Nika, known as smkhrdz on Instagram, started his journey with photography already nine years ago and already analogue, when he bought a Zenit camera for 5€ at a flea market in Tbilisi, Georgia (his home country. The architecture student and resident of Berlin still shoots analogue, as Nika puts value on the process of photography. His series, shot with the Lomography Color Negative 400, was created during the lockdown and deals with individuals in an empty city.
Hello Nika and welcome to LomoMagazine! What does film photography mean to you?
Photography can be defined in many different ways. I think that there is no single meaning for it since there are so many different photographs that look at different subjects. For me, photography is a means to perceive the world differently. A photograph is a means of communication. And because photographs communicate with us and tell us certain things it is sometimes important to know how these pictures are taken. Here, analogue photography plays a very special role because in this process everything must be anticipated and you are forced to think and make a decision before you release the camera.
What equipment do you use mostly? Do you have different equipment for different shooting situations?
I am currently trying out many cameras. It is fun for me. They are all different, have different designs and characters. Currently, I shoot with a 6x6 Yashica and a 6x4.5 Mamiya medium format camera. For street photography, I use more small-format rangefinder cameras. This has the advantage of not being very obvious on the street.
Tell us a little bit about how this series came about, what was your idea behind it?
This series was created last year during the pandemic period and is about the individual. I must say this series is something I have never done before, photographing people in such a monotonous environment. But this is just the reality, the streets are not as lively as they used to be.
We are happy that you used the Lomography Color Negative 400 for this series. Why did you choose this film and what do you like most about it?
The Color Negative 400 has a very great color palette. I found it especially nice to shoot with this film on non-sunny days. The film is very good for shooting in the shade or on cloudy days.
Last but not least: do you have some inspiring words or tips for our readers?
I would suggest everyone to experiment a lot. For me, experimenting means trying something new. I think we should not always perceive the world as it is, but maybe as it is not, or as we do not know it yet.
Thanks to Nika for sharing his series and his thoughts on it! Check out his Instagram and leave some love! If you're inspired and want to get started right away yourself, you can find our Lomo ColorNegative 400 here in the Online Shop.