HIP TO BE SQUARE

The very kind people at Lomography lent one of their brand new medium format LC-A 120s to me for a test drive a couple of weeks ago and asked me a few questions about the experience. These are my responses, and some of my favourite shots..

Tell us a bit about yourself?

My name is Toby Mason (aka fotobes) and I live down on the south coast of England in the beautiful and fun seaside city of Brighton. I have a wife, a step-son, a son and a cat, and we live around a ten minute walk from the sea. For my day job I work within the wine trade, which is a vibrant and engaging industry. I have owned and used film cameras since the age of around 10, and since stumbling across Lomography cameras around 4-5 years ago, my passion for creativity, and capturing some of the beauty in the world around me, has been thoroughly fulfilled.

little fluffy cows

 

Why do you choose to shoot with film?

I have always loved the imperfections of film, which seem to mirror our world far better than the enforced perfection of digital photography, in conjunction with “Photoshop”. Vignetting, light leaks, saturation and grain are things of beauty to my eyes. Yet bizarrely, many digital photographers spend great reserves of their time and money creating these effects, whilst we lovers of analogue get all of this just for the price of a film camera and a few rolls of film! I would far rather spend my time outdoors, living life and taking pictures, and not being a slave to my laptop, and digital manipulation!

watching the day end

 

How did you get on with the LCA120?

I usually shoot on 35mm film, with the LC-A and LC-A+ being my everyday cameras of choice. The controls on the LC-A120 were simple and straight forward to use, with a similar zone focus lever (although it was great to be able to get slightly closer to the subject, with the 60cm first setting), and a really nice MX switch. Once activated, the MX function allowed me to keep shooting without having to keep flicking the switch, which is really useful particularly with “ghost” multiple exposures. I was also very impressed with the lens, which has just the right blend of sharpness, together with the classic lc-a style with plenty of contrast and super rich colours.

alone in a dream

 

You usually only shoot with 35mm film, how did the 120 film compare?

When using 35mm film, I almost always shoot “landscape” as opposed to “portrait”. So, one of my main challenges in terms of composition, was thinking square! This affected my choice of subjects to some extent, and also how I lined up my shots. But this was a challenge that I really enjoyed, and would like to experience some more!

square beaut

 

What’s in store for you in the next 12 months?

In early 2015, I am hoping to exhibit at Brighton’s great new gallery “Brighton Photography”, which will be their first analogue exhibition. In May next year, I will be looking to take part in the Artist Open House exhibition again, where we turn our house into a gallery for every weekend of May. This has always been great fun and a wonderful experience, with my wife Jess, and friend Zoe Murphy. In between, I am also hoping to hold an exhibition at one of Lomography’s gallery stores, having won a rumble last week! I am also working on a very exciting film-swap project, and working on plans for one other top-secret photography venture – more on those in the coming months!

You will also find the write up on the Lomography site here:

And my homepage on the Lomography site here.