Lately, one of my favourite ways to relax on my free time is to spin a record. To curate a record at a time has a romantic aspect to it. It’s like picking a storybook from a shelf, only you can listen to someone else tell it.
Two and a half years ago I bought The Konstruktor, a DIY plastic camera. It was super weird to shoot with as the viewfinder was on the top and there was no indicator that you were using too much or too little light. A lot of it was trial and error. I finally developed some of those photos and here are a few of my favourites:
What I learned was that film is a lot harder than it looks without all the digital meters to tell you things like lighting. This is fun though. I found taking photos with film were far more thoughtful, as I couldn’t take 200 photos of the same thing without going broke. There’s something beautiful and romantic about these analog shots.
I first learned of the Konstruktor’s existence via Laughing Squid. The idea of a DIY camera was so cool so I ordered myself one from Lomography.
It’s basically like the IKEA version of a camera. The camera light chamber comes premade but there are instructions on how to build it if you ever feel like taking it apart. The body is plastic and most of the parts you have to twist from the plastic moulding. It also came with a screwdriver and stickers for customers to add their own personalizations.
The reason I had trouble building it the first time was a defective light chamber. The springs were not strong enough to activate the shutter. I spent 6 hours thinking I built it wrong before considering that it was defective. Luckily Toronto has a Lomography store and I ended up exchanging it. It was a little bit of a hassle to do that though because in-store they claim their inventory doesn’t have any affiliation with the online (even if it was shipped from there).
I’ve never really owned an analogue camera so the thought of not being able to see photos until later is so nerve racking. I bought some ISO 800 film from Lomography but right now I’m purposely experimenting with (unopened) expired film I found around the house. I made a couple of film winding mistakes in the beginning so it will be interesting to see how those turn out. I’m hoping that having to think more about composition will make me a better overall photographer!
Despite the weird mishap, I do recommend the Konstruktor if you’re interested at learning how cameras work. The top placement of the viewfinder is a cool experience. I can’t vouch for the quality of photos though because I have no idea yet! Don’t worry. I’ll definitely be posting some scans when I get the film developed.