Link: BBC website
The interview in full:
* What got you into Lomography? Were you using film cameras already? How has Lomography influenced your photography?
I have owned an Olympus OM10 SLR analogue camera for about the past 20 years, and I have always been a fan of the texture, grain and character of film photography.
When digital cameras came onto the scene I did buy a point and shoot, but the pixels seemed to render the images flat and dull, so I returned to my trusty OM10. Then, around 4 years ago, I moved from London down to Brighton, and one day wandered into Zoing Images. It was a refreshing change from the type of clinical chain shops we have become used to as a nation, the ones that only sell cameras as a piece of electronic equipment without inspiring interest in the possibilities of what you could create. While I was there, I bought a Mini Diana camera, and a copy of “Hot Shots”, by Kevin Meredith. I loved the straight-forward advice, with the emphasis not on the technical aspects of equipment, but more on a few basic principles of photography, with one of the main messages being: “take your camera everywhere you go”. A few months later, my girlfriend, Jess, bought me a place on one of Brighton-based Lomokev’s photography courses. I purchased my first LC-A camera that same weekend, and from that point my love for Lomography was sealed.
Since then, I have met lots of people who share this passion for film photography, and there’s a great melting pot for shared ideas and techniques in Brighton. I suppose what I try to achieve through my photography is to capture some of the quirky and natural beauty of the world around me. I always carry at least one LC-A with me at all times, and often one or two others loaded with different films. These small point and shoot cameras are perfect for me as they are easy to use, and I never miss a moment as there are very few settings to adjust. I know the capabilities and limitations of these cameras, which gives me a better chance of more good shots on each roll of film.
* Many photographers seem to prefer the look of film even more now mainstream photography has gone digital. Where do you stand?
Whilst digital photography can produce some impressive images, I can’t help feeling that the emphasis is more on the quality (and cost) of the equipment, the zoom lens and the rest of the kit as well as the photographer’s ability to manipulate an image in Photoshop or Lightroom, than the act of taking photographs that evoke a sense of feeling. It seems to me that an average digital starting shot can be made into something amazing through somebody’s computer skills, rather than photographic ability. With film photography, there is far more emphasis on ensuring that the picture is right in the first place and then embracing the imperfections once the film is developed. The world around us is not air-brushed, and we would all do well to marvel at the quirks of everyday scenes and chance sightings. I like to use film because I feel this gives photographs more character, in the same way that whilst listening to music on vinyl isn’t as “perfect” as CD or digital, it does have more soul.
* The cliché of a ‘Lomographer’ is a Pitchfork-reading hipster on a fixie bike with a Trust Fund… do you think that harms its image, especially amongst older photographers who shoot film?
I do believe it is true that some people like to carry Lomographic cameras as fashion accessories. But then, they are genuinely genuinely cute cameras! Surely if this encourages different generations to keep analogue photography alive, when all around us other people are looking for an instant fix, instant results, and images that you just take, look at and delete in a flash, then Lomography is doing something great by going against the grain.
Through my “Fotobes” Flickr page, I receive comments and “favourites” from all sorts of different photographers of varying ages and backgrounds, so I am comfortable that the style and quality of photograph that I create through Lomography can be appreciated by all. Plus, I’m sure that a few “hipster” Lomo fans are no worse that the occasional digital bores!