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LOMOGRAPHY


Design: Sónia Pestana Publicação realizada no âmbito da disciplina Estudos de Design na Faculdade de Belas Artes da Universidade do Porto 1º Edição Junho 2011 Impressão Sempre Imagem Digital


Sumary


7 What the hell is Lomography? 19 Difference between Lomography and conventional photography 23 The determinants of analogue photography’s survival through Lomography 27 Lomography as a social movement 35 The determinants of analogue photography’s survival through Lomography 41 The ten golden rules


What the hell is Lomography? Lomography is a Magazine, a Shop, and a Community dedicated to analogue photography.


7

Lomography began with a fateful

photography that we now know as

same time, Lomography Gallery

encounter in the early 1990’s when

Lomography!

Stores were put up worldwide.

two students in Vienna, Austria,

Following the mania that ensued

Today we are a globally active

stumbled upon the Lomo Kompakt

upon the introduction of Lomography,

organisation dedicated to

Automat – a small, enigmatic Russian

they flew to St. Petersburg to work

experimental and creative visual

camera. Mindlessly taking the shot

out a contract for the worldwide

expression, a playful combination

from the hip, and sometimes looking

distribution of this fantastic little

of lo-tech and hi-tech, and a cultural

through the viewfinder, they were

camera. Soon, the 10 Golden Rules

institution involved in commercial

astounded with the mindblowing

was set up as a guide to this analogue

photographic and design company.

photos that it produced – the colours

movement, followed by exhibitions,

We are dedicated to the unique

were vibrant, with deep saturation

world congresses, parties, installations,

imagery and style of analogue

and vignettes that framed the shot

collaborations, and events. New

photography, and will continue

– it was nothing like they had seen

products, films, and accessories were

to contribute to its development!

before! Upon returning home, friends

developed, and Lomography.com

wanted their own Lomo LC-A, igniting

served as the communication hub

a new style of artistic experimental

for Lomographers worldwide. At the


1982 Birth of the LOMO LC-A the camera that started it all!

1984 Launch of the LC-A

1991 Discovery!

General Igor Petrowitsch Kornitzky,

The LOMO LC-A began mass-

While touring Prague, a group of

right-hand man to the USSR Minister

production this year, with 1200 people

Viennese students stumbled upon

of Defense and Industry, slammed

working on the camera.

the LOMO LC-A in a quirky, old-

a little Japanese compact camera

Starting at 1100 units per month for

school camera shop, and started

onto the desk of his comrade Michail

the Russian market, its popularity soon

shooting from the hip.

Panfilowitsch Panfiloff, the Director

spread to then Communist countries

Upon returning to Vienna, they had

of the powerful LOMO Russian Arms

such as Poland, Czechoslovakia, and

their film rolls developed, resulting

and Optical factory. Panfiloff carefully

Cuba.

in strangely beautiful images. Soon

examined the item, observing its

the questions started coming from

sharp glass lens, extremely high light

friends, family and strangers, they

sensitivity and robust casing.

wanted their own LC-A cameras!

Realizing its potential, the two gentlemen gave orders to the LOMO PLC factory in St. Petersburg, Russia to create an improved version of the Cosina CX-1 – and the first working sample of the LOMO LC-A was born!


9

1992 The birth of the Lomographic Society International

1994 Lomo goes online, NYC vs Moscow exhibition, first embassy in Berlin

1996 Provide for the future

Interest in the mysterious Soviet

Lomo invades the world wide web at

With the LC-A's popularity rise comes

jewel was rapidly growing, and the

this time (www.lomo.com).

the biggest challenge – the Russian

Lomography founders resorted to

It was also this year when the very

manufacturers decided to stop its

carrying out daring backpack raids to

first Lomographic exhibition was

production.

Russia in order to satisfy the demand

simultaneously held in New York City

Our “Wieners” bravely scooted to the

for more and more of these fantastic

and Moscow, with massive LomoWalls

LOMO Optics factory in Russia and

LOMO LC-A cameras.

gracing each city, showcasing

successfully convinced the factory

It was this year that the decision

colourful Lomographs from the other;

honchos and then-Vice Mayor Mr.

was finally made to found the

months later, the first Lomo Embassy

Vladimir Putin to continue with the

Lomographic Society International

was established in Berlin.

LC-A production!

(LSI) once and for all. During the summer, the legendary “10 Golden Rules of Lomography” were written and later published in the ‘Wiener Zeitung’ newspaper along with the revolutionary “Lomography Manifesto” on November 5th. Shortly after this, the Vienna City Council provided the LSI with an empty house on Breitegasse in the city’s 7th district, which would soon act as a base for all Lomographic operations! It was here that the very first Lomography exhibition was held. At the exhibition, 700 LOMO LC-As were sold and one of the LSI’s most defining features was born – the LomoWall!


1997 First World Congress in Madrid Relaunching lomo.com as lomography.com, the new website introduces a product shop, community interaction, special projects, activities and services, plus the WorldArchive – displaying a collection of amazing Lomographs from different places. The first Lomographic World Congress in Madrid boasted a LomoWall of over 120 metres - consisting of over 35,000 Lomographs!

1998 Photokina The Lomographic Society International launches the 4-lensed Actionsampler at the Photokina – the largest photography convention in the world. The strange-looking plastic camera takes four sequential images in one 35mm Lomograph and was an instant hit!

2000 First in-house camera, the Supersampler, community functions launched Designed, manufactured, and patented by Lomography, the Supersampler emerges as the “Queen of all Multi-lens Cameras” – taking four panoramic panels of sequential images in one photograph. At lomography.com, new community functions were launched, one of which was the LomoHomes – a space for users to store all their photos and make their own LomoWalls, at the time, probably the most modern web site where you could host photos!


13

2001 First Lomography shop in Vienna

2002 Lomography World Congress

2003 First Sidekick TPE bag - Lomography fashion makes its entrance.

The very first Lomography shop

This was the year that Vienna played

In addition to photographic products,

in the world graced the Kunsthalle

host to the Lomography World

Lomography introduces the first

(Contemporary Art Hall) in the Vienna

Congress displaying beautiful Lomo

Sidekick TPE bag – designed to

MuseumsQuartier in the summer of

shots from across the globe.

hold cameras, films, and even a

this year, featuring walls decked with

small laptop. This jumpstarts the

Lomographs (LomoWalls), a wide

Lomography line of fashion items

range of innovative products from

– t-shirts, bags, camera bags, and

all over the world and the full line of

accessories have since been added to

Lomographic items. It also hosted

the fashion segment.

workshops and other activities that cater to Lomography.


2004 World Congress in China, biggest ever LomoWall!

2005 The Fisheye camera

2006 LC-A+

The biggest LomoWall to date was

Lomography introduces a

Lomography introduces the LC-A+ - a

installed during the World Congress

breakthrough in photography with

faithful reproduction of the Russian

in China. For one whole week, Beijing

the world's first compact Fisheye

LC-A camera.

was bursting with shiny Lomographs

camera – the Fisheye. Yielding nearly

Manufactured in China with an

and exciting activities!

180-degrees of circular Fisheye

option to get the lens from Russia, it

distortion in a 35mm photograph,

offered the same endearing qualities

it offered the easiest and most

as the original – sharp contrast,

convenient way to try Fisheye!

deep saturation, and the trademark vignetting - while adding more exciting features such as a multipleexposure switch and the option to use exclusively-for-LC-A+ accessories!


15

2007 Diana+, Hong Kong,

2008 Lubitel+ launch, “The Future is Analogue” exhibition at the Photokina.

2009 New site launch , NYC Gallery Store, Diana Instant Back+, Colette

Seoul and Paris Gallery Store

Lomography strikes again with

The lomography.com website was

openings, White Stripes collaboration

another exciting reproduction, the

given a complete relaunch, with a

and World Congress, London.

Lubitel+, our pimped-up version

fresh new look and more sections

A faithful reproduction of the'60s

of the twin-lensed classic Lubitel

for community interaction, contests,

medium-format classic Diana camera

camera. The year 2008 was a busy

articles, and other crucial info related

was introduced by the LSI – the

one as Lomography proudly declared

to Lomography and analogue

Diana+, enhanced with features to

that “The Future is Analogue” at the

photography – closing the gap

promote more creative options.

Photokina convention in Cologne,

between digital and analogue.

The year 2007 also saw the opening

Germany, with a massive LomoWall

This year also saw the opening of the

of Lomography Gallery Stores in

covering both the walls and the

Lomography shop in New York City!

Hong Kong, Paris, and Seoul, the

floor – making it THE attraction to

The Diana+ also reigned supreme

World Congress in London, and

see. A survey was conducted prior

with the unique collaboration

Lomography's collaboration with the

to the event, evaluating the future

between Lomography and Paris-

White Stripes for the limited edition

of Lomography based on thoughts

based boutique colette for the

“Jack” Holga and “Meg” Diana+

and opinions by the community, and

"Dianalogues: Through A Woman's

cameras.

gathering ideas and preferences,

Lens" Book & special edition camera.

digital vs analogue-style.

Plus the Diana Instant Back+ was

The massive LC-A book, which

launched, an accessory that turns

documented the entire story of the

the Diana+ camera into an instant

LC-A, accompanied by a compilation

camera!

of the best Lomographs from around

Lomography celebrated the iconic

the world, was also launched at the

Lomo LC-A+ camera that started it

convention.

all, with the release of the LC-A+ 25th Anniversary and a South Koreandesigned ‘No Nukes’ limited edition!


2010 "10 Prophecies for the Analogue Future" at the Photokina, Sprocket Rocket, Spinner 360, Website redesign 2010 will be remembered as the year

Lomography also set about ensuring

Taiwan, Thailand, Korea, China, the

Lomography ensured that the future

that the future was film by producing

UK and Italy, as well as opening nine

would remain analogue once and for

more of our own! We released a

new gallery stores worldwide! The

all! We took the Cologne Photokina

whole range of 120 and 35mm format

Diana World Tour continued to bring

by storm yet again, spreading

films including special redscale and

breath-taking squares and fun-

analogue love and announcing our “10

X-Pro films. Also in this year, 10

packed parties to Lomographers all

Prophecies for the Analogue Future”!

groups of film-fanatics from around

over the globe!

