Thursday, November 5, 2009

Photo Fetish

My interest in photography dates back some 10 years ago. My interest was primarily due to some basic need to express myself artistically; I figured, photography was a good medium, and probably, less complicate compared to other arts. I was wrong.

Back then, I made some friends with some guys from a photo studio who did our college graduation shoot. I was also able to borrow an SLR camera form the brother of my friend, a Zenit 12xp. However, because no one can actually educate me on how to use the camera, particularly on how to manipulate exposure, I soon got tired of underexposed or overexposed images. In a roll of 36 exposures, I’d be lucky if 10 would come out right. I gave up on it faster than I got interested.

Jump forward to early 2008. I just bought a first compact digital camera, a Fuji Finepix F40 fd (which is a great camera). Needless to say, my interest in photography was being rekindled again; but this time, more of practical-slash-sentimental reasons, rather that artistic ones. It was about this time when I accidentally saw a TV program showcasing a kind of photography called, Lomography. I was instantly drawn to the images they produced. They were colorful and fun, sometimes depressing, and wonderfully distorted. There is a certain abstractness in them that catches one’s attention without much effort. To top it all, it seemed amazingly simple enough. They use film cameras which are devoid of complicated aperture, shutter speed, and ISO settings. And, most of all, they say that there are no rules! Someone made a comment that, if photography was music, then Lomography would be punk rock! I told myself, this is something which I can definitely do, or even excel in.

For the next few weeks, I would spend a lot time surfing the net for all things lomographic: its history, the art itself, the gears, and the fun and color. Had there been a widespread use of internet a decade ago, I may have not given up easily on photography; there is just a wealth of information nowadays, which is great. In less than a month I was able to buy my first film camera, a Holga 120N, whom I named Amanda. More research warmed me up to my first purchase even more. The first few rolls where a bit frustrating, but once you get past the first three to four rolls, you’ll start loosening up, and then… magic happens!

I have been shooting film for almost two years now. I have a substantial portfolio, and more than a dozen cameras. More than that, my general love for photography has grown deeper and broader. I am no longer confined with lomographic cameras, or its punk rock attitude, I simply love capturing moments in the time-space continuum! I love photography; with or without rules, in chrome, in black and white, in plastic lens, in film, in digital, in lomographic cameras, in vintage cameras, in DSLR, and yes, even in my 2 megapixel phone camera!

If you are also interested in photography, specially using film, and you are reading this, congratulations! You are on the right track, by educating yourself. I may not be the best person to talk about these matters, you I can definitely share a thing or two. So, go ahead and read on!

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