Sunday, February 05, 2012

I Dream the Body Lomo

Lately, for not completely understood reasons, I've been daydreaming quite frequently about lomo, as in lomography. My thoughts are likely rooted in or related to the current Instagram craze. Instagram's app, as you probably know, has image processing capabilities which can render a decidedly low-fi, analog, lomo-like look to images captured with an iPhone.

I have an iPhone, albeit one from two gens ago: an iPhone 3gs to be exact. I've even installed the Instagram app on it but, for some reason, it just doesn't cut it with me. I have nothing against shooting stuff with mobile phones per se, I'm just not much into it, be it iPhoneography or with an Android device or any other cell phone. Yeah, I guess from that perspective I'm a photography elitist who mostly uses his cell phone as (Gasp!) a telephone.

I decided to start looking at some lomo cameras with a mind towards purchasing one. One which could deliver, via film, the lomo look I quite admire.

First, I began looking at the Russian cameras which started it all, lomography-wise. Then, I proceeded to Holgas and Dianas and a few other cameras of the lomo ilk. But, the more I looked, the more I became unsure of what I wanted. For the most part, these cameras are quite inexpensive, especially compared to today's digital SLRs, so it became more a matter of which one from the overall field of lomo-cams. I also wasn't sure if I wanted to go the 120 or 135 route regarding film size. Decisions, decisions...

Since my lomo plans did not include utilization of a wet darkroom beyond film developing, and I'd have that done at a lab rather than the way I did it back in the day in my own darkroom, the negatives or chromes will end up being digitized and processed with digital applications. (I have a dedicated film scanner and it's kind of low-end which will probably add even more value, for me, to the low-fi-ness of the images. That's what I'm thinking, at least.)

I was just about to click the "Buy Now" button on a Holga 135 offered for sale on Ebay when I noticed, right below the listing, another product-- This one was a Holga lens adapted to Canon's EF mount.

"Hmmm...." I thought. "Maybe that's the way I should go?"

Instead of going back to having film processed, I could start my new lomo adventure digitally. All I'll need to do is slap that Holga lens on my 5d and begin snapping away. It won't deliver the exact same look as shooting film with, say, a Holga, Diana, or some old lomo camera made back in the USSR, but it will be in close proximity to them, probably closer than shooting with my Canon lenses and then processing the images to mimic the lomo look. Besides, if I decide I really like the results but think it's still missing something, something even more film-like in appearance, I can always purchase a lomo film camera later on.

So, that's what I've done. I've purchased a plastic Holga lens for my Canon dSLR. It may or may not satisfy my dreams of the body lomo: It is just a lens, after all, and not a complete system, i.e., camera body and lens. And while, in some ways, it might seem limiting -- the lens's aperture is fixed at f/8 plus it's a 60mm prime lens -- that's okay! That's likely a huge part of the fun shooting with this lens or with many lomographic film cameras... not to mention creatively challenging.

I should receive my Holga lens in a week or so. After shooting some stuff with it, I'll post a few pics.

The pretty girl at the top is Missy from a couple of years ago.


Ed Araquel said...

Haha're such a hipster now. What's next? Lens flares? You know I'm just kidding you. I'm into polaroids myself so I shouldn't talk :-)

jimmyd said...

@Ed-- Heheheh... yeah, that's me: Mister Photo Hipster! :-)