Saturday, April 25, 2009

Plastic Fantastic!

This year was meant to be all about light but I've been distracted by something a little more...er...retro. I'd heard of lomo and seen the photographs that it produces, but little did I realise how kitsch, sexy, and remarkably plastic fantastic the cameras actually were. I wish I could say it was the creative challenge of film that led me and my credit card to ebay today, but no, I am shallow - it was the great big retro flash on the Diana F+ model that made me cross that fine line between desire and require.


So meandering its way down the M5 to me this week is Lomography's faithful reproduction of their early ‘60s cult legend camera 'Diana' famous for its dreamy, radiant, lo-fi images. The remake has lots of cool new features including ability to take pinhole photos, a plug-it-in-and-fire-away immensely retro flash with colour gel filters (with horse shoe attachment so it can fit to my canon), multiple exposures, half-exposed frames, and a bulb setting. It can even be converted to take 35mm filmvia the use of lollipop sticks, a razor blade, and you you guessed it sticky tape.

But I couldn't stop there....not when I saw the Lomo Fisheye Camera. Fisheye. What more can I say...fishyeye rocks and this gorgeous piece of plastic is a hell of a lot cheaper than a £500 lens for my Canon EOS.


This is going to be a very interesting experiment for me. I am very impatient perfectionist. I will spend a good while thinking up an idea for a photograph, put aside a decent few hours to shoot it and be arty in photoshop. That is one of the reasons I use a digital camera. Composed, shot, in photoshop, and up on the web in the bat of an eyelid. I have complete control and can happily afford to make mistakes because I can see what I'm doing, if it's not right, delete and start again, it doesn't matter if it takes 100 shots to get the perfect photo - it is just adjustable storage space. With these guys I will have no idea if a photograph has worked until I get them back from the printers. Film is going to take some getting used to. Especially the 120 film for Diana....that has to be sent away somewhere special to be developed (Mr Fisheye takes standard 35mm requiring a much more acceptable potter down to Snappy Snaps 1hr service). Also, difficult to accept will be that the camera will have more of a creative input than me, with these guys I will not be spending many happy hours creating the lomo effect in photoshop, the camera will do it for me, it is lomography. But I am excited by this challenge. A new style of artistic experimental photography to play with. The approach: to take as many Lomographs as possible in the most impossible of situations possible and from the most unusual positions possible, and then have them developed as cheaply as possible. Colourful, crazy, off-the-wall, unfamiliar and hopefully brilliant snapshots.

----Picture Credits----

Diana F+
by Lomography

Lomo Fisheye No.2
by Bàrbara Ferrà on Flickr

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Home sweet home: Photographing Sheffield

Last weekend I went home to Sheffield. I am bias, I think it's the best city in the world. Not only did I grow up there but I also returned there as a student. Yup, I liked it enough to move back in with my folks for a year (no offense M&D)! Sheffield is a city of many sides. It has the somberness left by deindustrialisation of the steelworks but also the beauty of the Peak District on its doorstep. A lot of effort has gone into its regeneration and restoration, but a lot has also been left to crumble away. Touted as the 'greenest city in the UK' it has also been known as simultaneously the most educated and least educated city. Personally, I love the long rows terraces made from peak district stone, the fact that no matter where you go you always have to walk up a steep hill, that there are loads of trees, its sense of community, and that the water tastes reeet nice.

So, the purpose of this post. I've been asked for good places to photograph in Sheffield by the Oxford Photographic Society. I would say that because Sheffield is many-faceted it's great to photograph. Working on the theme of 'steel' could take you in so many different directions, from the existing and dilapidated steelworks to steel architectures and art in the city centre to the old millstones returned to their rightful place in the Peak District. Only a handful of photographs done by myself so far, but these are my recommendations for photographing Sheffield:

1. A walk along the Five Weirs to see the steelworks and the industrial/commercial landscape of the Lower Don Valley
2. A trip to Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet / Kelham Island / Shepherds Wheel, all Sheffield industrial museums and preserved sites that can show you steelwork practices of the past.
3. A meander around the city centre to see the sculptures that are starting to appear as part of Sheffield's regeneration (esp. the city train station, Millennium Galleries, and the Peace Gardens)
4. A trip out to the Peak District, specifically Stanedge Edge, Burbage Crags and the The Derwent Valley (HEADS UP: I have just discovered the fantastic photography of local photographer Stephen Elliot. To see how beautiful the countryside is I urge you to pay a visit to his web site at http://www.stephenelliottphotography.co.uk).

Picture Credits
1. Salt Cellar (Derwent Edge Derbyshire) by Stephen Elliot
2. 'And Quiet Flows the Don' by me
3. Balls of Steel by Zekizeki

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Monday, April 06, 2009

Istanbul Dreams

If one had but a single glance to give the world, one should gaze on Istanbul. ~ Alphonse de Lamartine


I've just uploaded a new set from a recent trip to Istanbul to kT LindSAy pHotoGrapHY. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Tender is the night


"No, I'm not really--I'm just a--I'm just a whole lot of different simple people."
- F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tender is the Night, Book 3, Ch. 8