Don’t think, just shoot: Lomography brings its ‘The Future is Analogue’ campaign to Manila

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. 

Take your camera everywhere you go.

I took this while taking a walk along a side street in Malate where I hadn’t been before, and haven’t been since. You never know when something might catch your eye when you’re out and about, and when I saw this, I had to take a picture. Luckily, I’d brought my camera with me. 

 Use it any time – day and night.

I have trouble being mindful of film speeds, so sometimes my low light subjects backfire, and I find out much too late that I’d been excited for nothing. (Goodbye to that portrait of Tye Sheridan I took on my Aquapix which held ISO 100 film.) But I kind of love this shot of part of the Ortigas cityscape on my way home from work. 

Approach the objects of your Lomographic desire as close as possible.

I had to crouch really low and put the lens right up against the cage to make this shot work. The focus definitely turned out a bit wonky, but I think it just adds to the cuteness. 

 Be fast.

I’m a big believer in taking pictures in and out of moving vehicles. 

You don’t have to know beforehand what you captured on film.

I have no recollection of taking this photo. This particular roll of film sat on my shelf for probably four years before I finally got it processed. All I know is that it was definitely taken in terrible traffic, and I was probably bored, and I was probably admiring the sunset. 

 Afterwards either.

I don’t remember when I took this either, and I especially don’t remember where. But I love the textures in it and it’s become one of my all-time favorites.

Lomography is available in various retailers nationwide. Visit this directory for more information. 

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