Posted Nov 26, 2010 in Arts, Cool Shit | 1 Comment

Lomography

No street style is ever done without a camera. I took a pause from the street style this month to present to you an interesting gem in the photography world.

Ever wondered how you can make these kinds of pictures:

Taken by wang-wang with a Lomography Horizon Kompakt, lomography.com

No digital blah blah, no Photoshop or Gimp… Just a camera.

These kinds of picture are part of a trendy photography movement called “lomography,” and they are also known as lomographs.

Quick history lesson on lomo…

The trend began in the 1980s in Russia. According to Lomography.com, the USSR’s Minister of Defense and Industry demanded that the Lomo Kompakt Automat, a type of camera for lomography, be sold in soviet stores. The camera itself was initially manufactured in Japan. It had a sharp glass lens, high light sensitivity and robust casing.

The camera wasn’t really used anywhere else.  But luckily, in the 90s, a couple of Austrian students bought the camera just for fun and did what any amateur photographer would do: shoot whatever and however. But once they developed the film (it was the 1990s people… Digital cameras were only but a pipe dream back then), they loved the end result.

Their experiment founded the Lomographic Society in Vienna and since then, enthusiasts around the world, including Canada, have been waiting to get their hands on one of these babies.

What’s the difference between lomographs and the average digital picture?

Lomo-webby says that lomographs have:

  • Shadowy vignetting that mysteriously frames the shot, light leaks
  • Film grain you could chip a tooth on
  • The magic of a great lens
  • Deep saturation
  • Just the right amount of contrast

Not to mention that cameras for lomography aren’t digital. Yup, they are analog. So this…

Taken by NATALIE_ZWILLINGER with a Lomography Diana +, lomography.com

Let’s talk about cameras…

The original Russian camera better known as Lomo LC-A cameras recreates shadowy vignettes and eye popping saturation and distinctive looks. There is a lot of cross processing. They are quite expensive. Here’s just an example.

Taken by mephisto19 with a Lomo LC-A loaded with Agfa CT Precisa (35mm, 100 iso) film (available in our Online Shop) in Hannover, Germany

It has automatic exposure.

Diana cameras are quite different than their original counterpart. They make dreamy, radiant, lo-fi pictures like this one.

Taken by basketboy676 with a diana f+ loaded with Fuji Provia 100F film in Sankt Pölten, Austria)

Some cameras come with a built-in flash but this particular camera can pinhole pictures.

Holga cameras, my personal favourite, takes mistier and softer images that can be multicolored and even psychedelic.

Taken by endowaty with a Holga 120 GCFN loaded with fuji 100d cross film in Warszawa, Poland.

That’s only a short and wonky résumé of a few cameras. There are plenty more at lomography.com. This website also allows you to buy cameras and films.

Purchasing a camera is just half the battle though. You also have to choose which kind of film you want to use for your pictures given that most cameras come with specific films. Do you want an overexposed film? Black and white film? Infrared? The choices are vast on our infamous website.

Here’s the catch…

The cameras look like toys.

Taken from lomography.com

…Okay, that’s not really a big deal, but here’s another catch. Thanks to our fascination with digital cameras and our shrinking wallets, most of us don’t have money to buy film. Yeah, that’s right! You need film to shoot with these toy-like cameras.

Above all, each camera does something different with the film, much like each film produces different kinds of pictures.  You also have to find a film lab at your local drug store to process the pictures.

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Just try it…

This type of photography is spontaneous. Just shoot, you don’t know what you will end up with.

Montreal doesn’t seem to have its very own lomography community. I implore anyone in the Montreal community to start Montreal’s very own lomography website.

I’m strongly considering getting a Diana F+ just to see how this whole thing works.

Ta ta for now!!!

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  1. I recently bought an app on my IPhone called Hipstamatic. It was $1.99 and has been getting all sorts of attention for being awesome- anyways, it takes photos that look like this- you can change your film, lens and flash for desired effects and you can very easily send them off for prints.

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