“I’m interested in all kinds of analogue image making, from 35mm to wet-plate collodion to 6-month pinholes made from beer cans that the drunks leave in my hedge,” says photographer Richard P Lambert in his introductory email to us. Richard continued to grab our attention by speaking of some of his more experimental processes. “Using double exposures, soaking rolls of film in acid or burying frames in the park, I embrace the unpredictable and hopefully create something an honest yet weird way.”
For Richard, he’s all about doing whatever it takes to capture the moment exactly the way he sees it. “With the special effects being ‘in-camera’, these moments really did happen, but not quite like the way it has been recorded,” says Rich.
Indeed, Richard believes that you don’t need a whole lot of technical knowledge to create a beautiful photo.
Phoblographer: When you create analog double exposures, what typically inspires your creative vision for the end result?
Richard: I’m interested in the idea of the camera as an unreliable narrator and how that can mirror our own memory. Photography is inherently limited – whatever exists outside of the frame or split second of the shutter click is removed. Similarly, our memories are subjective, adaptive and incomplete.
Double exposures are abstractions and only hint at narrative and form. They allow you to play collage with the context to suggest new ways of reading the image. I hope my pictures can have a life of their own in other peoples’ minds, free from whatever my intentions were. I’m aiming for something a little psychedelic –like an authentic hallucination.
Phoblographer: When it comes to pinhole work, why do you typically choose to shoot using beer cans?
Richard: We live down the road from an off-license and the drunks leave them in my hedge. Beer cans are also very practical for Solargraphy, which involves very long exposures made over 6 months. The resulting images trace the arcs of the sun over landscapes directly onto photographic paper. The process is actually pretty easy (I used this guide) except for keeping the cans stable and in one place for such a long time. Cable ties and duck tape help but people are inquisitive and trees fall down more than you might think.
Phoblographer: What’s your reliable every day camera, and why do you choose it?
Richard: I don’t think you need an awful lot of technical knowledge to make a great picture, so my ‘take everywhere’ camera is my point & shoot Yashica T4. It is compact and light enough to carry all day and its simplicity means you can have it out of your pocket and shooting in no time. The quick autofocus and Carl Zeiss lens means I’ve captured crisp, well exposed shots in seconds that would have left me deliberating with a manual camera. I’m not a perfectionist and would much prefer to take a shot which might turn out a little wonky than for it never to exist.
It isn’t very pretty and it does feel ‘plasticky’ but the T4 is well made. My second-hand models have been through deserts and ice fields, as well as being dropped plenty of times but they still work great.