The revolutionary Spinner 360° was

the world teamed up to join the great

launched and was quickly awarded

LC-A Race – a race from the four

the European Consumers Choice

corners of the globe back to the LSI

Award! Lomography unleashed the

headquarters, armed with only with a

time-travelling Sprocket Rocket in

GPS, a notebook and an LC-A+!

October, the first analogue camera

The lomography.com website was

dedicated entirely to sprockets! In

relaunched once again, with brand-

celebration of the Lomo LC-A+ that

new features and an improved online

started it all, two limited editions were

experience for our expanding global

created: the LC-A+ White & the LC-

community! We launched localised

A+ Gold.

versions of the website for Canada,


2011 Get Ready to Shoot, Lomography Times Square Exhibition and Tons of New Releases

We're already busy making sure that

we released another three special

Sprocket Rocket, Diana F+, Fisheye 2

2011 will be the best ever year for

camera editions to commemorate the

and a Lubitel. It was at this exhibition

Lomographers across the world.

Golden Week in Japan - the "Jiyu"

that we announced the launch of the

In February, we set about spreading

Diana Mini, the "Kirameki" Diana F+

brand-new Hong Kong City Guide

the analogue love with three heart-

and the "Shiawase" Fisheye 2. We also

and a special edition White Sprocket

meltingly beautiful special camera

pledged to make a donation to the

Rocket to celebrate the event!

editions – the "Love is in the Air"

Red Cross of Japan with the purchase

April was also the month that

Diana Mini, the "Take My Heart"

of each of these cameras.

we launched our brand new

Diana F+ and the "I Love LOMO"

From April 11th to May 3rd, the

'LomoKorrespondent' stationery

Fisheye 2. In this same month we

people of Hong Kong celebrated

range – featuring the PhotoAccordion,

also launched the stunning "Ready

everything analogue with the

Freundschaftskarte, Journey Frame

to Shoot" camera cases. In March,

incredible Lomography Times Square

and the Chapbook.

the Lomography fashion range was

Exhibition. 100,000s of people

In May, we unleashed the world’s

extended again with the release of

turned out to discover and explore

widest compact camera, the Lomo

seven brand-new T-shirt designs.

an enormous LomoWorldMap made

LC-Wide; the latest innovation in the

April was the month in which the

up of thousands of Lomographic

LOMO legacy.

LomoLab landed in both the UK

pictures and a collection of four giant,

and the USA and later in the month

interactive cameras including the


Difference between Lomography and conventional photography


19

The Image As explained in the introduction earlier, most parts of a Lomographic image often turn out blurred because of the lack of focusing ability. The plastic optics contributes to the saturated colors of the resultant images. Due to poor sealing techniques of the camera’s body construction, strong vignetting may also occur on the images. Demographics and Psychographics of Lomographers 2290 respondents participated in the online survey conducted by the Lomographic Society International, ‘Analogue vs. Digital 2008’. The demographics information shows that Lomographers are sexually balanced, with an approximately equal number of male and female participants; Apart from quirky and unfocused

camera by manipulating the aperture

Majority of the Lomographers fall

images, Lomography sports several

and shutter settings of the camera.

within the group of 16 to 30 years of

differences from conventional

‘Point‐and‐Shoot’ defines the way

age (70%). Most are well educated

photography. We highlight the key

Lomographic cameras are used; they

with 59% having at least a university

differences between the two by

do not afford the range of controls

education and 42% employed in the

analyzing the medium and resultant

conventional photography allows.

creative industries.

image.

Rather, it removes the learning curve

The top two LOMO cameras ranked

by using a single setting.

in this survey are the LOMO LC‐A

The Camera

Conventional cameras also utilize

and the Diana+. An interesting

Conventional photography sports a

glass optics to obtain clear and sharp

finding from this survey is that 38%

steep learning curve with its myriad

images. To keep prices low, however,

of Lomographers consider their

and settings and the control it offers

Lomography sports plastic made

lifestyle more digital than analogue.

the user over the camera medium.

optics, which contributes to the

A provisional breakdown of some

The user would thus have to control

quirkiness of its images.

aspects of the survey is provided in

the amount of light entering the

Appendix G.


21


The determinants of analogue photography’s survival through Lomography


23

We start this section by exploring

questioned, a number of respondents

exposures to make the Lomographic

the importance of the photographic

added that the element of fun does

process more fun and interesting.

medium and resultant image, and

not surface when they engage in

‘I modify them (lomographic

their associations with analogue

digital photography.

cameras) by adding some masking

photography’s survival through

‘It’s more relaxed.’ Charlie.

effects... moving the shutter a little bit

Lomography.

