My first lomographic experience was simply different. Since the tool I chose to “play” with is the plastic BUT mighty mighty Holga, which is all low-tech and very manual art. I repeat, very manual. From choosing the format (whether you want your photos to turn into a 6×4.5cm or 6x6cm), to the loading of the film (which was very tedious at first), to the taping of sides of the Holga to avoid light leaks, to focusing (there are certain meters to consider), to winding up the spool for the next capture of photo/s, ‘til the unloading of the film. And since I use a 120mm film, there’s also that challenge to find a processing lab where I can have my films developed (good thing I found one near Central Station). It’s a whole lot of adjustment especially when you’re used to the ever-reliable and automatic digital camera.
Very manual indeed, but very satisfying. Like literally making art with your bare hands. And then waiting, waiting and more waiting to see what your creation looked like. There’s something about the discipline of lomography which makes you unhurried, patient and romantic. You shoot…you think or you don’t…shoot some more… anticipate what your photos would look like in print…shoot again and again…ahhh, your roll of film is over. And then you take it to the lab for processing…waiting, excitement and more anticipation, like waiting for a child to be born or waiting for a loved one to come back. And then it’s handed over to you, fresh and still warm. Now you see your work of art and then you smile, giggle, almost laughing…surprised to see that it didn’t turn out bad at all. Yes, that’s how my first lomographic experience turned out.
For my first roll of film, the lab was able to process, develop and print nine photos. I was aiming for at least 15 but since half of the time, I was making a lot of errors and forgetting to set up the camera properly, only nine were acceptable enough to print. Not all nine photos were good though. There were about four that was better than the rest.
To achieve this, I had to use one of the split image lens I bought.
I’m now on my second roll of film and still very clumsy with use of the Holga. But I’m definitely enjoying the learning part of it. And I’m looking forward to lots and lots of happy accidents with my Holga.
Before I end, let me just share with you the 10 Golden Rules of Lomography (which will also serve as a reference for me):
1. Take your LOMO everywhere you go and whenever you go.
2. Use it any time – day or night.
3. Lomography is not an interference in your life, but a part of it.
4. Shoot from the hip.
5. Approach the objects of your lomographic desire as close as possible.
6. Don’t think.
7. Be fast.
8. You don’t have to know beforehand what you’ve captured on film.
9. You don’t have to know afterwards, either.
10. Don’t worry about the rules. (source: Wikipedia)
Special thanks to Larry Anda for photographing my Holga.