“I celebrate myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.”
Walt Whitman – Song of Myself
I was tired, overwhelmed; things had been getting old. My first year of college was complete but I wasn’t sure if there would be a second. Returning to the city was not a horizon of hope, all the steel and concrete – I need grass and open air, fresh spaces and pine trees to breath in.
But I did return and now, inside me, there is a quiet peace and acceptance.
Lomo was neither expected or unexpected. As with most things in life, it just happened. I had been dabbling in photography for many years but never quite felt fulfilled holding an electronic box. I needed something more organic.
I must thank my dear friend Ben for unknowingly introducing me to what has become my favorite hobby and great love. We were in a shop and he casually picked up a Green Holga, calling me over to take a look. I was intrigued. So light weight, so simple, so friendly smiling up at me.
A month later I received a Green Holga all wrapped up tight in its box as a Christmas gift from my mother. Grinning from ear to ear, I felt like a five year old again with a brand new red wagon. I spent all day with the camera strapped around my neck. Holding the plastic body is like standing quiet, hand in hand with your best friend, an unspoken understanding hidden within the touch of fingertips, an easiness. My Holga gave me courage to look at the city with new eyes, to create something beautiful out of a mess. The tall buildings suddenly seemed less intimidating; my holga is a giant.
I quickly gathered more cameras to my arms, the LC-A+ being my favorite, such a pocket sized love. Slap a splitzer on that sucker and the world explodes with possibility. The Diana mini recently joined my ranks and now I can shoot forever. I picked it up from the NYC Gallery personally. No joke, I traveled from Virginia to New York, my main intention visiting the Lomography store. The list of cameras goes on, even including some Super8 cameras and a small little Belle & Howell projector.
I use these cameras to transform steel and concrete – with a single flick of the shutter a city rises up or crumbles to the ground. I am my own architect. I create a new world. Most magnificently though, Lomography has taught me even without my cameras there is wonder all around us. I am driving in my car, the sun slipping behind the trees and spilling into the corners of my eyes, creating light leaks I never new existed.