‘Part of the fun is in not knowing what

to another camera’ – Andy

you’ll get.’ – Nelly ‘The DSLR is still

Modifying and transplanting parts of

The Camera

superior ... the Lomo stuffs are more

Lomographic cameras has created

The fun element attributed to the

for fun.’ – Jill

a myriad of different images and

use of the medium is a common

Though Nelly feels that Lomography

effects for his works. As Lomographic

thread amongst our respondents

is merely a passing phase that will not

cameras are cheap, he can afford to

that justifies their adoption of

‘grow much more than it currently is’,

experiment with such modifications,

Lomography. Peggy, Jill and Andy

it works well as a ‘fun’ camera. Andy

which he claims he cannot do so with

suggest that Lomography is strongly

does more than just shooting with

digital cameras due to its relatively

associated with the term ‘fun’. When

different styles and making double

expensive parts.


25

‘As compared to digital photographs ... the colors and effects don’t turn out to be like usual photographs and it’s very interesting.’ – Peggy

Surrealism further contributes to

series called ‘A Second’. As the camera

the fun aspect as you get quirky,

takes 4 consecutive shots within a

unexpected images. Lomography

second on a single film frame, he used

makes one’s surroundings look more

it to capture his subjects ‘expression...

surreal. Peggy and Charlie echo these

about that little moment’ while

sentiments.

communicating with them.

‘(Lomography) twists your

11Our findings present a different

environment’ – Peggy

paradigm from traditional medium

Our research supports the

analysis. Medium analysis believes

Lomographic Society International’s

that the camera is important as it

finding that 66% of their survey

creates the image (Peterson, 2008).

respondents associate analogue

However, in the case of Lomography,

photography (Lomography) with fun

the medium is important not only

(Lomographic Society International,

because it creates the image (it creates

2008).

unpredictable images), but it is also

Another reason for the adoption of

important because it contributes

Lomography comes from Charlie.

to the fun element to the process

Coming from a mainstream analogue

of making images. This challenges

‘The images look very old‐school’ –

photography background, Charlie

Peterson’s (2008) view that human

Jill Many users such as Peggy and

finds Lomography mysterious. From

interaction and activity are lacking in

Jill were attracted to Lomography

an artistic perspective, the medium is

the photographic process.

because of the appeal of the Lomographic images’ saturated

not important to him; rather, what is important to him is that the camera

The Image

colors and deviance from mainstream

achieves a certain effect he is looking

These findings have proven that the

images in appearance.

for.

resultant image is as important a factor

Charlie bought the Lomographic

as the medium for motivating users

‘Action Sampler’ camera to create a

towards the adoption of Lomography.


Lomography as a social movement “I’m not very particular whether it is a Lomographer or digital photographer. I just treat it (myself) as a photographer.” – Peggy


27

“Unless... there’s an agreement between me and my friend, we decide to shoot Lomography then we will just bring Lomo.” – Peggy

We will be analyzing this section

failure can be attributed to the

‘Now I carry my (Lomographic)

according to the consolidated list of

over‐commercialization of the term

cameras out more often’ – Jill

characteristics a social movement

Lomography and its vague distinction

Promote mobilization of its members/

encompasses.

from the parent term photography.

supporters

Identity construction and change

Rose does not believe that her

Lomography has been able to

We have not found a strong sense of

local Lomographic Embassy does

mobilize its members and supporters

identity amongst our Lomography

anything to promote her identity as a

though events such as outings and

inclined respondents. Instead, we

Lomographer.

collaborations etc., which we will be

have found that most respondents

‘I don’t think so, we are not celebrity

exploring in this segment.

would first identify themselves as

you see.’ – Rose

Though it is not Lomographic in

photographers.

What we have found, however,

nature, Peggy has managed annual

Similarly, Andy does not

suggests that the Lomographic

nation‐wide exhibitions and talks for

consider himself a Lomographer.

medium can be used as a possible

photographers twice for the society

He feels that the term is ‘too

tool for creating a sense of common

she is with. She also attends outings

commercialized.’ Reasons for this

identity.

quarterly. Though Peggy has never


participated in a Lomography outing

believes that the friends who ‘survive’

before but would be keen to do so if

in Lomography after the initial phase

time permits

do so because ‘they see the result

‘If we both have the (Lomographic)

and then they’re happy.’

cameras then we’ll just take (photos)

On the user level, we have found

together.’ – Jill Jill and her peers

that there are sparse groupings of

to attend Lomography outings

Lomographers who attend events

frequently, they do this as often as

and shoot often in their own cliques.

time affords. For

Our secondary research shows that

Jill, such outings are normally

Lomographic Embassies mobilize

unplanned as they usually carry their

members through events such as

Lomographic cameras along daily.

outings and exhibitions. The ‘More We

Lomography has got the power to

Get Together’ sessions were started

draw people in through viral channels

to promote bonding and friendship

such as peers. A key reason Jill

amongst Lomographers in 2008.

adopted Lomo was because her

Based on primary and secondary

friends were actively engaged in

research, there is both top‐down

Lomography.

