The Lomography community is filled with unique, wonderful scenery across the world. Not one image of the same place will ever look the same. Here, we take a look into veteran Lomographer João a.k.a. bravopires and promising newcomer Michael a.k.a. michaclimb on how they approach a very popular and beloved genre here in Lomography. How does a scenery look like through their eyes? Let's find out!
Lovers of Nature
What attracts João and Michael to landscape photography is all about nature and its beauty. Being born in a large city, Michael always loved the contrast of spending time in the countryside to hike or cycle. Photographing along these hobbies of his gives him more fulfillment. Having stumbled on Lomography photographs has made him desire the kind of uniqueness seen in the community's own diverse landscape shots. As with nature, the feeling of photographs should also be as raw as analogue. Michael already has the Lomographer's qualities in him by freeing himself from expectations and allowing himself to experiment:
"Now I can better concentrate on my own photography and experience places the analogue way. I let the motive find me instead of hunting it. Also, some places have a magical feel to them, but you rather feel than see that. To capture this feeling is a challenge on its own. I can experience Landscapes and their Feeling with the simple, analogue ‘tools’ more intensively. It makes me happy. I don’t follow any rules of landscape photography anymore, at least not consciously."
Meanwhile, João loves how nature represents humanity for him. João loves to seek visually universal themes, ones that can visually communicate themselves. Landscapes should be able to present that too. For João, film photography boosts his aesthetic standards. There's deep care for composition as to what he himself can control with his 'tools'. There's something about film canisters that seem to give him inspiration. The 'character' of film formulas and the kind of cameras he's using also affects and inspires him. Most importantly though, when shooting an image, the composition itself must be natural:
"Landscape photography is one of the human manners of representing the beauty of Nature. It does not present but represents through the third human eye of a particular sensibility, which is the eye/sensibility of the image creator. One piece of nature, let's say a mountain, as so many different representations as so many different gradients of light that shine on it, nanosecond by nanosecond, from the beginning of the night to the late afternoon golden hour, so the many photographs/representations are always different or unique, though the theme is abstractly the same. Multiple times, multiple creators or always the same: multiple unique images of the same abstract theme."
Anything, Anytime Under the Sun
For both João and Michael, there's nothing they prefer 'more' when it comes to capturing landscapes. To them, it's more of a matter of time, than of the place, as he is more mindful of the quality of light and the aesthetic he will be pursuing:
...If you are lomographing at midday you cannot compare it with lomographing at dawn or if you are in Spring you are not in Winter. The quality of the light is the essence, above the place where you are, though the space is clearly important but less than the time/quality of the light. A Rainbow Day is the best time to take a Lomographic picture when sunlight and shadows and rain are continuously shifting. The clouds must be three dimensional, which are precious elements on landscape photography. – João
I don’t favour any kind of Landscape. It can be the ocean, mountains, a moor or rolling hills. Often times the season and the weather is important though. Depending on also on the chosen film and camera. – Michael
Aesthetics & Equipment in Lomo-Style
To improve a Lomographer's landscape photography on film, João suggests that improving the classic techniques of what makes a photo Lomographic is the best route. Basically, unleash the inner wild child. _"In true Lomo fashion for sure improving the creative technique of light leaks, bathing films in liquors, detergents, coffee, whatever film soup, colour shifting films, multi-exposure, swaps, cross-processing, rat view, weird angles and manners/concepts which are inhabitants of the abnormal intelligent brain."_
As a fresh Lomographer himself, Michael would usually bring one Lomography camera. He also has been questioning more on post-editing through digital and makes a conscious effort to keep his photographs as natural as they are. Using old and expired films help bring out the Lomo-look in his images:
"I can't give many tips, because I’m only starting out myself really... I usually have two cameras with me, loaded with different kinds of Film, so I have some options to choose from without getting completely confused. Experimenting is very important to me, I am regularly surprised by all the possible outcomes. As a Lomographer I like to have at least one Lomo camera with me though. I like to use old and expired films. I’m still struggling with touch-ups etc. -- what is allowable? Should one mention that the picture was edited? I tent to hold back in Lightroom and only make changes that could have been made in the darkroom as well."
Currently, João is building a series of black and white street photographs on Lisbon suing his LC-A+ and LC-Wide while Michael is set on spending more time on night photography and a portrait series using a Lomography camera.
What do you guys think about João's and Michael's landscapes on film? Let us know with your comments below!