Brasil. En Lomografía.
Sometimes, the most interesting photos come out when you’re relaxed and at ease – and most of all not trying to be a photographer. Traveling the world, when I don’t feel like bringing out the SLR or DSLR, I’ll usually carry two types of cameras with me: my Ricoh point and shoot and one of my many fun, point and shoot film cameras. When we went to Brazil, I debated bringing the Holga or my little Russian homie, the Lomo LC-A. The former camera takes 120 roll film and allows you to produce negatives in a square format. With a simple adapter, you can also convert it into a “35 mm”. It’s the cheapest “medium format” you’ll find. I love shooting film and will continue to use it. I got mine for $14.95 back in 2000 and now it’s 3-4 times more expensive due to the whole Lomography marketing campaign. The latter is probably my favorite compact, point and shoot film camera. It’s a miniature tank and can handle extreme Russian weather and historically, this was the camera that every Russian soldier carried around for surveillance photos. I got mine off eBay for about $100+ and what I loved most was that the instruction booklet was signed with the original owner’s name: Boris. 1984. I’m holding a Russian soldier’s camera…nice. Boris probably used the camera primarily for taking incriminating photos of him and his comrades getting hammered off Vodka. As he should.
The Lomo LC-A is compact and perfect for street photography. A lot of people may look at you and think you’re shooting with a toy camera, which it is definitely marketed as. It’s not as intrusive as a big SLR camera. I often shoot with it near my pockets so it appears that I’m just walking around and holding it. This may sound strange, but the “fun” part of using a Lomo is that you never know what your final results will be. The focusing is based on zone-focusing, which means that there is no focusing ring on the lens, but a lever that is marked by different distances. So you’re basically taking a guess with every shot you take. But after a while, you will get the hang of it. Sometimes I’ll get a whole roll of great shots, sometimes I’ll get 3. Recently in Japan, I shot nearly 10 rolls on the Lomo. But at around the third roll, I dropped the camera hard enough to ruin the shutter mechanism. I ended up shooting 7 blank rolls!