and bottom‐up approaches

‘I think I’m catching on to their

when it comes to mobilization

trends.’ – Jill

of Lomographers. However, as

Andy has close friends he made

suggested by James, there may be

through Lomography, and constantly

strong financial motivations, instead

introduces Lomographic cameras

of social movement motivations,

to friends for them to try out. He

behind the Lomographic Embassies’


views on Lomography as an art form

medium.

as such views do not seem to exist

We have found that an informal,

strongly at all in today’s society.

localized organization of

However, there are historically

Lomographers through local forums

documented cases of Lomographers

such as www.lomotion.sg based in

campaigning against policy. The

Singapore or Lomography Malaysia

Russian production plant for

etc operates along the formal

LOMO Compacts was due to cease

structure. These forums enhance the

operation in 1996 (Lomography,

capabilities of the local Lomographic

2009). However, this plan was put

Embassies by providing a platform

to a halt after negotiations between

for interaction amongst its members.

Lomographers, the LOMO factory

It helps to promote mobilization of

heads and then vice‐mayor of St.

members in a bottom up approach

Petersburg, Mr. Vladimir Putin (ibid).

as members can organize their own

Though the above‐mentioned case

outings and promote their own events

efforts. Advocate social political

documents early socio‐political

on the forums, such as exhibitions.

change and/or the creation of new

endeavor of Lomographers, there

James is the creator of a

institutions.

will be little need for similar action in

Lomographic forum.

According to our respondents, there

modern society, as the Lomographic

‘(The motivation was to) find a

are few subservient views against

society has now been privatized.

community, find people of the same

Lomography. Most respondents

Formal organizational structure

interest ... (I) did not find any at all

suggest that Lomography and

This section will be explained with the

when I returned’ – James

mainstream photography are on par

aid of secondary analysis (via viewing

Comments from James have revealed

as an art form. Though Peggy and Jill

websites and personal observation)

that link between the informally

feel that Lomography is more ‘artistic’

as the Lomographic Embassies

organized forums and the formally

in nature, there are few subservient

cannot be contacted for response.

organized Lomographic Embassies

views against their claims.

The existence of international

are weak in nature. The formal

When asked about what they felt art

Lomographic Embassies strongly

organizational structure has failed

was, ‘Art is very subjective.’ – Andy

suggests the possibility of a

to fully tap on the social resources

‘There is no right or wrong (to art).’ –

lomographic social movement with

available to them.

Charlie

its organized corporate structure.

‘Because we work really on

There is thus little impetus for

As the Society is a main supplier of

individual... like if they have events,

Lomographers now to campaign

the Lomographic products, it is able

we’ll post on our forums... not really

for social change against negative

to control its members through the

support.’ James

“There is no right or wrong (to art).” – Charlie

29


Have rich communities. Lomography

by doing doubles (a process whereby

has created rich communities

one person shoots a roll of film, and

amongst like minded people. Peggy

passes it on to someone else to use

posts her Lomo images online under

it over again before processing.

the Lomography section of the

This creates an image overlay on the

website she visits. She makes two

original). Plans like these are put into

to three posts weekly on average.

action via contact through forums or

Similarly, Andy makes two to five

the Lomography website.

posts on Lomography forums daily.

‘The most recent one was about a few weeks ago. I did a collaboration with

“I’d say they’re (Lomographers) more, you know, closely knit and friendly.” – Andy

a guy from the U.S.’ – Andy ‘We did send overseas, like the film we take one exposure then we send overseas and that guy take the second exposure... That is the element of surprise, you don’t know what you are going to get.’ – James The richness of Lomographic communities can be found by

Lomography also forms rich

tracking Lomographers’ activities

communities with its power to

online. Like our participants, many

enhance collaboration in the image

people participate actively on various

making process. Andy collaborates

Lomographic forums by posting

with Lomographers out of his country

often. Secondary analysis of the


33

“Here in Singapore there are not that many kind of Lomo exhibition... most of the time it’ll be the ones organized by Lomotion.” – Andy

Lomographic Society International

(in KL)... and meet up with the

website shows daily Lomohome

LomowMalaysia people for an outing’

updates and simple analysis of www.

– James

Lomotion.sg shows forums that are

James attends Lomographic

updated daily with rich discussions

Embassy events frequently due to his

going on about posted works etc.

connections with the Lomographic

‐ Elaborate discourses

Embassy staff. He was one of the

Most of the writing on Lomography

selected Lomographers for ‘Lomo

comes in the form of books such

Loves Local: Lomo + Electrico

as the ‘Diana+: True Tales and Short

collaboration,’ where he was invited

Stories’ sold by the Lomographic

to shoot the new album covers for

Society International. Such books

a local band with his Lomographic

normally outline people’s feelings

camera (Lomographic Embassy

and interactions with their cameras

Singapore, 2009).

and are more product centric rather

Lomographic activity can be easily

than discursive in nature.

viewed from the list of Lomographic

Strong traces of elaborate discourses

events going on around the world.

regarding Lomography as an art

These events can be organized by

or other purposes have not been

lomography enthusiasts, such as

observed in our study.

the organization of outings amongst

Frequent and visible activity

friends; they could also be events

Lomography events such as

organized by the Lomographic

exhibitions are well attended. ‘An

Society or its Embassies.

exhibition by Lomotion... not bad,

Some of the events organized by the

but I think because it’s quite small

Lomographic Embassy in Singapore

scale.’ – Jill

in 2008 include ‘Lomo Loves Local:

The reasons for attendance are

Lomo + Electrico collaboration’

because of the social interactions at

mentioned above and the ‘More We

such events and the ability to see the

Get Together Lomography Sessions’

printed image up close.

