Friday, 22 September 2006

Goes well with a Lada

The folks at the Lomographic Society International announced their long-awaited mystery product today: the new Lomo Compact Automat+, or LC-A+ (see it here). I am very impressed by the effort they went through to manufacture the classic Lomo lens again and find a new manufacturer for the casing. They also introduced a number of added features, specifically multiple and long-exposure functionality. It's still a film camera and it will possibly still blur half your pictures (blame the photographer), but as someone with an overdeveloped collecting gene that's what I like about it.

Some context: the LC-A has always been somewhat of an object of obsession for me (says the guy who enthusiastically promotes the Lada Niva as the car you've always wanted) and since they discontinued manufacturing them in 2005 I wanted one even more. I was thinking of making a splurge buy on something the other day when a bit of extra income rolled in and, when I saw that the people in Vienna are selling refurbished classic LC-A's I threw my credit card at their feet. The decision was made much easier when I saw a new mystery product was going to be released soon - you have to start at the beginning before you can upgrade.

So my LC-A arrived this week and the first thing that happened was that a screw fell out of the camera when I opened it up. I can't figure out where it must go, so I've decided it must be a practical joke as it will be the ultimate Lomo joke... (Maybe I'm still a little worried about that screw). It's been a few day days of experimenting and I am getting the first film developed today to see whether I am worthy of LC-A owner status. The Interstitial One has all the great photo ideas, but my hand is steadier, especially after some red wine, so it's a collaborative exercise.

Anything worthwhile I'll post here. Anything not worthwhile... I'll still post here, as usual.

Thursday, 21 September 2006

My vakansie planne

So, die Oktober Goue Week is oppad. Dis een van drie weeklange publieke vakansies in China. Ek gaan my fiets vat, my video kamera en 'n paar bottels water en oos ry langs die Wei rivier so ver as wat ek kan, en dan gaan ek halfpad omdraai. Ek behoort Beijing te maak in 12 dae volgens my berekeninge, maar ek het net sewe so as ek die grens van die provinsie haal sal ek gelukkig wees. Ek't gister 'n oefenlopie gevat, westekant toe. Ek bly in die High Tech Development Zone, so dis wolkekrabbers vir drie kilometer of so, en dan, met minder as 'n fluister van waarskuwing is jy skielik in Stalinist Oos Rusland -- of volgens boustyl dan.
Betonpad, 'n voet diep in stof, 10 ton lorries en myle van identiese vasgekoppelde baksteenhuise, vol vuil kinders, vuil honde en mans wat aan motorfietse werk. Die lug, nooit eintlik bekend vir suiwerheid nie, raak selfs meer stowwerig, amper solied en klein muggie-agtige insekte bombardeer jou. Onmoontlik om oopmond fiets te ry. Of moontlik. Net onsmaaklik.
En "Hello" skree-ende punks met niks beter om te doen nie, skeinbaar. Arme konte: wat 'n lang wag vir die enigste buitelander wat hulle ooit gesien het en waarskynlik gaan sien. [Ek neem aan "skeinbaar" is verkeerd gespel, noudat ek so daarna kyk. Laat ek gou uitcheck. Oh. Right.]
So, ek, kamera (waagstuk), water en fiets. Die plan is om alle ander benodigdhede langs die pad te verkry en as dit nodig is in die wildernis te slaap. Sal foto's neem. Kyk uit. Dit sal iets wees om te vertel en hopelik my skuld betaal vir die volgende ses maande.

Tuesday, 5 September 2006

A classic tow away

I absolutely love this tow away sign, seen in Loop Street, Cape Town. There were two, both in pristine condition. Have they just survived nature's elements and taggers by chance, have they been lovingly looked after by a nightwatchman, or are they purposely retro?