Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Hello Lomo!

I have so much enthusiasm for lomography right now! At the moment, I've just been experimenting with the instant back attachment on the LC-A+, taking polariod-like pictures at random and watching them come to life in my hands.

The instants come in packs of ten, and my initial gut reaction was to want each one to be worthy of being treasured. The pictures feel vulnerable. I wanted to only take the best shots and keep them somewhere really safe as a testament to the glowing moments, the beautiful times. It's early days, but I can already feel the futility that approach. 

I'm right at the beginning of learning to use the camera - some of the photos aren't great. Even when I improve, inevitably some of these credit-card sized prints will get lost, have something spilt on them or be tarnished in another way. Clutching at them because they're unique doesn't help me to enjoy their uniqueness - it just detracts from the joy of making the images in the first place. Better to hold them lightly for the sake of a rich "in the moment" experience rather than guarding them closely out of fear.

The whole Lomo experiment is a small echo that makes sense of something I've been contemplating recently in the riddles of Jesus:

"Anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. 
But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal."
(John 12v25 MSG) 

It's easy to accidentally end up spending so much time and energy fiercely accumulating tokens of our worthiness: things, status, achievements, pictures that prove we meant something to someone or have done something interesting with our lives. But the more precious I make those tokens, the more important it becomes for me to defensively maintain them at all costs, and the more likely it is that they will eventually morph into burdens.

I don't want to be weighed down by a stack of photos I feel I can't let go of. So I'm starting to make some of them into cards. I love that these pictures are the only record of a particular space and time, a snapshot in the truest sense. They're special because of that. But because of that it also feels extra special to be liberal with them, to give something of mine that's irreplaceable to someone else and paradoxically feel enriched by that act, rather than diminished. 

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