Lomography: Austin Abstract

Do you know about lomography? Until last week I didn’t know anything about it except that I recognized the term. And now I still don’t know anything, except that I want to learn. We all love those cool pictures that have vintage filters like Instagram (iPhone) or Retro Camera (Android), right? If you follow me on Twitter you know I love tweeting pics from Retro Camera.

This all got started when Etsy sent me a Diana Mini to document the meetup last Friday. (It was awesome, I’m going to write about it soon!) The camera is adorable but it took me, no joke, about 30 minutes just to load the film. It’s been a long time since I’ve had to do that!  We took a roll of film at the party and I popped it in the mail to Lomography for development as they requested. We put a new roll in the camera at the party but only got off a few shots (including the one above of Gin Martini) before the night ended.

The next morning we took off to spend the weekend relaxing in Austin. I took another full roll of pictures attempted to follow The Rules of Lomography:

1. Take your camera everywhere you go.
2. Use it anytime, day and night.
3. Lomography is not an interference in your life, but a part of your life.
4. Try the shot from the hip.
5. Approach the objects of your Lomographic desire as closely as possible.
6. “Don’t Think”
7. Be fast.
8. You don’t have to know beforehand what you’ve captured on film.
9. …and you don’t necessarily have to know afterwards, either.
10. Don’t worry about any rules.

Some of the pictures came out pretty cool, like the giant chess set, and I had fun playing with double-exposing pictures.

Others didn’t come out so well, unless my mojito consumption caused me to forget about a mid-summer blizzard…

And plenty of others came out just okay, like this one where we were playing with the colored gels on the flash. There are only a few settings to play with on the Diana Mini – you can adjust the zone focus between four different settings, two apertures (marked as sunny [f8] and cloudy [fll]) and two shutter speeds (marked as n [1/60] and b [bulb]). I have not perfected these. In fact, I have not perfected taking the lens cap off 😉

The other thing the Diana Mini is great for is making friends with strangers! It might be partially because we were walking around photography-loving Austin, but everyone wanted to talk about it. This was excellent because it helped win over my husband who didn’t see the point of using a more limited camera with film when we have a nice DSLR.

And then I got pictures developed…. Right before taking them to CVS I read a little online about developing lomography. The advice was mixed- some people said they didn’t have any problems and other warned that dropping off film that switched between square and half-size pictures would make them hate you… oops! I waited (and waited, and waited) to talk to the employee to warn him that the pictures were unusual. But alas, when I went to pick up the CD my film was set aside with a long note about how it was all messed up. I think I’ll have better results next time if I take the film to a real photo lab.

That’s all so far! I’m excited to take the Diana Mini on our upcoming vacation, but we’ll definitely pack the DSLR too. I love the “don’t worry, just shoot” philosophy but digital habits die hard. Oh, and if you are into lomography I’d love to hear your tips!


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