This is the second article in a series in collaboration with Film’s Not Dead.
Zoom with your feet. It’s probably the best single piece of photographic advice you’ll ever receive, whether you should film or digital.
Photography courses and knowing camera shop staff the world over will tell you the same thing – ditch the zoom lens, and use one prime lens for a few months; which focal length you choose is your decision, but the best is a standard, somewhere between 45mm and 58mm. You don’t take it off your camera, and you learn to see the world through it.
Lomography restarted the production of the the little-known Lomo LC-A compact from St Petersburg in the 1990s, turning what had been a Cold War curio into a bona fide photographic craze.
In the intervening years, the humble Lomo was modified to create two new cameras; the updated Lomo LC-A+ with a few extra, useful features, and the wide-angle Lomo LC-Wide. While both excellent updates, neither could really be described as revolutionary. But last year Lomography announced something that was – the LC-A 120.
Photography is all about trial and error, making mistakes and learning from them. But when you’re starting out – especially with film – it can sometimes be frustrating. Over the next 52 weeks, Zorkiphoto and London’s Film’s Not Dead will bring you a series of tips if you’re trying film photography for the first time, or returning to it after a long break. Happy shooting.
If you want to get serious with your photography, the conventional wisdom – especially with digital photography – has been to spend as much as you can afford. Buying the best-quality camera, and more importantly lenses, allows you to develop your skills without having to constantly update your gear. So surely it makes sense to do the same thing when you start out shooting film?
Not necessarily. Many of us might dream of treading cobbled streets or Manhattan avenues with a Leica in our hands and a leather holdall full of film, but there’s a lot to be said for starting out with much more modest gear.
(Pic: Michael Pritchard)
It doesn’t look very exciting – a cardboard box about five inches (13cm) tall, covered in leatherette, with a small round opening at the front. You might have some trouble working out what it was for if you didn’t know. But the Kodak Brownie might be the most important camera ever made.
Before it appeared in 1900, cameras were distinctly unwieldy, if not downright cumbersome. Early cameras tended to be made of a great deal of brass and mahogany and took pictures on to large glass or metal plates, often requiring exposure times measured in minutes.
To photograph far-flung places, porters and pack animals were often needed to carry the equipment. Photography was an activity involving patience, toxic chemicals, and brute strength. It was not something the ordinary people indulged in.
Greewnich Park sunset, on a Zenit E and cross-processed Kodak Elite Chrome 100.
In a few hours, 2014 will be over. TV news bulletins, newspapers, magazine and website are, in traditional style, giving their salute to the year that’s been. So, in true 31st of December fashion, I’ll join them.
It’s winter here in London, and with short days, overcast skies and the beginnings of a bitter cold spell, this is the perfect time to look back on a photographic year – and look forward to what 2015 might hold
Here, in no particular order, are nine highlights from 2014 shooting film… Read More