UK-based photographer Tony Kemplen is a long-time Lomographer, who’s mastered the art of mixed doubles and experimentation with color-shifting films and 360° shots!
I like to think that the creative element is as important as the technical aspects of my photography and I’m a big fan of Lomography cameras. I’ve got most of them and those that appeal most do something that can’t be easily done with cameras that already exist.
I bought the Spinner 360° as soon as it hit the market in 2010 and I worked out how to use post-processing to make circular images out of the long, thin negatives. It’s such an unusual camera that it inevitably attracts attention and it works well for taking group shots – everyone’s looks of surprise and wonder add a layer of interest. Where possible, I like to make images that build on the characteristics of the camera.
I’ve got more than 500 film cameras. Most of them only get the occasional outing, but a handful are in near constant use and I’ve taken nearly 1000 photos with my LC-Wide. This camera has a very wide angle 17 mm lens which gives plenty of scope for getting in close to a subject while including background interest. For me, the feature with the most creative possibilities is the ability to switch between half-frame and full frame. I often overlap frames to create new images. I switch the film advance to half-frame but leave the format as full frame, so each exposure overlaps the previous one by half a frame. This ability to make double exposures sets the LC-Wide apart from most pocket cameras.
My favorite Lomography film is LomoChrome Turquoise. Its bizarre color shifts give a unique look to the photos. I also regularly use the redscale technique and roll my own 35 mm redscale films. This is not practical for 120 film so Lomography Redscale provides a ready-made solution. With redscale, the film is exposed through the orange-colored base and the photos take on a distinct orange/red hue. I find it’s very effective when pointing the camera directly at the sun or some other strong light source, it also works well with double exposures.
I’ve learned a lot by looking at other people’s work and I know from the feedback I get that others have learned from my experiments. I’ve been playing with the technique that I call Mixed Doubles for several years now. This involves putting the same film through two or more cameras for double or triple exposures. I use simple, multi-lensed cameras like the Supersampler or Actionsampler and tape colored filters over the lenses. With fixed apertures and shutter speeds, these cameras need bright daylight and I use a relatively slow ISO 100 film to avoid overexposure when double or triple exposing, although this is largely canceled out by the light lost with the colored filters so it actually all balances out quite nicely. Even so, I leave a few frames blank on each camera (by covering the lenses while firing the shutter) so that on the finished film there’s a mix of double and triple exposures.
As all the frames overlap, there are no individual negatives. After scanning a strip on a flatbed scanner, I crop and select bits that I like. With this technique, a lot is left to chance, which I like. Some parts of the film are more successful than others and I’m happy to get half a dozen interesting images out of a roll. Even if you only have one multi-lens camera, you could still use this technique by simply putting the film through the camera again, perhaps changing or covering some of the filters.