Lomography

According to Wikipedia, Lomography defines a community of photographers who advocate creative and experimental film photography. The name is inspired by the former state-run optics manufacturer Lomo Plc of St Petersburg, that creator and producer of the 35 mm Lomo LC-A Compact Automat camera, now the centrepiece of the lomographic movement. This November the Lomographic Society International celebrated its twentieth anniversary. The LC-A+ camera was re-released as a special edition and the online magazine section ran articles about some of the best lomographic shots of the last twenty years.

Most lomographic cameras are designed to produce photographic effects such as over-saturated colors, extreme optical distortions, rainbow-coloured subjects, unusual exposure, blurring and alternative film processing, all things normally considered bad practice in photography. For example, the lomography fisheye camera I own features a built-in wide angle lens, and shoots fish-eye-distorted images.

The philosophy behind lomography is summarised in its motto ‘Don’t think, just shoot’. This motto is accompanied by ten golden rules which are supposed to encourage spontaneity, odd angles, and taking photos anywhere, while minimising considerations of formal technique. Typical lomography cameras are deliberately low-tech and simple to operate. Some cameras make use of multiple lenses and rainbow-coloured flashes, or exhibit extreme optical distortions and even light leaks.

I’ve found it difficult to get the hang of operating my lomo fish-eye camera, but I’m determined to persevere and make the most of its creative opportunities. I’m going to be more adventurous and make occasional use of it for giving a different slant to may wedding photography next year.

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