In these days of high-tech, high-spec digital cameras even the most inexperienced photographer can capture technically professional-looking images-but there's a growing trend of happy-go-lucky snappers who yearn for a more simplistic approach, a return to a time when photography was less predictable. Decidedly low-tech and highly idiosyncratic plastic, or "toy" cameras enable them to create images that-while not technically perfect-display a quirky sense of fun, spontaneity, and artiness.
One hundred photographers from around the world showcase their fascinating and frequently wacky plastic camera images in a book that is a refreshing lo-fi antidote to the digital era.
Chris Gatcum's concise review celebrates cameras that relish the manifestation of visual aberrations, darkly moody vignetting, richly oversaturated coloration, off-kilter exposure, and dreamily soft focus. Lacking light meters, autofocus, auto film advance, and digital sensors, these notoriously light-leaking plastic cameras include some bizarre versions: flamboyant fish-eyes, lens-less pinholes, and multi-lens gizmos that cram several images onto a single frame.
About the author
Chris Gatcum is an award-winning photographer and contributor of technical and technique-based photography articles to numerous online and print publications.