(Lomographic Embassy Singapore,

‘There’s no pressure.... you get to see

2009), which is a series of outings

most of their work, although most of

organized by the Lomographic

it you’d have seen them in the forums.

Embassy in Singapore.

But (when) you see them on print it’s totally different. You get to see the whole thing as a Lomo wall.’ – Andy ‘To see the hot air balloon there


The determinants of analogue photography’s survival through Lomography


35

We start this section by exploring

associated with the term ‘fun’. When

does more than just shooting with

the importance of the photographic

questioned, a number of respondents

different styles and making double

medium and resultant image, and

added that the element of fun does

exposures to make the Lomographic

their associations with analogue

not surface when they engage in

process more fun and interesting.

photography’s survival through

digital photography.

‘I modify them (lomographic

Lomography.

‘It’s more relaxed.’‐ Charlie.

cameras) by adding some masking

‘Part of the fun is in not knowing

effects... moving the shutter a little

The Camera

what you’ll get.’ – Nelly ‘The DSLR

bit to another camera’ – Andy

The fun element attributed to the

is still superior ... the Lomo stuffs are

Modifying and transplanting parts of

use of the medium is a common

more for fun.’ – Jill

Lomographic cameras has created

thread amongst our respondents

Though Nelly feels that Lomography

a myriad of different images and

that justifies their adoption of

is merely a passing phase that will not

effects for his works. As Lomographic

Lomography. Peggy, Jill and Andy

‘grow much more than it currently is’,

cameras are cheap, he can afford to

suggest that Lomography is strongly

it works well as a ‘fun’ camera. Andy

experiment with such modifications,


37

“As compared to digital photographs ... the colors and effects don’t turn out to be like usual photographs and it’s very interesting.” – Peggy

which he claims he cannot do so with digital cameras due to its relatively expensive parts. Surrealism further contributes to the fun aspect as you get quirky, unexpected images. Lomography makes one’s surroundings look more surreal. Peggy and Charlie echo these sentiments. ‘(Lomography) twists your environment’ – Peggy Our research supports the Lomographic Society International’s finding that 66% of their survey respondents associate analogue photography (Lomography) with

fun (Lomographic Society

because it creates the image (it

International, 2008).

creates unpredictable images),

Another reason for the adoption

but it is also important because it

of Lomography comes from Charlie.

contributes to the fun element to

Coming from a mainstream analogue

the process of making images. This

photography background, Charlie

challenges Peterson’s (2008) view

finds Lomography mysterious. From

that human interaction and activity

an artistic perspective, the medium is

are lacking in the photographic

not important to him; rather, what is

process.

important to him is that the camera achieves a certain effect he is looking

The Image

for.

These findings have proven that

Charlie bought the Lomographic

the resultant image is as important

‘Action Sampler’ camera to create

a factor as the medium for motivating

a series called ‘A Second’. As the

users towards the adoption

camera takes 4 consecutive shots

of Lomography.

within a second on a single film

‘As compared to digital photographs

frame, he used it to capture his

... the colors and effects don’t turn

subjects ‘expression... about that

out to be like usual photographs and

little moment’ while communicating

it’s very interesting.’ – Peggy

with them.

‘The images look very old‐school’ –

Our findings present a different

Jill Many users such as Peggy and

paradigm from traditional medium

Jill were attracted to Lomography

analysis. Medium analysis believes

because of the appeal of the

that the camera is important as it

Lomographic images’ saturated

creates the image (Peterson, 2008).

colors and deviance from mainstream

However, in the case of Lomography,

images in appearance.

the medium is important not only


The ten golden rules


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1. Take your camera everywhere you go.

Like any passion, you can never

unstoppable Lomographic desire

plan or predict Lomography. It’s like

to document your surroundings

your inner voice and your deepest

overwhelms you and won’t let go.

desire working at the same time.

And nor will you: you’re feeling

Lomography is waiting around the

Lomography and life starts pulsating.

corner to say “Hey good looking,

It’s the best addiction in the world.

wanna go for a ride?”

