Tag Archives: la sardina

How To Navigate The Lomo La Sardina Flash. Laid Out in Black & White

18th August 2012

I’m a couple of rolls into using my Lomo La Sardina camera and am loving it more and more! Of all the rolls I’ve shot, I think my last roll of black and white film, may be my favorite of all the results.

I usually don’t care much for using the flash but unless you’re subject is burning alive in direct sunlight, I’m starting to realize the flash is pretty necessary for a distinguishable shot with the La Sardina. Thats fine by me, because I love the harsh look of flash on a black and white photo!  So I loaded up my toy camera with Kodak T-MAX  100 film. To be honest, I went in looking for 400, but I couldn’t seem to find it anywhere I looked. (The diminishment of film accessibility has become so sad.) But I was really happy with the fuzzy, contrasted, and pretty erie looking results I got.

Shooting black and white was a good way to distinguish the differences in flash ranges, since it’s easier to focus in on just light without being distracted by if the color is being washed out. I tried all the settings and heres some examples of how they turned out, as displayed through my favorite male model!

Flash setting: 1/1

Flash setting: 1/2

Flash setting: 1/8

Flash setting: well, there was no flash on this one. I shot it right around sunset and had forgotten to turn it onto 1/8, which I’m glad I did because I like how evenly the light was laid out.

Heres what happened when I tried the photo again with the setting I thought I wanted. Not only did I not like the result, but I also had to treat Alex like he was on a reality show when I said “Hey, can you please act like you’re still looking in the window?”

Modeling our Chloe Rice & Alex Pardee shirt, as the sun photo bombed the shot..The sun also did a lovely job at photo bombing this photo from the Redwoods. I loved the warped bubble and the light leak in the bottom corner.

Why, yes! That is a 727 in the middle of a forest!


The Sea Wood Is The Worst Wood You Can Call Someone.

8th August 2012

I recently said that I was planning on shooting only film on my entire drive up from Oakland to Portland. Alex and I gave ourselves an entire extra day to plan out a drive up the coast, and through the Redwoods. Going through that area of a forest is way too vast and incredible to capture in a photo. Knowing this ahead of time, I challenged myself to leave my digital SLR so I wouldn’t be distracted by twiddling with settings in the middle of the most massive trees on earth!

Instead, I carried only a point and shoot with color film, and my La Sardina stocked with black and white film. I:

  • saw the biggest trees
  • felt the biggest gust of wind when I stuck my head out the sunroof to take photos on the road
  • got kissed by the biggest mosquitoes
  • gave the biggest hugs to the cutest seal
  • met the biggest baby black bear that crossed our path while we were trying to find the Rockerfeller Loop in the forest.

When we left the woods, we decided to take advantage of the last hour or so of daylight and perfect weather, by finding a beach to doodle at, during sunset. Growing up around Atlantic coast beaches, the idea of going to the beach was only half as exciting as the thought of just stretching my legs and scribbling out silly characters with Alex, but once we  parked along the blurred ground that divided rich dirt and pebbled sand, somewhere around Orick, CA, I was completely transfixed with my surroundings.

The only thing dividing a huge forest of trees and a fresh lakes of water, from an uninhabited beach of tiny peppery grain, little sand crickets, and crashing waves, was a thin mist of fog. We sat on the only piece of driftwood around, and helped incubate the turtle eggs that were nested underneath us. I don’t know how to avoid sounding like a hippy when I say that I will never underestimate the beauty of nature and an unknown beach again.

How To Blur Photo Rules With A Sardine Can

17th June 2012

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: