I was first introduced to Lomography at work. Every Friday, my company hosts an hour-long seminar on various things such as acupuncture, mutual funds, terrariums, etc. The subject of such a seminar on this day was Lomography. I was excited for this seminar days in advance as I knew I would be getting a free camera (a Diana+) but what I learned about lomography was just as cool as the camera.
Lomography, easily put, is instagram. You know that app that transforms pictures taken on your cell phone into dreamy images with dark vignettes, saturated colors, and black and white borders and then uploads them to Facebook? The aesthetic in those photos, that’s Lomography. It is a photographic movement started in 1992 when a couple of Viennese students bought a plastic camera while wandering around Prague. Instead of shooting photos with composition and subject in mind, the students took pictures with this highly-sensitive camera at the hip, knee, foot. They didn’t look through the viewfinder, they didn’t think when shooting, and they got as close to objects and people as possible. When they developed their photos, they loved the results. They’re photos captured intimate, unplanned and unpredicted photos.
Sharing their photographs with friends, family, and other unknowns, Lomography became more and more popular. In 1992, the Lomographic Society International was formed and the “10 Golden Rules of Lomography” and the “Lomography Manifesto” were drafted.
In 1996, the factories that manufactured the Lomo LC-A camera almost shut down. Then vice-mayor Vladimir Putin saved the factory for closing its doors by ordering that production continue.
In 2002, the first Lomography World Congress was held in Vienna.
Ten years later, in 2012, numerous versions of the lomography camera have been created (Diana+, Holga), many exhibitions have been held, an app has been made to duplicate Lomography’s photographic aesthetic.
I like Lomography for two reasons. First is that it heralds the unprofessional. The camera is plastic and weighs far less than a pound. It looks like it would be sold in The Dollar Store. The pictures it produces are unclear. The less calculated the composition, the better. Lomography photographers don’t have to be trained for years and years. They don’t have to study under a master. Lomography photographers are you and I, photographers with no training, just winging it as we go…
The second reason I like Lomography is because of its intimacy. A camera is an object that exists on the outside, capturing moments on the inside. Its pictures gives outsiders glimpses into the inside world that you and I don’t see, don’t have access to, or are not a part of. But a camera of the Lomography type isn’t on the outside, it’s on the inside. Its photos are so intimate – close to the subject and shot from angles that the angles you and I see – that the camera becomes a part of the photographer. This, to me, is cool.
For more information on Lomography (it’s history and such), click here
Click here to see one my favorite photographers, Yvette Inufio. Her photos are so dreamy and so feminine. I love them all.
Click here for another tutorial on Lomographic picture taking. It was posted on one of my favorite blogs, A Beautiful Mess
If you own a DSLR, click here to buy a lense that will produce Lomographic type images