17 Jul 2009
The surprise came at my 33rd birthday party: I had a little card signed by all my friends and I was told to go to the Lomographic embassy of Nice where someone will have something to give me..... and it was a Horizon Kompakt!!! Oh what a beautiful present all my friends made all together, I couldn't believe it! A Horizon!!! I was really so happy and I really say a big thank you to all who participated to this great present.
So I had it in my hands: a big heavy camera, making a strange noise and able to take amazing pictures. I knew it would be a great love story between me and my Horizon, and it's still one of my overall favorite cameras (but don't tell my other cameras, they might be jealous... and I love all my other cameras too of course....;)) and I take it everywhere I go.
The Horizon Kompakt is not as elaborated as the Horizon Perfekt (the more professional version of the Horizon), only one fixed aperture (f:8) and only 2 speed settings (quick at 1/60 s and slow at 1/2 s) but it's really more than enough to shoot at almost every light conditions. With a 100 asa film for sunny daylight and some 800 or 1600 asa for night shots, you can really shoot as quickly as you want without thinking at the settings of your camera. And the results are always amazing: 120° of magic and always a lot of stories to tell in one picture! And I love the simplicity of use, you just have to shoot, no need to think!
And another feature of the Kompakt I love, is that the shutter and film aren't coupled, so you can easily make doubles or triple exposures or more! I specially like the up-side down symmetric technique: take the same shot twice without advancing the film but just turn the camera upside down for the 2nd shot. You can create some magical & mysterious shots.
Another tip is to shoot by holding your Horizon on the ground and shoot upwards or to hold it over your head and shoot downwards: you will have impressing curves of distortion in the picture, adding something more to the magical Horizon touch!
And finally, what I like when I'm shooting with my Horizon Kompakt is that it is always an attraction for the people, they look at this strange thing, asking what it is and wondering what kind of pictures this camera can take. More than a camera, it's a fantastic medium to talk to people and take pictures of them, to talk about the magic of analogue photography and to show how easy and fun it can be!
Really, the Horizon Kompakt is a magical camera and one of the best photographic storyteller I know, because the frame is soooo wide that a lot of things happens in there, and sometimes you only discover the whole story once your picture is developped! :))