Friday, June 21, 2013

Finding warmth in the snow

I've not altered any of the photographs here with software or any app. From the apocalyptic snow-scape here and the vintagie dreamscapes below, they all came from the same roll of film in my Diana F+)
I went to Hokkaido with my Diana F+, an analog toy camera, and just four rolls of 120 film. I came back with nine rolls. Given the unpredictability of a toy camera and that I was still trying to understand the camera, I was expecting 50-70% of the photos to be, well, very bad. But the results surprised me, and made me treasure the moments captured even more. The roll of film that I took along Shiretoko mountain pass delivered breathtakingly beautiful, dreamy results that are to be expected of lomography as we know it.

My note to Kai for his seven-year-old birthday contains my favorite photo of him from our recent trip to the famous Japanese island. Here're more photographs from that same roll. For the uninitiated, each roll of 120 film only yields 12 or 16 photographs? That's why I save them for very special memories.

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The drive through Shiretoko mountain pass started rather innocuously. In Hokkaido, you get used to the snowy landscape very quickly. (And this is early summer in Hokkaido!) So while the first snow-capped peak and field of pristine, blanket snow would have taken your breath away, you get used to the rolling snow-scape very quickly. After a while, you forget it's there.

It was foggy and cold when we stopped to see the Shiretoko Five Lakes. As you can see from the photograph above, we didn't see the lakes at all.

Disappointed, we left the look-out point. After a short drive, we turned a corner and saw the most beautiful snow-scape ever during the short time that we're in Hokkaido. Someone, somewhere, long time ago must have seen what we saw because the government had built a road shoulder just so that cars could stop for passengers to admire the view.

DSLR and traditional SLR cameras would give you snow that is pure white, glistening, smooth, and sculptured. Lomography apps, Instagram, Photoshop could give you a sepia, retro effect if you so wish.

But the Diana F+ captured the happy dreamscape my boys were in when we brought them out to play in the snow.

What amazes me is the variety that you get from the same roll of film, using the same camera setting, same subjects, and all taken at the same place. The photographs look vintage in one, dramatic the next, and bewilderingly strange in another -- like the apocalyptic look in the first photograph of this blog post.

That's why I love analog cameras. They are as unpredictable as my boys.

Somehow the photographs captured the sense of contentment, peace, and happiness I felt as I watched Kit roll snowballs and had snowball fights with Kai.

(Photos taken with Diana F+, 38mm super-wide angle lens, Lomography XPro Slide 200 120 film.)

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