Monday, July 22, 2013

I rediscover analogue photography

ColdSome time ago I read about this photography movement called Lomography. It takes its name from an old camera called the Lomo that originated in the Soviet Union. Lomography is a reaction to the slickness of digital photography and the faux retro of photography websites like Instagram. Instead of taking pictures on a digital camera and using software to make the results look old and interesting, Lomography enthusiasts try for similar results by using old-fashioned and characterful film cameras. They have branched out from the Lomo to other brands of cheap and cheerful cameras, including such brands as Holga and Diana (both originally from Hong Kong).

Wicklow StreetFor all that the world has largely embraced digital cameras, Lomography enthusiasts are not the only people still using analogue cameras. What distinguishes Lomography people from other users of analogue cameras is the embrace of cheap and quirky cameras that are unpredictable in their results.

ShelbourneI am interested in photography, albeit in a very amateurish kind of way, and I was interested in Lomography as soon as I read about it. So I bought a Holga 120FN from a Dublin camera shop (mainly because it was least complicated Lomography camera they had). This is a plastic camera of great simplicity, completely lacking in electronics. Everything has to be done manually, from focussing to winding on the film. That means it does not use batteries, unless you want to use the built-in flash. It is extremely light (being made of cheap plastic) but it is also surprisingly bulky, which means I have not been carrying it around with me as much as I should and took quite a while to fill a roll of film. But I did eventually. The photographs here are ones I took with it. The rest of my first roll is visible in a set on Flickr.

St. Patrick's CathedralI was pleasantly surprised by the pictures from the first roll - no double exposures, none that were ridiculously out of focus, or anything like that. This had made me interested in further exploring what the Holga can do. More fun beckons.


The pictures of my Holga's first roll of film


Did the Lomo camera save film photography? (BBC; probably where I first heard about this Lomography business)

John Gunn camera shop (where I bought my Holga)

An inuit panda production

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