Photography From The Soul

I am asked time and time again why Trinity School has a darkroom. “Isn’t film photography archaic?” My answer is always simple and to the point: “No, it’s an art form!” Analogue photography, or what I refer to as “authentic photography”, and the magic of the darkroom captures our 5th and 6th grade students’ curiosity, imagination, and attention every single year.

Just recently I came across a website about “Lomography.” I learned that there has been a slow and steady movement that is inspiring the return to analogue photography. This movement began with a group of Viennese art students in the 1990’s who discovered a Russian camera called a LOMO, sparking the term Lomography. These LOMO cameras each capture a range of color or create a variety of visual effects using color or black and white film. What started out as a spontaneous and artistic approach to photography in the Viennese underground scene, developed into an international socio-cultural movement.

 The Ten Golden Rules of Lomography:

 1. Take your camera wherever you go.

2. Use it any time, day and night.

3. Lomography is not an interference in your life, but part of it.

4. Try taking a shot from your hip.

5. Approach the objects of your Lomographic desire as closely as possible.

6. Don’t think.

7. Be fast.

8. You don’t have to know beforehand what you captured on film…

9. … or afterwards either.

10. Don’t worry about any rules.

 Even though we are not using LOMO cameras in our 6th grade photography, I am proud that we are a part of a creative group of ruggedly individualistic people reviving an art form that is hands-on, mysterious, spontaneous, and technically magical. It is a lesson not only in delayed gratification, but also being open to the infinite possibilities that are out of your control. You never know exactly how your photograph will turn out!

 In conclusion, I will leave you with this quote by photographer Toby Mason:

“The world around us is not air-brushed, and we would all do well to marvel at the quirks of everyday scenes and chance sightings. I like to use film because I feel this gives photographs more character in the same way that while listening to music on vinyl isn’t as ‘perfect’ as CD or digital, it does have more soul.”

Learner, Thinker, Writer; Pat Kerner serves Trinity School as the Upper Elementary Division Lead Art Teacher. 


3 thoughts on “Photography From The Soul

  1. Love this!
    It’s so interesting to see how the kids have to stop and slow down while working on their photography unit. It’s a wonderful break from the fast-paced instant cameras that come packaged within all of their phones.

  2. Pat,
    I love watching the pride that our FIfth and Sixth Graders have with their photography. I think that the process of taking photographs and developing them enables them to connect with each picture and analyze each with an eye for quality and composition. Each year, I cannot wait to see the Sixth Grade photos hung. Thanks for such a thought-provoking post.

  3. I find this kind of photography fascinating! We collect and listen to vinyl in our home, so I completely understand the appeal!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *