An unusual view from an affordable camera |

An unusual view from an affordable camera

As a photographer I’m always looking for a new view of what I shoot. Sometimes it’s a new lens, a different type of film, or simply finding a new subject. My latest discovery is a company called Lomography. Inspired by an old plastic Soviet camera, Lomography offers a variety of very unusual cameras.

I’ve been searching for a fisheye lens for my digital camera, but they cost anywhere from $600 to $2,000.

Recently I came across a plastic, inexpensive, limited edition Lomography camera that sports a fixed lens with a 170-degree view. The lens compacts everything into a distorted, circular, “fisheye” image. For less than $50, this strange-looking plastic body provides huge depth of field and renders both the foreground and background in complete focus. The premium glass lens offers bright colors and impressive contrast.It’s not digital; the camera uses 35 mm film that can be processed anywhere. For those who need digital, the negatives can be scanned onto a CD when the film is processed. An advantage to using film instead of digital, I believe, is a sense of creative license. Instead of immediately seeing what you’ve captured on film, and then trying to make it perfect, you can be pleasantly surprised later when you develop the roll and see the effects of uninhibited photography.

The compact size, basic controls and ability to shoot in low-light situations encourage candid photography and experimentation. Just as Eastman Kodak promoted the “Kodak moment,” the Lomography motto is “don’t think, just shoot.” Formal techniques aren’t the heart of photography, and this camera offers spontaneity, close-ups and limitless possibilities.The extreme optical distortion of the Lomography Fisheye makes it the perfect camera to just wander the streets of Aspen, or wherever you are, and to capture life in a unique way.

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