I noticed a lot of Lomography chat going around and a few giveaways hosted by different blogs, so I decided to share my experience with these cameras.
I have been passionate about photography since I was a child and I've been a Lomography fan for many years, since I bought my first Holga camera in 2005.
At the time I was studying photography at Cardiff Univesity so it was only natural to branch out and experiment with different means.
I actually did my final colour assignment exclusively using this camera and 2 of my pictures were chosen and hang at an exhibit.
They are definitely great fun but be prepared for frustration - you need to wait to develop the film - and disappointment - for the only 1 shot worth saving from the whole roll. These cameras are also called 'toy cameras' because they look more like a cheap plastic toy than an high technological piece of engineering... but after all, that is all that you need: an hole and a film; it also means that they leak light and, of course, it adds charm but can also ruin a photo.
Both the Holga and the Diana F+ are medium format so they use a larger film size than your typical holiday photos camera; personally, I love medium format and they also come with different frame masks that will let you shoot square or rectangular pictures.
You can actually also use a 35mm film with a bit of modification, involving some elastic bands and cotton pads. Settings are pretty basic (cloudy, sunny, foreground, background) but I'd recommend to have a minimum of photography knowledge because developing films is getting more and more expensive and you want to maximise every frame. It's probably better to start with Black&White so you can develop and print your own photos in the darkroom.
The pleasure of printing on photographic paper is nearly arousing - most definitely exciting - and I will never rely only on a memory card to preserve my precious memories.
Although digital photography has made huge improvements in quality, I will always be an analog at heart and the darkroom one of my favourite places; sometimes I wish digital was never invented - crazy, I know - but it obliterated what photography is all about for me: 'The Decisive Moment'.
Of course, I rely on digital on a daily basis (like for the blog, for example): it's convenient and fast but it also makes us lazy and breeding worst disciplined photographers.
I see the world in a frame, I'm constantly scouting for the perfect composition and I own that to my traditional training.
Anyway, if you're not as extreme like me and you're not ready for a full film commitment - but still want to give film a go - I think these cameras are ideal to play with and the fun is endless.
They also offer a great variety of accessories and you can really get creative and obtaining beautiful and remarkable pictures.
... and talking about fashion accessories - my much used and loved bags ;)
Have you ever used a Lomography camera?