Friday, 10 December 2010

Day 345, on which John goes Lomo [10.12.10]

Dag tre hundrede femogfyrre. Well, waddaya know, it's the 20th December. I'm so excited at how close we are to Christmas, but it seems so far off at the moment. I know I've said that before, many times, but it seems to be looming over this month like a very tall, very drunk lumbering Santa over a bunch of excited and unsuspecting kids. And it's looming ever closer as I open each window (door?) on my advent calendar, unveiling crappy mini Lego build upon crappy Lego build. Actually, that's a bit of a lie, because I'm quite enjoying the Castle advent calendar this year. Some great parts in it.

Well, today I decided to put that 120 film to good use and got out my dad's old lomo box camera, the Lubitel 166, one heckuva camera manufactured in the 70s (though this one was made in 1996; somehow they were still making them). I didn't realise quite how retro it was until I saw the website about it (about a remake of it). I always thought it was quite a professional 120 film box camera, for proper photos, just like my Canon A-1, but in fact it's a totally different thing.

It's a lomographical camera, people. Lomography is a massive change from what I'd normally call photography. A whole different kettle of fish (if that's the right expression). Lomography is photography in its rawest form: taking photos with plastic shells of cameras, exposing light-leaked, vignetted photos that have more style than you could ever imagine. It's pure indie, no-rules photography. It's crazy, it's forever imperfect, and it's utterly glorious.

This is the Lubitel 166+, but mine looks pretty much identical
Maybe it's not really my type of thing - I'd prefer to have a lot of control over my photos, but lomography offers you no control. Take the Holga, for example - a proper lomography (lomo) camera that a friend of mine is hoping to buy. We've been talking about it a lot. Imagine an old film camera. Now remove all the details. Now imagine it in a filmsy plastic case. A plastic camera with, believe it or not, a plastic lens! Which can really create some crazy shots. Apparently there are no specific aperture and time controls - they're just sliders, so all of the settings are as rough as you can get. Of course, the Lubitel 166 is a bit more civilised that that, which I'm happy about - I don't think my neat-or-not-at-all mind would be able to cope with a raw Holga/Diana lomo camera. This Lubitel has a lot more elegance, it's not just crazy indie art. It's a little more technical.

This here is the Holga. Which I'm pretty sure is like taking a shit onto some undeveloped film then seeing what sort of artistic photos you can pick from the resulting mess.

Ah, here's the one I've got: the original Lubitel 166. Sadly not with the Cyrillic name, boo hoo.

Waiting for photos taken with it? Well, you may have to wait a while. This is difficult photography stuff. Lomography stuff, rather. But when I do get some decent shots, they'll be a lot more than decent.


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