Friday, August 15, 2014

Do you Lomo?

Me and work buddies having a beer after work - Shot with the Lomo 360 Spinner

Back around 2005 I discovered the Holga and have been a fan of the "Lomo" movement ever since. It seems that now the term Lomo isn't just about cameras made by Lomo but is more about the idea that photography should be fun. "Lomography" should have an element of mystery via not knowing if you're going to have light leaks, it has vignetting, and somewhere along the lines even a certain type of colour treatment has been associated with Lomo.

While at a local camera store my girlfriend noticed that they had a whole display dedicated to Lomo and that nearly everything on it was on sale. She decided it was time to snap up her first Holga, I decided to pick up a Lomokino. This was the start of a slippery slope :) I then picked up a Sprocket Rocket and later a 360 spinner.

First off I'll talk about the Lomokino, it's a 35mm video camera! It takes and slices a regular 35mm frame into 8 strips and you crank the camera by hand. You only get around 30 sec using a standard 24 exposure roll depending on how fast you crank. It takes some work afterwards to make it a video, you have to scan the prints or negatives then crop each frame and finally use a video editing program to put it altogether, but that just makes it all the more fun :) Quick tip: I found a quick and dirty way is to name the files sequentially as you crop them (image 001 image002 etc) then open them as an image sequence in Photoshop. You can then choose how many frames per second you want the video to be. It's not as full featured as Premiere but if you're coming from a photography background it'll be easier to apply effects.

The lovely lady featured is Deanna, I've worked with her few times before and she is fantastic, she'll be in an upcoming post as well.

Example of a negative scan from a Lomokino roll

 Next up is the Sprocket Rocket, a relatively simple camera that takes extra wide photos and exposes the film right to the edge. Two aperture settings and a single shutter speed, much like a Holga in that regard.

 Sprocket Rocket
To take advantage of the sprocket holes though you need to be able to scan right to the edge of the negative, not an easy task with a normal home scanner. I've yet to come across a lab that will do it either. Luckily there is the Digitaliza negative holder, this was also on sale at the same camera shop but they had to order it in from another store for me. I must say it works like a dream, I was able to use it with my Canon Canoscan 8400F without any issues.
Digitaliza Negative Holder 
Here are a few shots I got with the Sprocket Rocket:

Sprocket Rocket - Fuji Colour ISO400

04 bw

Sprocket Rocket - Fuji Colour ISO400 - Converted to BW in post

Last but not least is one of the most unique and fun cameras I've ever shot, the 360 Spinner!

You simply hold your arm out, pull the string, and the camera spins completely around and actually a little past. It's odd in that there is no shutter, there is only a small narrow slit in the camera which is constantly open, you need to slide the switch into a wind position to close it. This has cost me a few exposures because it still behaves normally and spins but it doesn't expose anything, just thought I'd point this out so hopefully others don't waste precious film :) Speaking of precious film, you only get about 4-5 shots per standard 24exp roll if I remember correctly. When taking it in for development make sure you specify DO NOT CUT NEGATIVES! Same goes for the Sprocket Rocket.

You get a lot of weird looks from people using this camera too :) All in all though it makes for some of the coolest group photos ever as you can see in the first shot of this post.

02 Deanna takes a 360 Selfie while out on a modeling shoot with me.

06 CP
The Delta Bessborough as seen by a tilted Lomo 360

If you tilt the camera so that it's not spinning parallel to the ground you can get some interesting effects, this reminds me of the movie Inception!

All in all I think it's amazing that there are new 35mm cameras coming out still and ones that are as inventive as the Lomokino or the 360 Spinner, film isn't dead quite yet, hopefully the hipsters keep it alive a bit longer.

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