Introduction to Lomography
Started as an just an experiment, lomography is nowadays one of the most popular globally-active organizations dedicated to art, more specifically creative photography. The concept of lomography is quite simple – it allows everyone to find their inner photographer and capture the world around them in a creative way. Equipment for lomography is very cheap (starting from $39 to $250 tops) and therefore affordable to anyone who wants to express through photography, and not just by taking photos via smartphone.
Origins of Lomography date in 1992, when a small group of Viennese students discovered LCA camera that was created and developed by LOMO PLC of Saint Petersburg, Russia. First they called themselves The Lomographic Society International. They decided to create an art movement through which students of Vienna could put photo exhibitions, and later it progressed to something that can easily be described as a commercial enterprise. The high points of the movement were exhibitions in New York and Moscow.
Three years later Lomography as we know it today was born, former movement started distributing lomo cameras outside Soviet Union and also started producing their own line of cameras, accessories and films. Today there are more than 15 different types of lomo cameras on the market.
Headquarters of the company is in Vienna, and the company that’s sometimes referred to only as ‘lomography’ is called Lomographische AG.
Concept of lomography is quite similar to the concept of the “Kodak moment”, and it can be put into one sentence, “Don’t think, just shoot”. Lovers of lomography are fascinated with unique, colorful, and somewhat blurry look of the images that come as the result of the process.
Just to be clear – lomography is NOT professional photography, and not meant to be! It’s meant for enthusiasts and amateurs with the idea that everyone can capture really beautiful moment and share it with the world but also to communicate with images. Lomo cameras come in variety of shapes and sizes but all of them are portable and light-weight. Lomographers follor The Ten Golden Rules that encourage spontaneity and the taking of photographs anywhere, while the laden of the formal knowledge about technique is minimal.
Although lomography is all about experimenting and free art form, the style of photographs is defined – images have high-contrast and very unusual saturation and color. All of those elements are created by using the technique called cross processing in which film intended for developing in slide chemistry is processed in photographic negative chemistry, and vice versa.
Lomography tends to take care of their users and lovers – lomography community is strong and growing every day. Lomographische AG runs Lomography Gallery Stores and so-called “embassies” all over the world. All those galleries/stores are dedicated to the growth, support, public exposure and promotion of analog photography (with the accent on, of course, lomography) that is unfortunately sidelined by the development of digital photography.
There are currently over over 25 Gallery & Embassy Stores in variety of countries. They also maintain their online community on official lomo website and an official store on which you can inform about the art of lomography and buy products.
Lomography: The Ten Golden Rules
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
7. Be fast
8. You don’t have to know what you captured on film before you develop it
9. … Afterwards either
10. Don’t worry about any rules