Did you know that the best photos

You might be at a garage, in the

come out of spontaneous, impulsive

woods, on an Airbus, in the Hammam,

situations and that many are therefore

at work, on the Fujiyama, or in bed

never taken, simply due to the lack

with breakfast when it hits you. Your

of a camera? Your LOMO LC-A

trigger finger start trembling, your

compact and fast and becomes an

eyes become hungry, your soul is

integral part of your body and soul.

burning for images. You grab your

It touches photographic spheres that

LOMO LC-A, click, ahhhh, click, now

other cameras can’t: unexpected,

it’s better, click. Then it happens; the

spontaneous sudden moments.


2. Use it any time, day and night. Every second is special for you and

view and perception of yourself and

your LOMO LC-A; every moment

your life. You don’t only perceive in

is monumental! When you are

sunshine, daytime, on holidays and

Lomographing, you’re not only

on Aunt Frida’s birthday, do you? So

living your life at the present with

keep shooting in any environment,

more intensity and excitement, but

every day and every night, be aware,

you’re also conserving the present

and create yourself, your being, your

for your future. All with the help of

design. Shoot restlessly and give your

your bright, dark, moody, blurred,

memory a kick in the ass with your

sharp, colourful, grey, indefinable,

lovely, crap, beautiful, artistic and silly

straightforward, romantic and fully

Lomographs.

packed Lomographs!

Esse est percipi est Lomographi. Use

Your feelings, your memory and

your LOMO LC-A whenever you’re

your Lomographs; they all mix up

alive!

to a new, complete, more authentic


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3. Lomography is not an interference in your life, but part of it. There’s no chance of relationship

and Lomography inhales life. You

phobia: the LOMO LC-A is what

laugh and you Lomograph, you

you’ve always wanted in life; your new

cry and you Lomograph, you walk

best friend, drinking buddy, spiritual

and you Lomograph, you talk and

leader and lover all at the same time.

you Lomograph, you think and

You work with the camera, you drink

you Lomograph, you love and you

with the camera, you sleep with the

Lomograph and you Lomograph and

camera. Lomography becomes a

you Lomograph.

natural and communicative habit of

Lomography is a powerful sign of

your life, just like talking, walking,

your existence, a constant confession

eating, thinking, laughing and loving.

of your lust for life and a magnetic

As a Lomographer, you are not only

field of your most intense feelings.

photographing a situation, you are an essential part of the situation itself. Life inhales Lomography


4. Try the shot from the hip. A normal photographer's point of view – looking through the viewfinder - is somehow always physically finite; it's limited to somewhere between 1.1 metres and 2.2 metres above ground. But what happens down below and up above, from a dog, cat, baby, bug, slug, bird and insect perspective? Don't hide behind your camera; break free from nonsensical conventions. Don't look through the viewfinder; forget about safety margins and unnecessary shyness! Hands up, hands down, hands forward, Lomograph from up to down and down to up, from the front to you and from you to nowhere, shoes, socks, toes, hips, buttons, belts, butts; aloha! Your LOMO LC-A is as handy as a glove and equips you with deadly fast zone-focusing abilities that let you capture a situation in a split second. Try the shot from the hip to experience absolutely free and boundless dimensions of sight.


45

5. Approach the objects of your Lomographic desire as close as possible.

An essential part of your

parties. Click click, that’s gonna be

Lomographic existence is to get

a nice picture, click, can I send it to

right to the bottom of things and

you by email?, click, wonderful, click,

investigate the world from the inside.

I love you, click, communicate, talk!

Just as with people, you have to

More communication equals better

be sweet, nice, comprehensive and

Lomography. Get close, even closer,

interested to get to know the very

don’t be afraid: laugh and everyone

inside of your subject. As soon as

will not only love you and your

you feel the right moment- take a

LOMO LC-A but will also realise that

picture! Try it and you’ll see that the

Lomography is the most natural thing

deep affection for your Lomographed

on earth!

subject is strongly reflected in your image. Get in contact with your subject and build up a relationship. Smile, hello hello, the LOMO LC-A is part and mediator of your relationship, good morning, click, the camera helps you to get to know your motives and is, after all, a good reason to talk to someone at boring


6. Don't think. (William Firebrace) Your brightest and clearest insights

way to get rid of this convention:

are always your very first impressions.

Don't think! Throw your intellectual

They happen in-between moments

socialisation over board, let the

of sensual, visual perception where

unfiltered flow of information

information is delivered from your

circulate freely, untreated and unrated

senses to your brain and remains

in your mind. Shoot, feel, perceive

unfiltered. Milliseconds later it's

and shoot, have fun, shoot whatever

already too late: your big, clumsy

catches your eye, whatever attracts

and party-pooping melancholic

you, astounds you, excites you,

reasoning has put an end to the fun

seduces you.

and divided your former beautifully

Lomography is a surprising diversion

pure perception into boring concepts,

to your egghead-life and will

abstractions, ideas and problems.

enlighten you with true, simple and

That's life, sorry... Not!

wonderful revelations.

