Photos by Fiel Estrella
When I was 15, I didn’t get my allowance for a year and a half to be able to save up for two cameras: a Nikon D3000, which I’d named Annie after Annie Liebovitz, and a Diana Mini. It was the dawn of 2010: Instagram and VSCO weren’t around yet, and Tumblr photography was all about bokeh effects, Picnik and Flickr, and Lomography — the latter of which I’d read about in a magazine and quickly became obsessed with.
Cameras made of plastic that create punchy colors and cool effects and still use 35mm film? It was something fun and different, and I’d be lying if I said it didn’t amuse me when I’d hang the Diana Mini around my neck and it would turn heads as I walked the halls of my high school.
Established in 1992 by a group of Viennese students, the Lomographic Society International has been around in the Philippines since the early 2000s. With its choice to promote creative and experimental photography and dedication to keeping the magic of analogue alive in an ever-shifting world, Lomography has long been a haven for all kinds of picture-takers — from beginners, to hobbyists, to longtime devotees.
Now, Lomography has partnered with Altitude Technologies Incorporated as its local distributor, and together, they launched the Future is Analogue campaign in Manila, which aims to make Lomography cameras and products more accessible, as well as to promote the Lomography agenda with activities such as photo walks, workshops, and exhibits. They will also collaborate with local artists through the LomoAmigo Program, allowing them to test out different cameras and see what they come up with.
As a longtime fan of toy cameras, I’ve always been happy to literally just point and shoot. The best part of film photography is its reliance on luck, coincidence, and surprise; you never know what you’re going to get when you get your pictures developed. But for the first time, I tried to be mindful and follow some of the 10 Golden Rules of Lomography in the photos you’ll see below — and I couldn’t be happier with the results.