Writer's Notes: A Year of Lomography


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.

Credits: sylvann

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.

Credits: klawe, eva_eva, adi_totp, kitos_lab & jess_spd_

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.

Credits: sylvann

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.

Credits: sylvann

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.

Credits: sylvann

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.

Credits: sylvann

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?

Credits: sylvann

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.

Sick and with a finger injury but excitedly shooting a self-portrait in the morning after getting my first film camera (2021), being outside trying out the La Sardina for the first time (2022) and working at the Lomography Manila office (2023)! Third photo taken by then-General Manager Mindy Alberto with the Lomo'Instant Automat, scanned by Junior Community Manager Denise Jamias (@bydenise)

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!

written by sylvann on 2024-01-14 #people #places #110 #beginner #writer-s-notes

Mentioned Product

Lomography La Sardina

Lomography La Sardina

Shaped like a humble sardine can, the La Sardina is packed with tremendously fun features. It shoots regular 35mm film, has a wide-angle lens and features a rewind dial so you can turn back frames at any time you want. Available in all kinds of designs, discover an ocean of analogue possibilities with the La Sardina today!


  1. herbert-4
    herbert-4 ·

    Wonderful article! It took me about 1 month to shoot a roll of film, except when on an expedition, or Lomowalk, when I shoot 2-3 rolls. Lately since COVID, I'm shooting with Ricoh Caplio G500 digital because film and development have become distant and expensive. The photos will keep coming, however, but I can't enter any contests. Happy Lunar New Year, Year of Blue Dragon!! Can you get alligator meat? A pancit with alligator meat would be perfect for celebration! You should eat noodles on New Years. Gulf Coast USA, they consider alligator a delicacy! My culture it's blackeyed peas and rice. Enjoy!! Be safe!!

  2. herbert-4
    herbert-4 ·

    @sylvann For a nearly perfect camera, find one of these: www.lomography.co.kr/homes/herbert-4/albums/103229-old_came… or maybe one of these, depending on your taste: www.lomography.co.kr/homes/herbert-4/albums/103229-old_came… Both outstanding!!

  3. hervinsyah
    hervinsyah ·

    Lomo love, A.J. 💖

  4. lizkoppert
    lizkoppert ·

    Awesome article!

  5. jess_spd_
    jess_spd_ ·

    Hi! Great article, I'm glad your year was full of new photographic discoveries! I have two types of rolls: those that finish in 10 minutes and those that take me a whole month to complete them. But I don't blame myself, that's okay and I follow the flow of my emotions. Thank you for choosing a photo of me for the article <3

  6. sylvann
    sylvann ·

    Hi @herbert-4 I've never tried alligator meat (I am not very much into meat in general ahaha!) but I do love pancit especially my mom's! Happy new year and happy shooting (whether film or digital!) <3 Thank you for the recommendations!

  7. sylvann
    sylvann ·

    @jess_spd_ Ahaha totally relatable and I see no problem at all with that too, as we all go at our own pace. 🤗 Thank you for sharing your thoughts! To @hervinsyah and @lizkoppert, too, I hope you've been doing well and glad you appreciate the article!

  8. awa-awa
    awa-awa ·

    Dear SYLVANN.
    Very nice. Very heartfelt revelations. Very understandable experiences. Impressed by everything. I felt that my experience could be useful, so I decided to write only two words.
    I think that many admirers of film photography, especially the native inhabitants of this wonderful resource, will agree with me that the good film is the one that has its own individual character. And I think that everyone will agree that the brighter these features are, the more expressive the result.
    Further, in my opinion, a very important, perhaps the most important rule: only certain films are optimally suited to a certain plot. By "certain films" I mean films that allow you to convey the mood of your chosen subject in the best way you think. This rule can be read the other way around. From one scene you can get as many results as you used a variety films for it, if you do not use the possibilities of optical variation and editing. In this case, a possible, very noble, in my opinion, goal is to look at the selected subject with the mood of the emulsion of the selected film. And, perhaps, slightly adapt it or strengthen it in the direction suggested by your film.
    What I would like to draw everyone's attention to is that the two listed approaches to creating photography are the most effective ways to create unforgettable images of the world that surrounds us. These are two ways that allow you to combine the creative energy and potential of the photographer with the potential of his technical arsenal (photographic equipment, photographic material, etc.).
    I am convinced that our creative result, our photography, is especially good, especially understandable and emotional, when it is created precisely in combination, in continuation, in agreement, in the development of the listed characteristics. When we manage to achieve a state of resonance of vibrations of all the listed parameters (starting from the features of the plot, the parameters of photographic equipment and, of course, the characteristics and features of the photographic film and especially its emulsion).
    So, only for you, dear SYLVANN, and only today for all the dear inhabitants of this resource who have read my text to this point, I am telling you about my secret. When I pack a photo bag for a trip, my favorite set is four small, very small, but very favorite identical ones!!! cameras and four favorite lenses. And, of course, a bag of completely a much various film. And this is all just for the purpose of... - creating by connecting, creating conditions for the resonance of parameters, for the resonance of emotions.
    With best wishes in the first days of 24 year in everything, everywhere and always.
    Your aWa.

  9. sylvann
    sylvann ·

    Thank you so much for the very valuable advice, @awa-awa! It's much appreciated! <3

  10. awa-awa
    awa-awa ·

    Dear SYLVANN.
    Thank you for your attention, opinion and emotions.
    I would like to draw your attention to the fact that I very rarely find the time and, most importantly, the energy to write comments on articles anywhere. But I couldn’t get past your essays, your material. Dear Ms SYLVANN, what does this mean? Of all the possible answer options, - you strike made with wonderful, interesting and attractive essay. Keep it up!

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