Visually Differentiating Between Lomography and Traditional Photography

17 10 2010

One of the comments on my previous blog that was about lomography was something along the lines of “I don’t see a difference between the photo that you just posted and normal photography”. When I looked back at the photo I completely understood what the reader was talking about. I didn’t post the best representation of lomography that I could of. I am going to post four more pictures from this past summer that my friend had taken that better represent the differences between normal photography and lomography.


The first two photos are photos taken with a type of lomography camera called a “fisheye”. This camera makes the image look as if you are looking at it through a round fishbowl hence the name fisheye.
What I love about these photos is the energy in both of them. In the beach picnic one, adults are bustling about and preparing their meals. No one is really paying attention to the photographer or the current moment but rather the moments that are seconds away. Soon they will be eating this wonderful food, soon others will be eating their prepared meals, soon they will all be sitting on the sandy earth floor laughing and drinking. But in this moment, the food needs to get ready to make it all possible. The fisheye effect adds to this photo in my opinion. If it was a classic straight shot I don’t think this feeling of urgency would be conveyed as well. The fisheye makes the horizon seem so much broader in the background making this captured scene seem less significant and smaller.
It is a similar situation with the second fisheye photo of the three young girls playing in the water. They are all having a blast, again unaware of the photographer who is seemingly peering in on this moment. The fisheye again gives this illusion of a hugely vast landscape.

These next two photos were taken with a type of lomography camera called a holga. As I had explained in my previous blog, lomography cameras purposefully mess up parts of the film. How the holga will manipulates your photograph is a mystery. In the photo of the woman holding her baby the most obvious impediment is the red light coming from the right side of the picture. If you examine it more closely you will also be able to see how there is a slight graininess and almost blur to the photo that a normal camera wouldn’t create.
In the picnic table photograph it looks as the the camera took two photographs and pasted part of one over the other. If you look closely you can see how it looks like people are kind of layered over each other.
Holga cameras have a mind of their own and that is what are so great about them. Life in a way has a mind of its own and won’t always go as planned or expected. Holgas add a sort of surprise and, if my wording is correct, a sort of loose happiness to photographs.
I would say that some of the biggest differences to lomography aren’t the visual aspects. Lomography has a rule of bringing your camera wherever you go and photographing life where ever you go. It encourages you to take photos from different angles, to experiment with the wild side of photography that you don’t know. That is more of a sentiment rather than something that obtrusively comes out visually in lomography.
(if you want to get a better look at these pictures I will put them in the media gallery. They will be larger images)

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2 responses

17 10 2010
jacquelinemerrill

Fisheye can really come out amazing. It puts a whole different perspective to an image that you’d otherwise not see. It feels to me like it captures the magic or emotion of a photo the best because it’s really narrowing into it. Great post!

17 10 2010
Mister Fischer

So, as I understand it, while traditional photography tries to hide the fact that there’s a camera involved (trying to make the picture seem like a window into the actual work) lomography instead wants the viewer to see that a mechanical instrument HAS been used, the the image has been created, that it’s not just reality we’re looking at.

Very interesting!

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