Lo-Fi by Roberto Campos
Lately I've been getting a lot of questions about my camera and equipment basically. If you've been a reader for a bit then you know I have no fancy equipment, no DSLR, no flash, no reflectors, no nothing. I own a Sony NEX-5 and I mount on it a Canon FD 50mm manual focus lens from 1971 I bought with a used Canon A-1, a film camera. This is my weapon of choice. Would I use a flash? I would but I can't mount one, no hot shoe. Do I have a viewfinder? No. Rangefinder? No. How do you compose and stuff? The thing has a screen, it's all scratched and shit but it does its job. Do you use a tripod? I don't own one either.
Now, hear me out, this is not by choice. Of course I'd love to have a Leica and a 50mm summicron and go around shooting street but I can't. So this is what I got and I hustle it as much as I can. It gives good results, I love my little camera. By no means I think my pictures are awesome, I think they're decent; I see way worse, I see way better. I see pics everyday on 500px and 1x that make me feel worthless but then inspire me to get better. I also see people with expensive DSLR's and lenses that throw money at it just to then photoshop some crappy blur and fake lens flares on their stuff. Both sides of the spectrum kind of thing. Those make me realise I ain't got it that bad. At least I got a camera that's small and thin and weights next to nothing that I can carry around and hold with one hand.
I wouldn't go as far as to tell you to go check out Lomography and their shit, cause the one Lomo camera I bought off them as a gift to someone ended up not working at all. So my experience with them is basically 100% negative. I'm sure other people will say otherwise, I don't care. I think if you want to go out and use film and get some Lo-Fi pics then go out there and find an old film camera, a good used one, they're cheap now since nobody wants them no more. Or even better, ask your mom/dad/uncle/grandparents for their old stuff. Then go out and shoot, whatever, whenever.
Sometimes I use my NEX as a lo-fi camera, crank up the ISO to the max, keep the aperture stupidly open (1.4), a really fast shutter speed and shoot b&w; like this photo here. The result is a very grainy pic that has a nice film texture to it, kind of. I shoot from the hip, one hander, whatever, I just point and shoot, more than my usual point and shoot technique lol. I can tilt the screen a bit up and so I can see down to it, I imagine it's the same feeling of shooting with an old Rollei or a Hasselblad, even tho, obviously, it's not the same quality/format. That doesn't matter here because what you're going for is not perfection, is not crispness, not perfect focus. It's all about being spontaneous and having fun shooting. About not taking it too seriously and then let the picture surprise you. I think it's something all amateur photographers, like me, should do now and then. Stop taking it too seriously and worrying too much and just shoot something.