UK photographer Andrew Keedle wasn't convinced by the humble LomoApparat at first, but was happy to try it out. After the very first roll he started to appreciate the wide-angle lens and multiple exposure possibilities, and went head-first in to full experimentation mode, creating surreal and dystopian city scenes during his trips to London. We talked to Andrew about using this 35 mm camera and why you should never judge a book by its cover.
Hi Andrew, what interested you about the LomoApparat?
My initial thoughts were that it was a bit gimmicky for my tastes, that it wasn’t really for me as I rarely use 35 mm film, but that it more than probably would do well for it’s intended audience. I really should have known better than to judge a camera by it’s social media coverage. I’ve used pretty much all types of cameras and film formats over the years but one of my favorites is the Holga 120, in its 6x6 form and also the 6x12 Panoramic version. I see being limited in shutter speed and aperture options as very far from being a limitation. It’s an invitation to experiment.
What I really should have focused on with the LomoApparat were the details:
21 mm (Love my 21 mm on my OM4Ti)
These four features put the LomoApparat very squarely in my ball park and make it a blast to play around with. I do have to admit that I didn’t buy the camera. I was gifted it from a friend. At the time I said I would give it a whirl, just because, and then pass it on. After seeing the results of my first roll through it, the LomoApparat isn’t going anywhere. It’s tiny, light and a bundle of fun.
Tell us about these photos. What did you choose to shoot?
I work remotely as a software developer but I do have to pop to the office in London every now and again to meet up and show my face. I have a long standing love/hate relationship with London and commuting. I love the buzz of the city, the history, the architecture and the endless photographic opportunities. I hate the time, cost and hassle of getting there. To make the most of these days in the office I like to take a camera and make some images on the way to and from the office if I get the chance.
The LomoApparat is the ideal camera for this. Easy to tuck away in your coat pocket, tucks in your hand whilst you are walking about and nobody is going to take you seriously or bother you when using it. It simply hides in plain sight. My plan for these images was to work on my multiple exposure project, capturing scenes and skylines in a slightly different and sometimes slightly unsettling way. Loaded with a roll of Ilford FP4 (ISO 125) and with f/10 and 1/100 I knew I was going to need between 5 and 12 exposures for most of the images in the dull morning light and late twilight. No need to meter the light, just frame up with viewfinder, move around a little, recompose and click away with the multiple exposure button to cock the shutter between exposures. Simple.
Were these photos inspired by anything in particular?
Over the last couple of years I’ve been experimenting with making Trichrome images (color images from black and white film) and using time and movement to conjure up interesting colors. This got me thinking about movement, altered realities and using multiple exposures of the same scene/object to present them in ways different from how they are normally seen. They are recognisable but different enough to make you look twice and try and understand what it is you are looking at.
What is the best piece of advise you would give to anyone wanting to give film photography a go?
Go for it. It’s not so cheap these days so maybe try black and white film as an option and if you get the chance to print in a darkroom then jump at it. You won’t regret it. Just remember, it is never about the gear. It’s about what’s between your ears that counts.
To see more of Andrew's photos do take a look at his Instagram page.