Lomography is a contradiction in terms, and I love that. I am a traditional film photographer who takes Lomography seriously.
There are 10 Golden Rules of Lomography which is funny because rule #10 says that there are “no rules.” I even have a portfolio on my website that is titled “no rules”. When I’m in lomo mode I’m totally chill I’m shooting for myself, and I usually come home with something completely unexpected.
I was introduced to the Holga in an “advanced” film photography class. As I sat quietly reading the syllabus the word REFUND was running through my head like a ticker tape on a NASDAQ sign. Obviously, I stuck it out and today, I’m a huge fan of both the Holga and the Diana F+ cameras because they are so creative.
I’ve read one too many articles about the “crappy, cheap, irrelevant,” plastic film cameras. I find most cameras relevant. 120 film cameras were always pricey, and the Holga was a smart alternative. I always felt that if one had a basic understanding of light, one could produce a good image.
For a while the Holga went out of production so when I found a Holga 135 PAN on eBay, I snapped it up brand new for $50. The images that I’ve submitted for this article are from the first roll. Unpredictable is a nice word to use when there is no guarantee that the camera will work and if it does, whether an image will appear.
In New York on a warm summer day walking through Central Park and then Times Square I was very lucky. These images were taken with the Revolog Tesla 1. Revolog produces specialty films, and like the Holga, you never know what you have until it’s developed.
I was lucky with this film because the lightning strikes were placed perfectly. As I scanned the film I kept thinking, what are the odds? This camera also produces a lot of ghosts and I love that. Double exposures are fun, but ghosts are better. I try not to tweak my Holga images, but I do eliminate dust.
Plastic cameras are creative, not crappy.
~ Chemical Lens
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