Another season’s coming to pass. For shutterbugs, every period is tracked or remembered with the help of photos – the bleak winter captured in black and white, a slow spring with a slide film perhaps, a buoyant summer immortalized in color negative film.
So before the inevitable autumn let’s look back on this season slipping through our fingertips with the help of the Lomography La Sardina.
My favorite film photos of myself were taken on a beach during a summer vacation. In one of those photos–I must’ve been seven or eight at that time–I was in the water with my blue children’s lifebuoy, squinting at the camera because of the bright sun and smiling the typical kooky, uninhibited smile of a child.
I’ve spent many summers at beaches since, many of them at my dad’s hometown. My cousins and I would drink coconut juice and eat green mangoes from our grandparents’ backyard, watch movies or chat in the afternoon when the heat would be unbearable (sometimes, ironically, while drinking hot coffee!), then we would go out and walk by the sea before the high tide catches up.
Alright, here’s another confession. We’ve entered the wet season and the past few months since June have been very rainy and gloomy here in the tropical country of the Philippines (actually, officially, we only have the dry and wet seasons, somehow "summer" is what we've come to call the hottest months of March to May). I knew I was going to write about a perennial summer, but what did that mean for me? In my daily life, dismal had been the prevalent mood and I floated along with my routines.
For a while, I thought about taking pictures in the rain, because despite everything there is so much beauty and possibility in rain photography too. One day, I finally decided I would go out with the La Sardina and take photos, rain or no rain. Lo and behold, it was a pretty sunny day!
The kind of sunny that gives off that warm and fuzzy feeling reminiscent of summer days. But the thing was that, it was also actually summer in other parts of this big world we live in. It’s when I talked to fellow Lomographers about when and how they celebrate summer that I realized how much the season can be a state of mind. It can be something you keep in your pocket, to take out and look at during the dreary days, and be glad and filled with wonder again.
My love for analogue photography started when I was very young since my father had a Minolta Dynax 5000i that we used in all our vacations. A few years ago I found this camera in the closet and decided to bring it back to life. Summer automatically reminds me of my childhood and my vacations in Córdoba, Argentina. Here, at the end of the year vacations are in summer (yes, at Christmas it's 40° hot), so I have many memories of getting into rivers, mountains, seeing a variety of animals and plants. Whenever the heat comes back I feel like being in Córdoba and getting away from the city.
I absolutely love (the La Sardina). It is a very portable camera, I carry it in my jacket pocket and every time I focus my eyes on something I take it out and take a picture. Its price is really affordable and I find the possibility of taking multiple exposures and long exposures fascinating. Right now I'm using it to experiment with film soups, the first one was with cherry liqueur and I'm making a new one with black beer and eucalyptus.
Meanwhile, Switzerland's Daniela (@forgottenflower01) told me about the exhilarating and unique summers of the North she has experienced.
I have studied in Finland, and a good summer is endless days, nightless nights, sunset at 10 pm and sunrise at 3 am, everybody is outside in nature, forests, lakes, the sea, or just in the parks, having fun and enjoying the warmth of the sun. Usually it rains on midsummer.
I’m old enough to have taken my first photos on film, as digital cameras were not available everywhere yet. I guess I bought my first Lomo at least some 15 years ago. Not sure if it was a Supersampler or a Fisheye. I liked the effects. But my favorite is La Sardina, I love double exposures, and they are easily made with the camera. And it’s just exciting to fill one film, rewind it, fill it again and wait what will be developed. One of them, the one with the bird was taken with that technique. One of my favorites.
For Alicia (@squiggle23), summer at this time also meant being able to commune with friends and family once again. From her first (accidental) multiple exposure self-portrait, to street scenes and sublime moments, she said taking up film photography has forced her to explore and appreciate the local area with fresh eyes.
I’m a software engineer. I started getting into film photography around 4 or 5 months ago, my partner had just gotten back into it and they introduced me to Lomography. The rest is history, really!
I’m generally more of an autumn/winter girl - I love snuggling up in a big hoodie with a hot chocolate - but I always miss the late, warm summer evenings and being able to spend time with friends and family outdoors. This year particularly after two years of lockdowns and pandemic worries, it’s been lovely to be able to spend more time outdoors and enjoy the good weather.
Also, this has been the perfect time of year to start getting into film - between the days being longer and the weather generally being sunnier in the United Kingdom I've had a lot more opportunity to get out and take some pictures after work.
As it turns out, the indomitable and thrilling atmosphere that summer brings can also be seen and felt even in the quietest instances, or that one calm day after days of thunderstorms.
Anything that sunlight touches can remind us of the happiness and meaning we can conjure (sometimes effortlessly) even in the middle of any adversity. Like rosebuds persevering into full bloom, or weeds and wildflowers growing in the wildest spots on earth, telling us, ‘hey, let’s be children once again, we have all the time in the world to enjoy our time in the world’.
Many thanks to Gabriel, Daniela and Alicia for reminiscing with me about summer in this feature! Do you have summer memories that you treasure? How do you celebrate summer where you're from? Share them with us below, we’d love to read them!