Uslan is a truly legendary Lomographer, his shots have been used in so many Lomography articles that we simply had to crown him the King of Party Photography! Here he shares his tips on how to make your night go with a bang…and a flash!
Name: Uslan Cevet
age: 30 :(
Tell us a bit about yourself?
What’s there to tell? I feel compelled to say something pretentious like: “Born and bred Londoner living in Hoxton, working in publishing in Shoreditch by day, and taking pictures in painfully trendy east London by night.” By the same token I could also say “overly insular Londoner, living a lonely existence in a shoebox of a flat with a mundane job by day, often annoying people with a camera at night.” I think the truth lies somewhere in between. That and I have a room full of shoes. And I once saw Gilles Grimandi outside the Clock End slumming it with the rest of us mere mortals before a match – we argued long and hard that day over who else actually saw the legendary Grimster.
What’s your essential kit when heading out for a night on the tiles?
The best camera is whatever camera you have on you! However, an LC-A loaded with 200ASA Lomography X-pro slide film with the Diana flash is a treat. I usually set the aperture to 5.6 and fire away, or just be really quick with how long I keep the shutter open for when on ‘A’ (literally a fraction of a second and never ‘wait for the second click’). If you’re using the LC-A+ try and set the ASA setting to 1600 regardless of the film you are using. I think Lomography have done a great job with the film, the colours really pop when you cross process them – dare I say I prefer it to the older Agfa Precisa stuff I used to use years ago?
I do sometimes pop an autofocus camera in my back pocket – something like a Yashica T4. What the LC-A has over an autofocus though is the speed you can focus in a dark room. If you know your scales you need not worry about the focus hitting – something always in the back of you mind when you have an older autofocus point and shoot, nor do you get that annoying focusing light thing which can sometimes spoil the moment.
I’ve used all manner of cameras at parties down the years, from SLRs to disposables, however I keep going back to point and shoot compacts. However that might be because I can’t fit anything bigger in my pocket!
Uslans Top ten tips:
- try and shoot people from above. This is your one old school straight forward tip (even if I break it all the time!).
- use a flash! When was the last time you went to a brightly lit party?
- don’t over do it. You don’t need to take 10 shots of the same thing or person (no matter how much you fancy them!) when one is enough. Also, it’s ok to miss a shot, if you are constantly snapping you’ll miss out a heck of a lot more.
- don’t just observe, participate. Your aim is to get candid shots and you’re never going to get that if you’re not actually part of the party. You don’t have to be the life and soul of the party, just realise that there is one going on!
- don’t be afraid to talk to people. They won’t bite. Well, most won’t…
- don’t be afraid to not talk to them. Sometimes just taking a picture and walking away is enough.
- get in close and use a camera with a reasonably wide lens. If you’re taking photos of someone from across the room with your telephoto lens it gives the impression that you’re either a pap or a stalker (aren’t they one and the same?).
- think about your backdrop. A nice coloured wall is always good. Remember perspective counts to so crowded room or interesting scenery counts too
- don’t force people to pose. There’s nothing worse than a forced party photo, if they want to pose on the other hand, let them.
- HAVE FUN! You’re at a party for crying out loud! You will take better picture when you’re relaxed and enjoying yourself.