I’ve owned far too many Lomo cameras, through out the years. I like the idea that each toy camera can give a photo a completely different look. The control freak in me doesn’t really care for how completely unfocused that look usually ends up despite my efforts to create the stillest environment for a shot.
My friend Derek is absolutely amazing with the Lomo Sprocket Rocket and when we got to talking about how blurry all the rest of their cameras are, the La Sardina came up. It was a brand new addition to Lomo, at the time. Its an easy to use 35mm camera that was modeled to look like a sardine can. Apparently, the focal point can be pretty sharp, and it has a wide angle that isn’t so intense that it leaves your photo with black corners and everything else in a bubble, like their fisheye does.
Ever since then, I’ve been lurking around on blogs and Flickr accounts of La Sardina owners. Day dreaming. Last week, a friend of mine who works with Lomo said he had one that wasn’t getting much use and allowed me to test it out indefinitely. It was a very happy day in Brooklyn.
He packed it with a roll of 800 speed film, that rad looking fog horn of a flash, and a couple of flash filters. I spent the next day walking around the city flipping its switches and knobs, recklessly. Maybe, due to my excitement, I did it a bit too recklessly. I got my film back and felt like I was looking into fogged glass after drinking a bottle of cheap vodka. Most of them were unrecognizably blurry.
I told Alex how discouraged I was with the results, and he gave me some great obvious insight. First he asked “Did you use the flash on them?” I responded after a long pause. A pause that I used to figure out if he had somehow magically seen my photos before me, all the way over in California and was being a smart ass (turns out he was just being smart) ”Only for one…the only one that came out clear…”
the settings I used for said photo.
Then he brought up another good point. He reminded me that not all photos have to be in focus to be an interesting photo.
He’s right. Its something that I’ve let myself forget through out the years of shooting and trying to always improve myself. I’ve grown so accustom to my digital SLR where I have control over everything in order to make the photo look exactly how I want to. I then remembered that I wanted this camera to learn with. To take something that I could only choose between two focal points (far away and close up) and challenge myself to make that photo recognizable as my own despite the natural way the camera functions.
At that point, I went back over the photos I took and realized that I do like some of them, quite a bit! So myy new little La Sardina is already restocked with some of my favorite color saturated film (Kodak Portra 400), the flash is stuffed with a brand new battery, and I’m ready to continue to let go of control and have fun with my new fun toy!
Heres some of my favorite photos from my first attempt with the La Sardina: