Lomokino – Music Video for Land of the Lakes – I Will Turn

I bought the Lomokino around four years ago with the explicit intention of using it to make a music video one day. Four years later, I’m happy to say I finally got around to it. Thirteen rolls of film, several days of shooting, hours of scanning, cropping, colour correcting, and assembling into Adobe Premiere, and it’s finally finished.


To explain the Lomokino 35mm Movie Camera quickly, it is a crank-operated camera that takes 144 frames on a 36-exposure roll of film. It captures images at the speed at which you turn the crank, up to 3-5 frames per second. There is no view-finder, per se. It has one of those pop-out viewfinders but it is cumbersome to use since it is placed so awkwardly close to the front of the camera. I have never found it useful nor trusted it to represent what was truly in frame and just pointed the camera in the vague direction at what I was shooting. It has three aperture settings (f/5.6, f/8, f/11) that you can change with a little dial on the front. I often forgot to change it whenever shooting conditions changed. It has a 1m-infinity focus with a close-up button you can push and hold for 0.6-1m. I never made use of it. You are also supposed to be able to use a hot-shoe flash if it supports continuous firing. I never tried it.


When it came to deciding what type of film to use in bulk for this, it was an easy answer for me. My favourite film over the years has been Lucky Charm 200, redscaled by hand. If pushed to be slightly over-exposured, it has all the features of cross-processed film (blues and greens) and if under-exposed, it has the classic redscale look (orange and red). If you look at previous blog posts, it must easily make up 1/3 of my posts. I’ve gotten it really cheap on eBay straight from China. I already had about 20 rolls of it on hand. Done. I redscaled the film myself using an empty film cartridge, tape, scissors, and a dark room to respool each roll of film backwards so that I was exposing the “wrong” side of the film. You can read more about how to do that here.


One thing that was hard to wrap my head around was what the tone and the pace of the video were going to look like in the end. It’s not like I could take a few test shots and play it back immediately. How many frames should I aim to shoot per second? How many frames did I want each scene to be to set a good pace for the video? How much motion did I want to try to introduce to an already shaky method of taking video footage? I decided on 8-16 frames per scene then move on to another shot. In hindsight, I would have made most of those scenes longer. Eight frames of footage goes by too fast. From watching other videos made with the Lomokino, I decided I liked it best when the camera was mostly stationary but the subjects moved. It was easier to keep your attention and focus on the action that way. So from there, the concept became shots of us standing still as tableaus with the handheld camera movement being the only indicator of motion. After a taking a few rolls of shots like that, unsure of what it was going to look like, I began to worry that the footage was going to look like a series of photographs and not a video at all. So I began shooting turning shots, walking shots, just to introduce some variety of motion. In retrospect, some of those shots moved too fast and are hard to follow… Again, I could not come to most of these conclusions until months later when we finally reached the point where we could assemble the footage digitally. That was the only point in which I could grasp the pace of the video.

Shooting in St. John’s, Newfoundland proved, as usual, to be difficult when the film you are using depends on sunny weather to be properly exposed. I have the most experience shooting with 100 iso film on sunny days. Those are the days when I feel confident that the shots are going to look good. The day we went shooting in Bannerman Park, it was sunny when we left the house, but it immediately clouded over. Our kids were with a babysitter. We shot the roll anyway and hoped for the best. Many of the shots turned out too dark. Even with the lowest aperture, f/5.6. Oh well. The day spent shooting in La Monche Provincial Park was sunny and generally turned out better. At one point that day, I accidentally opened the camera without rewinding the film. The footage of me on the bridge became flooded with red light leaks. Very cool.

My rule of thumb was one roll of film producing around 30 seconds of footage. After 13 rolls, I decided that it was enough shooting to cover 4 minutes of video. I got the film developed and it was scanning time. I used an Epson V500 scanner with the included 35mm scanning mask. It could not find each frame automatically, I had to select each frame manually. 144 frames. 13 rolls. Almost 2,000 images to then be manually cropped to a set, uniform size. I did some colour correction but since much of the footage was so dark and grainy, there wasn’t much I could do. Just staring at the spools of uncut film was daunting.


13 rolls of film waiting to be scanned.

Next was assembling the footage in Adobe Premiere! My husband and bandmate, Matthew Thomson, took care of editing the footage together. After a few test scenes, we tried 3 frames per second, which we decided was too slow and painful to wait for the action to move. The final magic number was 4 frames per second. It felt like a comfortable pace. Long enough to notice what was going on. Fast enough to keep your attention.

I should note at this point that I do own the Lomokinoscope and the smartphone holder so that you are supposed to be able to screen the footage within the viewer and film it with your smartphone using the Lomokino app as a fast alternative to the process explained above. It was a disaster. The teeth on the Lomokinoscope did not always grab the film to advance the roll. When this happened the frame didn’t line up nicely with the viewer anymore. So you would have to adjust the frame within the viewer and try again. It also ripped some of the film while it was trying to advance it. I will never use it again.

The video is for the band I play in, Land of the Lakes. It is for the song I Will Turn from our 2015 self-titled album. All in all, I am happy with how it turned out. I will definitely try using this camera again with my own improvements in mind for scene length and camera movement. It was well-worth the considerable amount of effort.

Here it is!


