Camera: Lomo LC-Wide Zone-focus Camera
Location: New York, Frankfurt, Berlin, Munich, Schmiedtal
Lens: Fixed 17mm f4.5 Minigon Lens
This is a special roll shot on my Lomo LC-Wide film camera in Half-frame mode. It documents my last days in New York and my first days in Germany after I moved to Europe. I had my Lomo LC-Wide for about 2 years before it broke and this was the first and last roll I shot on the Half-frame mode. There was no particular reason why I never shot shot the LC-Wide on half frame mode again, it was very fun, lasted a long time, and produced good results. I did it on this occasion for the specific purpose of having one roll document my move. The LC-Wide comes with two little plastic masks you can put inside the camera before a roll to shoot in either half-frame or square format. The camera can be converted into a half-frame shooter in three steps. Adding the half-frame mask inside before loading the film, flicking a switch on the bottom of the camera from FF/S to HF, and lastly snapping the built-in lens cover to the half open position. The lens cover half open ensures each half-frame picture is vibrant and without light influence from the previous and next image.
With the bottom switch set to HF each advance or cocking of the shutter stops after half of a normal frame has been advanced. It sounds a fit finicky but it's really as easy as one two three. If you haven't put it together yet a roll of film shot on half-frame should yield about 72 photos. With the super-wide 17mm lens of the Lomo LC-Wide, it felt as if nothing was lost even capturing just half the image, super-wide really feels like the way to go for half-frame shooting.
The roll starts out in New York City as I document my morning on my last days of work - doing the the things I typically do. Fixing my hair in front of the mirror and hustling to the C train (subway) after checking my watch, but not before stopping at the donut cart and getting my black tea with milk and sugar, it would be a 45 minute ride into Brooklyn for work. After a year of living in the same apartment with the same morning routine, the lady in the donut cart and I wouldn't even speak at the end. She knew what I wanted I would just hand her a dollar and a smile.
Then I would go to one of the Polish markets in Greenpoint Brooklyn and get a bowl of cut cantaloupe for 2 or $3. Next on my last stop before work I'd get myself a bacon egg and cheese sandwich from the corner bodega. I cherished them at the time but now even more so after almost 2 years in Europe.
Once I arrived to work and finished my breakfast and scratched my lottery tickets I would get some coffee and drink it from my Putin mug to give my fingers the energy to dance on my keyboard for the next 8 hours. At lunch time I would discreetly borrow a bicycle from one of the guys in the warehouse and speed over to Kubus photo to drop off my film. Then many days I would hit the bar after work for an hour, by then my photos wold be ready for pickup.
It seems there are some pictures from my last weekend in New York as well, a normal day I would go to the New York Public Library or sneak into Columbia University and work on my projects on my laptop. One day I ended up leaving the apartment the same time as my roommate Walter. I got a few genuine snaps of him which is a great memory. We spend a lot of time together the previous summer as I taught him how to shoot film. He was very enthusiastic and was friends with many well known models in New York so he had some great subjects to shoot. I later found out by the end of the summer he had shot over 100 rolls of film.
Eventually I left and the rest of roll documents traveling to Frankfurt, Germany, then Berlin, Munich, and finally the Austrian Alps before the 72nd picture finally came up.
I wasn't really keeping track of the film photos but some things came together on the half-frame just perfectly, like that sandwich and a hand full of lottery tickets juxtaposed side by side with the bodega I bought them from; the lady giving me my tea next to waiting in the subway for my train; and my mirror selfie in the airport bathroom, my last moment before entering a new life, next to the deep blue sky through the window as the plane flew abyssward.