It’s been a long time since I shot real film. I switched over to a digital camera about a month after my son was born. I loved the ease of the digital camera and how I didn’t have to worry about processing costs. We were, after all, a young family on a tight budget. Flash forward to now. I have been drawn into the world of filters via Instagram and the large variety of photo apps. I began to wonder what the cameras that took these types of photos were really like. Mistakenly, I assumed they were ,at best, almost extinct if not gone already. Then one day something amazing happened…my son saw his first set of real negatives.
At the beginning of summer, I got some old slide negatives inside my JBS Mercantile Antiquarian scrapbook kits. We held them up to the light, reverently examining the images. I realized I had a few negatives of older family photos and I pulled the box out. There is something magical when it comes to real film and it was weaving itself into a set of questions we just had to answer.We set out to explore the internet and in doing so, I discovered Lomography.com. Many of the cameras used to create filters for apps are still very much alive and well. Best of all, they are budget friendly. We found out that we could even build our own analog camera. It was the perfect project for a homeschool kid interested in model building!
We decided to start with a pinhole camera. We chose a kit from amazon, and set to work as soon as it arrived. Overall, the kit was very easy to work with. It took less than an hour to complete. We took the camera camera with us everywhere. Sadly, the film did not properly progress. The photo shop staff offered advice and also didn’t charge us for their time. They handed over the film, which meant that, at the least, I had an awesome embellishment to use on a scrapbook layout.
I know many people have successfully used the P-Sharan Pinhole camera to take beautiful photos. It’s only a matter of time for us to figure out what went wrong with the film advance spool. Meanwhile, we are not discouraged. My son has expressed interest in a higher quality pinhole camera. We also are working on building two other camera bodies. One is a model of a Fotiox Twin Lens Reflex and the other is a Konstructor SLR.
My son does enjoy taking photos though he doesn’t quite have the love of cameras that I do.We both agree that we enjoy the time spent together working on the cameras and that this is a good way for him to learn about composition and lighting. His goal is to learn more about lighting so that he can apply it to his drawings and video game design. I am looking forward to our future lomography adventures together. For now, we plan to build the other models and explore just what they can do. Someday, I hope to expand my Lomography camera collection and to also experiment with developing film.
Should you be interested in Lomography yourself, check out the following resources for Pinhole Cameras:
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Most of the supplies for the layouts pictured in this article originally came from the September JBS Mercantile kits. Should they be sold out, you can find them here: