My Friend Juznobsrvr

Reprinted from  Lomography Magazine
By Panelomo
September 11, 2010 8 comments 10 likes
One Lomographer described him as someone who is not just a keen observer, but also an analogue imagist who likes to cast his Lomo world with the kind of blues that he often plays to himself. Check out panelomo's interview with juznobsrvr!

There’s always an interesting story to every Lomographer – what would be your lomo story?

When I was a kid, my mom gave me a toy camera. It looked like the original Diana, a real knock-out down to the blue and black plastic body and the funky lens. It couldn’t take any pictures but every time I hit the shutter water would squirt out from the lens. I would ask my friends to pose for me only to get water sprayed on their faces. I was hooked on the sheer joy of watching their reactions. So as you can see I experienced Lomography early on in life.

Seriously, Lomographers are some of the nicest people I’ve met. You get support and encouragement here. The culture at LSI inspires me.  Also, I gravitate towards the imperfections, which LSI fosters.  Imperfections are what we normally see in everyday life. Yet we have trained our eyes to mask or ignore the imperfections. Our brains are always searching for the perfect image. I want to show the world that imperfections perceived differently can be by nature beautiful. I would like to think that most lomographers share this view.  Lomographers are not afraid of the imperfections.

 ... We all have to start somewhere
Here is the deal
Find your muse
go with it, and always bring your lomo cam.

What is the reason behind your Lomo name?

A rose is a rose is a rose. I wanted a handle that would reflect who I am or who I want to be. Juznobsrvr (pronounced “Just-an-observer”) sounds quaint, which can be perceived as old-school and bizarre. It also conveys no boundaries. For an observer like me, that’s empowerment.

Why analog? Why not digital?

You mean there are cameras that are not analog? Tell me where I can get those.

Can you tell about your best lomo shot? What, where, and why this photo?

I don’t know if I have any best lomo shot. Despite receiving scores of likes for my lomos (thanks to all for the support), I’m still in the process of achieving the best lomo shot. I do have one favorite and it’s the picture of my wife’s dog entitled “The Pooch with a Cute Nose.” Here’s the link in case anyone is interested.

 ... we have trained our
  eyes to mask or 
ignore the 
Our brains 
are always 
for the perfect
image.. .

It was shot with a used Argus FF500D Point and Shoot 35 mm, which I bought for less than $2 at our local thrift store. I tried so hard to make this lomo work but so far it has only received 7 likes. Oh well, it is what it is.

If you were a Lomo camera, what would you be and why?

I would be a home-made pinhole. Maybe one made from an oatmeal can or a matchbox. That way, I could take pictures without being noticed.
Also, there is no need for lens, it has an infinite depth of field, and there is no need for focusing. If I get stranded on an island, this is one camera I would have. In my opinion, even the most sophisticated camera cannot compete with a pinhole.

What is your Lomo style?

I’m not sure if I have figured out my style because I tend to be eclectic. Also, I’ll get bored after a while so I’m always trying out different things. For one thing, I am not interested in getting uber sharp images or highly defined images all the time. They’re great but most of them can be a dime a piece. Really, you can capture a great sunset or a landscape but most likely there are already millions out there that are going to look like the one you have. For me, what is more exciting is how one put together a message into a media and that it has not been done before or anywhere else. Also, I am interested in learning certain techniques but I want to use those techniques unconventionally. I’m always experimenting and learning. Maybe that is my style.

The Lomography staff is reading this interview right now, and I’m sure they’ll be very interested in your suggestions – what else do you want to see in the “revamped” Lomography website? Your own lomowall in your lomohome, perhaps? Monthly free piggies? Anything! Remember… they are reading this right now.

Free piggies? That would be too tempting. I think the Lomography website is already great. I like the concept of being able to know the identity of the Lomographer who likes what you posted.

If I may suggest, I think it would be nice to have a feature on one’s home where others can see at a glance the complete image in the thumbnail. For instance, right now one can only see a fraction of a panoramic lomo in the thumbnail. I think some of the great panoramic captures are passed by just because it doesn’t look appealing when viewed on the current thumbnail format.

Also, I get bummed whenever I click on my “older messages”. If for example I’m on the fourth page, and then I click on an icon or somebody’s avatar, I can’t go back to the previous page with the back arrow on my browser. It brings me back to first page instead of the fourth. Maybe I’m just not doing it right. Yeah, if that can be changed that would be a great convenience.

There’s a Lomo Legend that an unfound Lomo Genie Bottle is lying around the world somewhere out there. If you find this, you only get to choose three Lomo wishes – a Lomo camera that you currently do not own, any film of your choice, and your dream location. What camera? What film? And where in the world would you spend these Lomo wishes?

I always wanted to regain my toy camera that squirted water on people’s face. I’ve lost that one a long time ago. I would load it with vodka and head on to the North Pole.

Hold on, there’s a fourth wish – who among our fellow Lomographers would you like to collaborate with for this “wish project”, and why?

My ideal collaborator would be one of the newest members of LSI who has not yet learned how to use a camera. I think the process would be exciting because this person has no preconceived ideas on how lomos are made.

Just for kicks – - Does your Mom know that you like smelling films and that you’re into Lomography?

She would know. After all she taught me all there is about Lomography.

Parting words: My wish to fellow lomographers is for them to be able to find their niches. Learn from others. Don’t be afraid to ask. Great artists like Picasso were influenced by Van Gogh and Gauguin. Fashion photographer David LaChapelle learned from Andy Warhol. And so on. We all have to start somewhere. Here is the deal: Find your muse, go with it, and always bring your lomo cam.

[Other photos not included in this text]

Juznobsrvr also blogs regularly at Observations.  His blog is also a repository for his arts, and it includes site links to his Facebook, Flicker, and Deviant Art. Juznobsrvr is among the many Lomographers who lives in Southern California.

10 people like this article


   1. yarah

      nice interview and love your photogallery!
      about 1 month ago

   2. mikahsupageek

      great interview and lovely gallery, that photo of the man on the stairs is amazing !
      about 1 month ago

   3. gnarlyleech

      Always been a fan. My favorite picture of yours is the blue triptych picture with the crow flying.
      about 1 month ago

   4. metzgor

      awesome gallery, great work!
      about 1 month ago

   5. emilios

      Great Interview and great Photographer.
      about 1 month ago

   6. disdis

      like your words, your pictures and the wished! It would be great to shoot people drinking from the camera!
      28 days ago

   7. trash-gordon-from-outer-space

      The pooch just got one more like.
      24 days ago

   8. juznobsrvr

      thanks, jay for putting this together... and thanks to everyone for looking and the fab comments... cheers ;-)
      4 days ago

The interview originally appeared at Lomography Magazine.  


Trebor said…
cool stuff... like your lomos, dude
Tsetung said…
The pooch with the cute nose is so cute :))))
Jeprox said…
Lomo on, pare!!!!!
Guy Patterson said…
I want more. You are my biggest fan.
Woody said…
Hah. Congrats, dear mate.
Anonymous said…
Great stuff Rob. Didn't have the camera but I did have the flower. Had to google Lomography. Ahh,the ancient art of using crappy cameras.;-) As opposed to crappy lenses. A local guy ,here, Doug Spowart turned his van into a pinhole camera. Keep up the good work. tony
Rob Castro said…
hey tony... thanks for noticing... yea i've read about that guy at Without Lens website... coo stuff
Rob Castro said…
thanks to all for the comments

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