It’s hard to get a dose of art and film photography these days especially in the time of the pandemic. However, a little goes a long way with alternatives. Take, for example, passionate Lomographer Jonathan Reinke, a.k.a. nonspecificscientific and how he not only managed to create instant memorabilia with the Diana Instant Square, but also fulfill his artistic desires on limited social movement.
Firstly, how are you lately as a photographer? How's the lockdown keeping you lately?
Like everyone in this pandemic, I have been affected by the shelter-in-place orders here in my state. That kind of put a damper on my family's vacation plans for the spring and several rolls of film we had saved up for the special time. Lately, as orders have become laxer, I have gotten out to shoot more, but there is much less that there was to do here (which was pretty little, already. LOL.)
For many Lomographers, their daily analogue routine is being affected. What made you pick up an instant camera? May you tell us how it's helping you in keeping up your film routine despite our societal complications right now?
Having gone a bit stir crazy being indoors, and using analogue photography as my creative-outlet-of-choice. Not being able to do that stifles me, I feel, and I am more prone to depression. Getting to shoot is a treat! I enjoy the process, and getting my film back in the (e-)mail is like opening up a Christmas present. That I picked up an instant camera was due to the lack of labs open to developing my film, straightforward as that sounds. It was my quick fix to sanity, and I had some packs lying around in my fridge.
We love that you were still able to take pictures outside! May you share with us more what the series is about?
The series was about therapy and being able to find some sanity during all the madness and disinformation. Half the time, I don't develop what I originally had in mind--I get shots that are in some other world, a parallel universe full of soft focus and vignettes and accidents. I like to shoot a bit of everything--the blossoms, my kids, the crap across my street that gets dumped there; a bit of all that is left in there; and, of course, my mistakes.
What made you reach out with the Diana Instant Square specifically and what do you love about it?
I chose the Diana Instant Square to be my instant camera of choice because I instantly fell in love with it when it was announced on Kickstarter. I love all the quirks and possibilities it offers. It has virtually everything the Diana F+ family offers and even a bit more. The availability of accessories are also very attractive, as it is compatible with all Diana F+ lenses, and even compatible with the color/ND/prism filter(s) from the Lomo'Instant Square Glass. I used some of the said filters in this album.
Tell us what subjects you're interested in right now?
I am currently fascinated by good, well-composed portraiture and something we've been calling on Facebook, "New Topographics," which entails shots of man-made structures or landscapes impacted by mankind's presence (i.e., telephone poles in the middle of nowhere.)
On normal days what do you usually photograph and what gear do you use?
I always love taking pictures of my family and a few friends when I get the chance. There's always something that catches my eye, and I expend a roll or pack faster than I intend to. My usual arsenal contains my Holga 120 N or my handy, "new" Lomo LC-A. Can't go wrong with those. In times like these, it's the Diana Instant Square.
Where do you draw inspiration and motivation right now especially at times like this?
I draw my inspiration from my dedicated film feed on Instagram and my Lomography community (of course). There are people taking breathtaking photographs on film right now, you just gotta look for it. So if I see something I like, I can generally try to imitate it in my own way... even if it's years later.
Any tips you'd like to give to fellow Lomographers experiencing a creative block during this pandemic?
I would say to my fellow Lomographic peers to not give up just because you're inside. Break out! Take a walk against the powers that be and capture something you enjoy. Art is therapeutic and good for the mind. Staying inside scrolling your phone, not so much.
What are you up to next?
I am hoping to go out to the coast sometime soon and just document what I see. Or, if I'm just hanging out locally, new perspectives on what's around me. I've got some neat stuff stored away, so check in sometime. I hope to do a lot more black and white in the near future, as well.
What have you been doing lately to keep up with your analogue routine during the pandemic? Let us know your alternate ways by commenting below!