Using a Holga or a Diana camera from the Lomographic Society has been a fun and brilliant experience. First it brought me back to waiting for the shot I wanted. Second it has brought me back to looking for the light I want for the shot I want. Third it has brought me back to manual exposure and looking for the right shot slowly and more methodically. The first roll was a wash since I was untrained in the Diana, but as you learn you particular camera it gets better. The Holga and Diana cameras are not as finely calibrated as your Leica, Nikon or Canon camera, so don’t expect a lot from your first roll. Be methodical. The second roll should help you learn to remember to focus, set exposure and get the shot, each time.
I’ll admit, I kept forgetting to focus. You know, 17 years with my Nikon and Canon auto-focus cameras spoiled me somewhat. Actually, I forgot about it for the most part. Not having an SLR left me forgetting about the focus more often than I care to admit. I was too focused on the composition or the exposure. Although the exposure was simple, You still need to remember to keep up with whether you are back light or front lit and what you subject really is in the situation. The exposure is simple, but the images do better when overexposed. Because I use negative film, the overexposure makes the negative darker, yielding richer colors and deeper blacks when printed. Unlike digital; more light makes the image lighter, negative films need to be shot in the opposite frame of mind.
Several customers that use the Lomo cameras frequently say they like the excitement of the wait for the film to be processed. This seems counter to where our industry has been going for the last 25 years, faster or instant development and gratification. But taking the time to set up (yes, even using the Lomo’s on a tripod) taking the time to carefully compose and waiting for the right shot are still the primary steps in getting that perfect picture.