The Film Pharaoh: 500 Photos on Lomography.com Part 1

The Film Pharaoh

The Film Pharaoh.  Has a nice ring to it I think.  This is my new title or rank on Lomograpghy.ca, an award “given” to me in recognition of my 500thphoto uploaded to the analogue film sharing site.  It pales in comparison to most Lomographers, but it makes me proud.

Me at VFMF with my new OFFICIAL press pass! The double exposure is with Ben from Said The Whale after his show with the Malahat Review. Self-portrait taken with my Diana Mini

Most of the pictures I’ve uploaded to the site are of friends and family, or of my experiences travelling.  I used a Diana Mini for most of them, but I’ve also used a Pentax K1000 and a Diana F+ in recent years now that my Mini is out of commission.  They’re all taken on film, all un-edited, and all personal.

I knew I had to have one.  500 photos later…..

As I look back on them I’ve realized that some of them were actually pretty good images.  I’ve struggled getting good results recently but feel I’ve improved a lot and have many fewer lucky images that turned out great.  I’m starting to feel like some of my planned shots are actually becoming my better ones.

I first uploaded a photo to Lomography in 2010.  Many of my photos were taken on my trip to Europe in 2011, and I am turning out a roll a month in 2012 (at least I’m uploading about one a month, when I can).  To celebrate these 500 photos I thought it would be neat to look at my five favourite photos that I’ve uploaded in the past two years and tell a bit of the story behind them – and why I like them.

#1 – Victoria Seals Baseball Game – Summer 2010, Diana F+, 120 film

My initial exposure to Lomography cameras was in late 2009 when I found them in a store on Granville Island.  I was fascinated right away by the funny little things, the plastic ruggedness of the Holga and the elegance and satire of the Diana F+.  I will admit I was right away drawn to the royal Diana camera, with her elegant colours and lines, her oversized silver flash, and the funny little lens.  From then on, I knew I had to have one.

A player from the ill-fated Victoria Seals baseball team. The whites from the jersey and the lights are brilliantly white in the original print

I bought my first Diana from a coffee shop in Victoria.  The owner, Ken Gordon, buys mass orders from the Lomography website and then sells them (for the same price) or distributes them to the people who placed their order through him.  Just like a roll of film, I waited two weeks to get the results of my order and first had a Diana F+ and a few weeks later a Diana Mini ready to roll.  I got the Diana F+ even though I didn’t want to use the expensive 120 film just because it came with that flash unit and at the time that option wasn’t available as a bundle for the 35mm Mini.

While waiting for my Mini to arrive I bought two rolls of 120 and went exploring.  I tried multiple exposures, low light and high light, indoors and outdoors, and told everybody I knew about my new treasure.  Of the first two rolls, almost every picture was amazing.  Such colours, such light leaks (especially when I dropped a not-secured spool at the beach), and such uniqueness.  I had them printed by a local developer and was allowed to bring the negatives home too.

This picture, of a baseball player from the short-lived Victoria Seals professional team of the Golden League, stood out as my favourite because of the rich blues and reds and a strange pattern of light leaks that came from not knowing how to load the film.  But what stood out the most on the original print was the white around the numbers and from the lights in the background.  I can’t even describe how much they sparkle on that 6×6 print.  In all, with the light coming from the right casting shadows on the player’s bald head, the amazing colours and brilliant white in the print, and the memory of simpler summers when nights were spent in diamond’s cheap seats, this photo from my second roll ever is one of my favourites of all time.

#2 – Hannah Georgas at Vancouver Folk Music Festival – Summer 2010, Diana Mini, Kodak BW400CN (35mm)

My weekend at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival, the weekend I finagled my way in on a made-up press pass (the reason this blog’s predecessor was created), is one of my favourite weekends in the past few years.  I had never been to a concert setting like Jericho Beach, or a festival of that size on my own before, and never in another city.  I was just starting to get interested in and involved with the Indie music scene and met up with some awesome characters from the CBC Radio 3 fan club for the weekend.

A multiple exposure of Hannah Georgas while playing with the Malahat Review

These professional music bloggers and die-hard music fanatics laughed at my plastic toy and concert inexperience, but really made me feel welcome in their group (with their real press passes and REALLY expensive cameras).  They knew people by name, they knew who to see and who to avoid, and they got front row spots for the Malahat Review.

Said the Whale, Jeremy Fisher, Hannah Georgas, and Aidan Knight are favourites of the West Coast music scene (with some east coast transplants).  In the summer of 2010 they set off on a 12-day tour of Vancouver Island and Vancouver on bike, calling themselves the Malahat Review for the mountain they would have to pedal up to reach Victoria, their second last destination.  They played each other’s songs and gave a great show even after 10 shows in 12 days while on bikes.

This shot of Georgas was taken while showing off my Mini’s multiple exposure capabilities, trying to explain to a Canon freak how I too could take quick photos, they’d all just appear together. Taken with the Mini’s rectangle frame option, I clicked four times on my little shutter and ended up with one of my best concert shots ever.  The sun setting behind me helped with lighting.  I think it shows off the Mini’s fun features and is a great photo from a great concert.  I can still tap my feet to the beat of that tambourine.

This article is continued in The Film Pharaoh: 500 Photos on Lomography.com Part 2.

Click here to see all my photos on Lomography.com

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