by the results.
I also delved into the 110 format as part of our Lomography New Year Resolutions along with other Lomography Staff.
My first time with the 110 was a bit rough. I had a few troubles with the Diana Baby 110 because I didn’t use a flash and had a shaky grip. But I had it for about a month and I do have some favorite shots from the LomoChrome Color ‘92 and Color Tiger that I used.
Here is a silhouette of me with the shortest haircut I've ever had (and I am currently still suffering from this spontaneous life decision), the view outside of the Lomography Manila office where a station of the first subway in the country is being built, a street shot I took during a fun lunch break with the Lomography Manila Office team, and the road leading to the office I took during the morning commute.
The Diana Baby 110 reminded me of spy cameras from the past, except that I didn't have any fancy agenda (I had no agendas of any kind when I shot this camera, and I think it shows.) It's small enough to fit comfortably in one's pocket and of course was not intimidating to shoot.
I do like this tiny format a lot and will definitely be shooting it more. I got a few underexposed, incomprehensible shots, but then holding a small camera in my hand reminded me how powerful and fascinating photography is. This is how it all started, with curiosity and the urge to record the way we live and view our surroundings.
The Future to Look Forward To!
I've gone through many phases throughout the months that these images were taken. It's been a year of give and take, and frankly I think I need another year to process everything, which I guess is similar to how we sometimes take so much time to process our film rolls.
I turned 25 last May and received the most thought-out gift I’ve ever received, a La Sardina 8 Ball Edition that my then boyfriend gave me because in a conversation we joked that we didn't have a lot in common (he is into pool and I'm into film).
I laughed then cried when I saw it because there were at least three layers of inside jokes within that gift. I only take photos with it whenever I really feel like it, and until now I still haven't finished the first film roll. It's like a time capsule. I wonder what memories I'd find?
I was also keen on trying out the 120 format and started shooting in the last month of the year. I have this format to blame for my keen interest in film photography, since it was one of Finnish film photographer Ari Jaaksi's videos on the Rolleiflex that inspired me to shoot more. I was able to interview him in my first year in Lomography, and how cathartic that whole interaction with him was!
From watching his videos I feel that Ari has a great blend of creativity and methodical approach when it comes to shooting film. I was quite excited to shoot medium format and take my time with each frame as he does.
When it comes to film photography I still oscillate between “don’t think, just shoot” and “film is expensive, this shot has to make sense!” I think about how I don’t want to waste a frame but in the end I’m pretty much trigger-happy.
I’ve become more accepting of my shots, too. I feel that I have all the time in the world to become “better” at this craft, because I know it’s something I enjoy and will be enjoying for many more years.
Until next time, happy shooting!
How long does it take you to shoot a roll of film? Tell us about it below!