Being one of the largest analogue photography communities on the web, we are proud of the creativity and diversity of our members. For this month's Community Spotlight, we are pleased to introduce to you Lomographers Nick Page (@nickpage) and Sami Niemeläinen (@santtu98) and their unique way of seeing the world.
Name: Nick Page
Location: Hertford, Hertfordshire, UK
Hi, Nick! What do you do and what got you started with photography?
I’m a graphic designer and art worker for a marketing/advertising agency. As a kid, I was bought various Kodak point-and-shoot film cameras for Christmas. I remember a Kodak Ektralite 110 camera one year and Kodak Disc camera which took a strange short-lived film format with a circular cartridge. Later at art college, I enjoyed the photography lessons even more than the Fine Art classes I was supposed to be on. Shooting and developing film was a great experience.
How did you discover Lomography and what made you join our analogue Community?
After working in advertising for about 15 years I was becoming a bit jaded with the pixel-perfect images and creative I had to produce in my job. I started to look for an outlet to keep myself fresh and get away from Photoshop and a computer screen. Around this time I was reading lots of different photography books and the one I always went back to was “Hot Shots” by Kevin Meredith.
At that time he was mostly shooting film and the camera he was famous for was the Lomo LC-A. That’s how I discovered Lomography. Just through the creativity, friendliness, and generosity of the Lomography community, I learned so much about film photography and that it really is a community. Something that I don’t think you find so much on social media like Instagram, where I think the main focus of most of the users isn’t really photography.
Who are your favorite photographers here?
@hodachrome — A source of constant wonder. His photographs look impossible to achieve! Someone who has totally mastered the Lomo LC-A.
@fotobes — Toby Mason’s photos really struck me when I first found the Lomography website. His cross-processed and double-exposed shots have a dream-like quality that despite the strange color shifts, look totally organic and natural. I was lucky enough to meet him at his exhibition at the Lomography Gallery Store in London a couple of years ago.
@lomomowlem — Iain’s commitment to cross-processing is totally admirable. I really love the way his shots are composed. The double-exposed tunnel shots taken around London are brilliant. He helped me a lot with advice on which films to use and where he gets his film developed.
@lomokev — Kevin Meredith was the photographer and teacher who got me back into film photography again. He gave me some great advice recently when I got stuck in a creative rut.
What is your favorite subject to photograph?
I tend to photograph anything that’s in front of me at the time. I take a lot of simple photographs of every day, everywhere variety. They are just mundane snapshots. One of my favorites I have taken is one of a friendly cat which was taken in a supermarket car park! I like English seaside towns and beaches and living close to London, although I’m not a street photographer, many of my photos are taken on London streets. I love Nice and the South of France so I’ve used lots of different films and cameras there over the years.
In this day and age, why choose film?
I have tried shooting with lots of different digital cameras and I just feel detached from them. I like the limitations of 12, 24 or 36 exposures on a roll of film. The film cameras I use tend to be lighter than a digital equivalent also, so I can carry one anywhere. I really don’t take that many photographs in a year and even though I still use a lab to process, scan and print my film it works out cheaper in the long run than buying the latest digital camera and upgrading every few years!
For you, what's the best part about being a Lomographer?
That it can mean whatever you want it mean. You can use the ‘rules’ as a jumping-off point for any direction you want to go. Perfection in photography doesn’t really interest me. Once you accept the limitations of the cameras you realize there are no limitations at all.
What is your favorite Lomography camera and film and why?
I think over the years I’ve used nearly all the cameras that Lomography has produced but the one I use the most is the Lomo LC-Wide. I just bought a second one as my first one just died after too much exposure to salt and sand over years of use on various beaches. It’s so easy to use with just two focus settings. Basically near or far. You just can’t miss with the wide lens and results are usually dramatic.
Name: Sami Niemeläinen
Location: Joensuu, Finland
Hi, Sami! What do you do and what got you started with photography?
I have been working in the telecommunication field for over 30 years so my daily work has nothing to do with photographing. I got my first camera as a gift when I was around 14 of age in the early 1980s. It was a Black Konica Pop and I still have it. Back then, I got more and more interested in photographing and bought better film cameras in the late 1980s and 1990s. When digital cameras arrived, I forgot film photography for decade or so but saved all my film cameras and lenses. So it was pretty easy to start photographing in film format again. One more thing that helped me to come back to film photographing was the fact that one of our local camera stores have still film lab! So I can take photos and get my film developed in one hour like in good old times!
How did you discover Lomography and what made you join our analogue Community? Who are your favorite photographers here?
I was in a flea market and bought an old Konica C35 camera and as soon as I got home, I started to look for more info about film photography and old cameras. Then I found the Lomography site and noticed that there are still a lot of active film photographers around the world! I joined the community almost immediately to see analogue photos taken by other members, get ideas, and also to display my photos.
There are so many I like but if I must mention a few, then I would say @troch, @yago56, @theblues, @rik041, @jonkersey, @oleman, @frenchyfyl, and @antmark. I think they all have been my Lomofriends right from the start and helped me to come back to film photography with their inspiring photos! But like I said there are so many more great Lomographers here!
What makes you stay with film photography in this day and age? What's your favorite subject to shoot?
With digital cameras, you can take thousands of photos and forget to enjoy and give deeper thought to every photo! But when you have film loaded to your film camera you must plan every shot. Every photo needs more work (especially with older manual lenses and cameras). I also love the look of old cameras and their mechanical parts that are working even if the camera is older than me!
As my daily work keeps me indoors with computers, I like to spend most of my free time outdoors! I like to go hiking in the wilderness! This summer I spent almost two weeks in the wilderness of Lapland in Finland, just above the arctic circle. I actually just uploaded those photos to my gallery. So nature and landscapes are my number one subject! But I like also document my hometown with photos. During summer seasons, I visit many old classic car meetings and take a lot of photos there. But I am not afraid to shoot many other subjects too.
For you, what's the best part about being a Lomographer?
For me, the best thing about it is that I get to relax and do something that I really like! When you take your camera out with you it's also good for your health and mind!
What is your favorite camera and film and why?
When I go hiking I take usually my Olympus XA2 camera with me! It's small, light and works perfectly in natural conditions. When photographing more urban objects I like to use my Minolta XG1 camera and 35 mm/2.8 lens. For B&W photos, I use Ilford XP2 400 film because my local film lab can develop it with their color lab equipment. For color shots I use mostly Kodak Gold 200, Fujifilm Superia X-tra 400 and Fujifilm C200 films. Mostly because of their easy availability and decent price here.
Stay tuned for our monthly Community Spotlight to discover the work of some of the most talented Lomographers!