We found a wonderful and easy


7. Be fast Our world moves like a high-speed

pictures of them – but you certainly

train without brakes and is entangled

are!

in ultra-complex systems that most

So, cowgirls and cowboys: calmly

people, in fact all of us, just don't

hold your finger towards your LOMO

understand anymore – how exciting

LC-A's zone focusing meter, trust

for the Lomographic eye!

in yourself and in the automatic

Movements, actions and Lomographic

exposure, grab your guts and be

moments are not reading the paper

quick to catch the wink of time and

and waiting for you to take pictures

accidental destiny. Hold your breath,

of them...the pool attendant with the

be brave, take a chance, move,

big belly, the dance champion with

shoot, run, have fun, act fast – that's

the tight dress, the dog with the pink

Lomography!

tie, the bus driver with the fat glasses, your dad in the shower. Believe us; they are not crazy about you taking


8. You don't have to know beforehand what you captured 9. Afterwards either. on film.

10. Don't worry about any rules.

You can never foresee the results of

A few days later you get your

Don't listen to others; remain

what you're getting with the LOMO

Lomographs from the lab and can't

true to yourself, follow your inner

LC-A, as you find yourself in constant

believe your eyes: who's that? What's

Lomographic voice and never forget

interaction between Russo-Chinese

that colour? When did I shoot that?

that not all that glitters is a golden

mechanics, raw (and quite often

Whose hair is this? Is that you? No

rule.

expired) film, chemical emulsion

it's Sabrina… interesting, and Hansi's

Discover your own Lomography,

baths, the goodwill of your lab

feet too… bewildering, your butterfly

forget about your education,

technician, natural and artificial light,

collection, what a shame, a bottle

socialisation, indoctrination,

your artistic guidance and many other

of schnapps, a huge head, blurs,

knowledge and everything you've

factors that can't be relied on.

surprises, smiles, teeth, accidental

learned and not learned about

Moreover, Lomography is often

double-exposures...

photography. Set free your innermost

an unconscious act that can't be

You'll never completely understand

desires, never stop moving, never

controlled at all. Lomographs always

the world. But you'll understand your

stop Lomographing; believe in

emerge from a plethora of different

Lomographs even less!

yourself, focus on the important and

and unexpected situations, ideas,

Don't try to analyse them: look

not so important things, enjoy life

views and intentions. It's always up to

at them in a different way and let

in all its variations, forget about the

you. Your subtle play with the outside

them tell you their story, which is

camera in your hand and shoot 'til

world and its related coincidences

also automatically your story. Your

your eyes are glowing!

make the choice- to Lomograph or

Lomographic actions are a constant

not to Lomograph? You do it because

record of your existence that

it's great fun, because it makes you

illustrates the adventures of your life

curious, because it's very exciting

in all its anomalies, moods, shapes,

to know that you never know what

colours, faces and blurs. You don't

you'll get and because it allows your

need to know afterwards what's on

creativity, intuition and inspiration to

your film – just read between the

soar heights you never imagined!

lines, between the Lomographs, learn

Living with the LOMO LC-A means

to look in a different way and read

always living with unpredictability,

their forms, feelings, expressions, their

uncertainty and coincidence; it is

swings, their grooves: your life!

therefore living in freedom.


53

A escolha deste tema reflecte-se num gosto pessoal, descoberto há alguns anos. A Lomografia ao contrário dos outros tipos de fotografia proporciona uma imagem muito mais espontânea. Surgiu em 1982 durante a Guerra Fria. A União Soviética tinha interesse político na época de divulgar o estilo de vida das famílias e, para isso, criaram uma máquina leve e fácil de usar, distribuindo para todas as casas e famílias que deveriam fotografar seu dia-a-dia. Essas máquinas caíram na mão dos jovens que, pelo estilo experimental que ficava nas fotos reveladas, começaram a espalhar pela Europa o conceito da Lomografia. Porém, na era digital, as máquinas Lomo foram um pouco esquecidas. Começaram então os investimentos no design da máquina e também nos acessórios, como lentes especiais e coloridas, fazendo com que as fotos espontâneas e o estímulo pela curiosidade desse nova vida às máquinas analógicas. Fotos dinâmicas, despretensiosas, descontraídas e conceituais é a proposta da Lomografia. A lomografia é um fenómeno fotográfico produzido por uma câmera analógica de alta sensibilidade, capaz de registrar cor e movimento sem necessidade de flash e sem deformação. O processo consiste na recepção contínua de luz que é feita através do sistema de exposição. Outro efeito, dependendo do modelo e da lente, é o olho de peixe, no qual a fotografia fica com uma moldura circular. As lentes das máquinas Lomo são de plástico e produzem efeitos artísticos, com efeitos nostágicos, “imitando” sonhos, fazendo com que objectos comuns ganhem encanto, detalhes que em outras situações passariam despercebidos. Caracterizadas por misteriosas vinhetas, sobreposições, vazamentos, grãos lo-fi, borrões e um mágico equilíbrio entre contraste e saturação. Os textos presentes nesta publicação foram todos retirados do site " http://www. lomography.com/ ". Com os mesmos pretendo transmitir a ideia base da lomografia, mas também um pouco do que a envolve e diferencia dos outros tipos de fotografia.


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Lomography