Vivitar IC111 – Lucky 200 redscaled film


The Vivitar IC111 completes my collection of point and shoot Vivitars. It joins my IC101 panorama (which is one of my favourites), the Vivitar Ultra Wide and Slim (also amazing), and the PN2011 (will probably never use again). The IC111 is identical to the IC101, only it is full frame instead of cropped into a panorama photo. It is also absolutely identical to the build-your-own camera kit that I bought a few years ago  that failed miserably. It is the same color, shape, right down to each mechanism. Only this one works. The camera I built does not advance.

What I like about these Vivitars (IC111, IC101, UWS) is that they occupy a space between sharp and dreamy images with just the right amount of both. They aren’t going to give you amazingly professional images, obviously, but that’s not what I’m looking for.

This roll has actually become one of my all time favourites. I have a few of them in frames around my apartment. I LOVE Lucky Charm 200 film redscaled! So cheap, so good.

Also, on a sad side note, I believe this is my last roll of film taken while living in Montreal. Next up, my summer adventures in 2011 (I’m so behind in these posts).

Camera: Vivitar IC111
Film: Lucky Charm 200 redscaled 35mm
Location: Montreal in May 2011

Holga – Provia 100F film


The Holga is a no-brainer. Consistent gorgeous images and this roll did not disappoint. I love this camera!! The dramatic vignetting, the soft focus. It can make any shot look interesting.

Camera: Holga 35mm
Film: Provia 100F cross processed slide 120mm
Location: Montreal in May 2011

Opticam – Lomography 100 film


I don’t even know the name of this camera. It looks like it could have had a name on the top left corner but it has been scratched off. So I am referring to it by the name written on the lens – Opticam. I have to say, I am in LOVE with this camera! The more I have used it since this roll, the more I love it. In fact, it was the subsequent rolls that really impressed me more so than this one. It is so unpredictable, so many imperfections, so dreamy in its soft focus. Wait until you see the other rolls of film when I get around to posting it.

A bonus with this camera  is the hot shoe. Not often does a crappy, light, plastic camera come with a hot shoe flash option.

So many quirks about this camera. The back doesn’t close properly. I put black electrical tape along the top and bottom of the back opening just to keep it from flying open. Luckily, it didn’t pop open. Luckily, lots of light leaks still got in. Also, the film advance is very finicky. Sometimes, even when you turn the wheel thinking you have advanced to the next picture, nothing has in fact moved. Most of these double exposures are accidents from doing just that. Unfortunately, you have to pay attention that the film advances at some point, or else you are taking half a dozen exposures, which happened a few times. The real painful thing about that is realizing you didn’t capture that shot that excited you. And you probably won’t remember what building or alleyway it was to try to retake it.

As for the film, I usually find it boring to use colour negative film without tinkering with it in some way. But if I was going to choose one from my collection, the Lomography 100 iso film is a lot more vivid than, say, Klick Max 200, another film I have lying around.

Camera: Unkown make, possibly called Opticam
Film: Lomography 100 iso colour negative 35mm
Location: Montreal in May 2011

Yashica Electro 35 GSN – Kodak Elitechrome EB100


I was excited to find a Yashica camera at a record store in Montreal’s NDG neighbourhood. The perks that drew me to this camera: a low F/1.8 aperture, rangefinder capabilities, and auto-exposure with the help of a built-in light meter. It originally takes a PX32 battery which is no longer available. The workaround I am using is a 28A 6v wrapped in foam to make it the correct width and an old metal spring to make it the correct height. Apparently it can also take four LR44 batteries. When the current battery dies, I will try that since it is much more readily available.

For all of its capabilities, that simply meant there was much more that could go wrong with this camera. First off, after finishing this roll, I realized that the rangefinder was not calibrated properly. It’s off by a few feet. There are instructions online on how to tinker with it. Unfortunately, doing so has caused the shutter to stop working. So, now there is much more work to be done with it.

Another problem was the light meter over-exposing most of the roll. Between the focus and the exposure out of whack, very few photos actually turned out. But the camera has great promise if it can just be fixed. I like the idea of a low aperture film camera. And not having to guess the shutter speed makes the Yashica Electro 35 an easy camera to carry around for on-the-fly shooting.

Camera: Yashica Electro 35 GSN
Film: Kodak Elitechrome EB100 cross processed slide 35mm
Location: Montreal in April 2011

Argus Tele/Wide C685


While second-hand store shopping for cheap cameras to use at my wedding, I found this unassuming camera – the Argus Tele/Wide C685. The unusual thing about this simple point and shoot was that it had a button that extended the wide lens to a telephoto lens, so you had both shooting options. It takes an AA battery and has an automatic flash option which was an attractive option for night shots. I decided to do a test run with this particular camera before the wedding. I used boring old Klick Max 200 film. I didn’t even redscale it beforehand. So the photos are a little plain. Oh well. Worth a try.

Camera: Argus Tele/Wide C685
Film: Klick Max 200 colour negative 35mm
Location: Montreal in February 2011

Diana F+ with Provia 100F

Diana F+

Here is another two year old roll of film just waiting to be published. I still haven’t gone through all of the film mask and film back options for the Diana. There are just so many. I decided with this roll to try the 120 back again. A stalwart camera with a stalwart film – this roll came out awesome!

Camera: Diana F+ with 120mm film back
Film: Provia 100F cross processed slide 120mm film
Location: Montreal in February 2011