I grew up with analogue photography, but after I started using a digital camera some 20 years ago I never looked back. Until now, that is. There has of course been a trend, especially among young people but also among seasoned photographers, to go back to analog. It seems to have acquired a certain coolness factor again, but it also leads back to a different, more thoughtful way of taking pictures. Unless of course you have unlimited resources and do not care about the cost of film and processing. Or, unless, as in my first “back to analogue” experiment after 20 years, you are given a cheap plastic camera loaded with a crazy lomo film.
My dear husband decided to give me one that he found at a museum, just for fun, and I brought it with me to Venice in July 2022. Not to take serious pictures, just to play with it and see what would happen. He told me there was also one to assemble yourself — I am deeply grateful that he did not give me that one!
So the camera is basically a plastic case and lens, focus preset to work best at a distance of about two meters, a wind-up mechanism consisting of a plastic gear wheel that you wind up after exposing a picture. The film was preloaded and just said “lomo film”, no way to know what would be the outcome. Well, here it is: The pictures are grainy, the colours weird, turning everything into pink/purple and turquoise hues, and the lens seems to have distorted lines that I swear looked straight to my eyes.
Clearly, this is not the camera to bring if you want a faithful reproduction of reality. But, if you like to experiment and are happy not knowing the outcome of every photo, then it is fun to click with this. Somehow, I find these less than perfect images charming in their quirky way. Maybe because they seem like a throwback to times past.
As I used the camera for street photography, I pretty much just pointed and shot, and what I have to say is that because it is such a small plasticky thing, I do not think anyone even noticed I was taking a picture of them. (When doing street I do always try to stay inconspicuous, also when using my digital camera, but not always so successfully.)
Would I use this camera and film again? Maybe, just for fun, but not in any serious pursuit of good photography.
Here are some more lomified impressions from life on the waterways and in the streets of Venice (dogs included). (Click on the arrows to see the slideshow if it does not automatically run.)
As for analogue photography, I seem at the moment to be diving quite deeply into that. One reason is that I was recruited for an analogue project with cameras from a friend´s collection. Another reason is that this year I found my father´s old analogue cameras from the 1950s up to the 80s, and I want to try them out. I even still have my old Minolta XG2, my first proper camera that I received as a high school graduation present, I think, when I was 17. I do not know if it still works, but I endeavour to find out. And, there will be more cameras added to my collection I am sure.
I will share the results of my analogue journey here.