Lo Fi Photography

June 07, 2009  •  Leave a Comment

I have always had a secret yearning for the simple life. A time when cameras didn’t always produce the results you expected. The thrill of getting that paper packet back from the chemist’s and seeing which pictures had “come out”.

I have memories (though sadly not the pictures) of taking my first Kodak Instamatic to Windsor Castle and London Zoo at the age of six or seven. What I remember most, however, are not the perfect shots but the happy accidents. Interesting double exposures and pictures taken when I didn’t mean to. (I remember a great picture of a guardsman, tilted at about 30 degrees, taken from waist height, probably as I was fumbling to take the camera out of its case).

Clearly I am not the only person to have these memories. The Russian (or is it Chinese?) “Holga” has been popular with the photo crowd for some time, and the image distorting “Lens Baby” lenses, which can make real life seem like toyland, have been a huge hit.

Now comes another entrant to the lo-fi genre.

Hideki Ohmori’s “Blackbird Fly” is a strange beast almost 15 years in the making. Ohmori started in 1995 with a light-leaking, plastic 35-mm camera he portrayed simply as “a box with a secret inside that converts every view with affection.”

This new model, however, is not a remaking of an old design, but a brand new camera made exclusively for the burgeoning lo-fo market. With a price tag of $125 — kinda steep for a toy.

The idea is to bring back the warmth and unpredictability of the old days, when a photograph was not a faithful representation of reality, but a surprising and quirky take on the world that made us re-think, re-assess and see things in a whole new way.

(From Wired: here.)


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