Lomography

12 10 2010

This summer my friend came to my house with a plethora of different cameras: a polaroid, a fisheye, a holga, and a basic film camera. I was mystified by the array of possibilities of each camera. With each different lense a new moment was captured in a somewhat artsy and unusual way. “It’s lomography,” my friend told me. Still curious by what she was talking about, I looked it up. I found a very informative website, lomography.com, that defined lomography as “a new style of artistic experimental photography of unorthodox snapshots”.
Before companies started producing lomography cameras, people would purposefully distort and manipulate their photographs during the developing process to give them a more edgier look. Today, companies make cameras that create these looks for you.
According to Lomography.com there are but ten “golden rules” to shooting with lomography:
1. Take your camera everywhere you go
2. Use it any time – day and night
3. Lomography is not an interference in your life, but part of it
4. Try the shot from the hip
5. Approach the objects of your lomographic desire as close as possible
6. Don’t think (william firebrace)
7. Be fast
8. You don’t have to know beforehand what you captured on film
9. Afterwards either
10. Don’t worry about any rules
Lomography is seemingly more about interpreting the real world through the camera rather than capturing a moment in a way that is already fully understood. It is the new and hip way to document the world. It is possibly a revolution for photojournalism. Lomography is depicted as “sexy, modern, hip, inexpensive, and intellectual”.
When thinking about lomography I see that it is almost a perfect metaphor for how the young and hip generation of society seemingly views the world: the messier, the more unique. The more distorted, the more to interpret. The more broken, the more to put together in a different way.
When I was looking at the photos that my friend had taken this summer, I was thoroughly impressed. She not only captured many of the feelings that I attach to the magical season of summer, but also brought me some new emotions. New England summers are unlike anything else. The smokey scent of family barbecues on the beach, the squeals of young children, the texture of long and tangled hair coated in salt after swimming in the ocean, the warm and comforting of feeling of being surrounded by true friends that you know you will have forever are but some of the emotions that come with the word “summer”. My friend captured all of these feelings with lomography and I am not sure if she would have been able to to the same extent with normal photos from a silver box of a digital camera.
I have a conclusion to this blog: lomography emphasizes a new major aspect to photography– mystery. You choose the material that you will photograph, you choose how you will photograph it, at what angle you will photograph, but with lomography, at some point, your camera will manipulate it and you will just have to wait and see how it will turn out. It’s a mystery.

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One response

12 10 2010
Mister Fischer

I sort of get it, but I’m not totally sure how this type of photography differs from conventional photography. I like the picture you posted, but I need to know more to understand how it differs. Consider this: what if you posted a few conventional photos along side ones that you consider lomographs. That would allow you to point out the differences more concretely. I love this idea (a new aesthetic of photography), but I’m just not seeing it yet.

Good for you (by the way) for exploring something new.

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