I have been interviewed by the BBC’s online magazine for an article that coincides with the 20th anniversary of Lomography. It’s quite nice to see that another Brighton photographer, Toby Mason, has also been interviewed for the piece; Brighton represent! The article was written by Stephen Dowling, the same journalist that interviewed me on the subject of Instagram in April this year. You can read the BBC’s Lomography article here and I thought it would be nice to post my responses to Stephen’s questions in full in case you’re curious to read more.
1) You’re a photographer who is really associated with Lomography – what was it that attracted you to using the Lomo LC-A?
I was attracted to the LC-A because I wanted a camera that could fit into my pocket and take decent pictures at night for an upcoming trip to New York. I got my first Lomo LC-A in 1998 when Lomography only sold two cameras: the LC-A and the cheap as chips Action Sampler. At that time compact digital cameras didn’t exist and a decent 35mm film compact could cost upwards of £300, so £90 for an LC-A was a steal.
2) Some photography purists think the lomo (and Lomography) is just hype. What would you say to them?
I have come across this attitude in regards to mobile phone photography as well. There are lots of different ways to capture an image many of which I have never tried but that does not mean that I would say negative things about them. Some people might see that Lomography is the dumbing down of photography because they are striving for perfection which is not Lomography’s main aim.
3) Is it fair to say you owe the LC-A for your career as a photography tutor and author?
In parts yes, the reason why I developed as a photographer is that I had this little camera on me at all times, which meant I never missed a photo opportunity. Also I shoot with an LC-A with cross processed slide film; cross processed images can look unique which made my photographs stand out from the crowd.
If someone wants to get into photography they will get a digital camera and usually be overwhelmed with all of the options that it gives them. People will take an image and immediately check it on the back of the screen, there is no cooling off period before seeing your images. Shooting with a really simple film camera is a completely different experience to using a digital camera, it’s usually just point and shoot, all you have to think about is composing your image, so it can be quite liberating. For that reason I lend a Lomo LC-A to each student on the first day of my photography course, people tend to really enjoy shooting with the LC-A and then looking at their images for the first time the following day.