Lomography Newcomers: @tinyframetales on Form, Function, and Fun

Lomographer @tinyframetales, who goes by his first name, Mahendra, has a fitting username for the kind of film photographer that he is. As a full-time UX researcher based in Berlin, Mahendra has a unique way of observing and capturing his city in 110 format: highlighting the in-betweens and moments of pause through his lens. With a strong affinity for compact cameras, "Rollei A110, Pentax Auto 110, and the Rollei 35. I think you start to see a pattern here, I like small, compact, pocketable cameras" he shares, paired with his natural curiosity and approach to analogue photography, it’d be surprising for most to find out that he’s only been shooting on film for a year now.

Mahendra is fully equipped, geared up, and ready to dive deep into the world of analogue photography. We’re excited to have him as our third Lomography Newcomer, and first Newcomer featured who primarily shoots on 110.

Credits: tinyframetales

Mahendra’s first exposure to this world was through a frequent encounter he would have with a local film store — passing by regularly, growing with curiosity, and finally buying his first SLR film camera from the store.

Prior to that, he had begun experimenting with instant cameras and then eventually fell deep into the wonderful rabbit hole that is analogue photography: starting with 35 mm and later moving on to 110. The form served as the perfect gateway for him to explore more of the medium and learn about its history.

Reflecting back on his first encounter with film through dabbling with his mother's one and only film camera back in his younger years and how it has grown into a way of reconnecting with the past and bringing it into the present, he shares:

"So this is also one factor that pushed me: making up for experiences I have not touched in the past."
Credits: tinyframetales

Mahendra turns to 110 as his choice of film format for its easy use and feel, and the way it seamlessly integrates into his lifestyle.

"What drew me into the 110 format is primarily the form factor of the cameras. I always like the concept of a "pocketable" film camera. Seeing the Pentax Auto 110 for the first time is kind of the entry point for me to get into 110. It’s cute, it’s small, and it’s a "smart" auto-exposure camera which fits my daily routine and shooting workflow (when I don’t want to think much about sunny 16)."

Still in awe by the kind of images that can be produced by just a small device, Mahendra shares that the more he shoots with the format, the more he appreciates the wonder that comes with the medium. This, in turn, gives way for him to genuinely geek out by the processes behind it and even states how consistently amazed he is as to how a "chemical process can even happen on a negative as small as your thumbnails", giving way for you to capture "scenes, memories, or simply any image" that speaks to you.

Credits: tinyframetales

When asked what makes the 110 format special to him, he points to its artistic capabilities, something that no other film format can replicate:

"Some people hate the grain and the lack of details the format offers. But for me, that’s actually the charm of it. It renders your picture closer to a painting, where the beauty of it lies in its imperfections. And it actually gives more room for you to interpret the image. It’s a format that requires the viewer to make more effort in interpreting the image. That stands out to me the most compared to the bigger formats."
Credits: tinyframetales

After fulfilling one year of shooting on film, we asked what continues to inspire him and catch his attention. He cites his background in User Experience (UX) as a major influence in the ways in which his form of questioning and reasoning operates:

"I think, working professionally as a qualitative-based social researcher fuels most of my inspiration. It’s an innate characteristic within qualitative researchers to pause, and ask questions about the reasons behind mundane things."
"For example, seeing people stopping a bus at a bus stop often stops me and gets me thinking: How do we even "agree" that raising your hand means stopping the bus? And how come in one society the gesture of raising your hand is optional, and the other mandatory? Within that train of thought, I’d like to capture that scene of people stopping the bus."
Credits: tinyframetales

Mahendra also notes that the Lomography platform acts as another source of inspiration for him and his film journey. When asked how and when he first learned about the community, he shared how he’d been actively seeking a platform that would best represent his learning process:

"...I started looking at other platforms, and I think the Lomography community fits my goals. I can create albums, tag and document the equipment I use, and I get constant feedback from fellow community members. It’s perfect!"
"Millions of photos, cameras, approaches, and the shared love for film photography, worldwide. It’s super easy to find inspiration and see other people’s wonderful work inside the Lomography online community."
Credits: tinyframetales

Prior to discovering the Lomography online community, he first learned about Lomography through our film camera products.

"I learned about Lomography way long before my journey to Film photography. I have a friend who likes to shoot Lomography cameras, and that’s how I first learned about the cameras that Lomography has. I’ve always been familiar with the Diana series, LC-A, and the La Sardina. I knew about them, saw them, but never shot with them."
Credits: tinyframetales

Since then, he’s tried out the Lomography Color Negative 35 mm ISO 800 and the new LomoChrome Color ’92 110 ISO 400.

"After the announcement of the release, I headed straight to the Lomography online shop and ordered 10 packs of Color 92 for the 110 format. I immediately shot them with different cameras, different settings, mostly in the spirit of experimentation, because I actually didn’t know what to expect."
"The feeling of shooting those first 3 rolls were a combination of curiosity, wonder, and a bit of hastiness. I feel like I wanted to "understand" the film quickly. So I became less spontaneous, but more methodical when shooting those rolls. I intentionally found different lighting situations to capture, shot it at different scenes, and even shot one roll with two different cameras (Yes! This is also a perk of shooting 110 format!)"
Credits: tinyframetales
"Some pictures that I got were not to my expectations, either underexposed or just too contrasty. When this happens, the grain on the results were just too much to handle for me. But for the most part, when the exposure is just right, the results actually exceed my expectations. Totally different characters from the other 110 films I found, be it fresh or expired."

Mahendra shares his favorite two photos from his LomoChrome Color ’92 110 ISO 400 roll.

"I think in this scene, the lighting is just right, the sky color is right, and the scene is very Berlin. I think this one really shows the characters of the Lomochrome Color 92, but this image result in particular shows that it can also be comparable with its larger 35 mm format."
Credits: tinyframetales

What’s next on Mahendra’s film journey bucket list? He shares that he’s keen on exploring Lomography's LC-A camera series and darkroom printing.

"Darkroom printing is another level of experience every film photographer should experience, in my opinion."
"I always wanted to try the LC-A+ or the LC-Wide. I think it’s an amazing camera with its own quirks and characters. It’s also a piece of photography history I’d like to own someday."
Credits: tinyframetales

He also shares how happy he is that where he’s located – Berlin – is a "metropolitan city with all kinds of lives, activities, and scenes", with several events, exhibits, and workshops you can choose to explore, all related to analogue photography. It's also a city he claims to be "a film photographer’s dream" with photo labs scattered across the city and film stocks easily available in your regular drugstores and photo studios. One could say that in a way, the city encourages its citizens to grow their own film journey and explore pushing the grain further.

But for now, Mahendra will continue to explore more of the 110 film format and shares that he’d love to connect with fellow 110 film photography shooters out here in the community! Drop @tinyframetales a message on Lomography!

"I would love to connect also with any fellow 110 shooters out there. If you’re reading this, send me a message, let’s connect and share experiences. I would love to be inspired too looking at the fun things you shoot with a 110 camera."

We’re excited to see where Mahendra’s film journey will lead to and all the experiences he’ll capture on film! Welcome to the Lomography community @tinyframetales!

Credits: tinyframetales

Thank you to @tinyframetales for speaking with us and sharing his early experiences with film photography! Looking to join a global community of creatives and artists who all share a love for film? Join Lomography and create your own LomoHome here.

written by macasaett on 2023-10-15 #people #berlin #110 #compact #35-mm #lomography-color-negative-800 #spontaneity

LomoChrome Color '92 ISO 400 110 Film

This new, unique color negative emulsion provides a burst of retro charm and classic analogue character in any film shooting scenario.

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