the lost art of lomography

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i generally deny being called an artist, but there is – or rather has been – one thing in my life which put me in the realm of the unpredictable and less reproducible which could be named a form of art .. lomography.


i remember getting caught by the virus some time in the mid 90ies, having bought my first LOMO LC-A shortly after it had been “rescued” by the viennese “lomographic society”. getting the cheapest films and processing for the legendary 7x10cm prints was a permanent venture from then on – filling multiple films per day could easily happen.. this little camera was a permanent companion – what nowadays many use their phones (which didn’t exist back then, not even without built in cameras) for – and some even produce a marketing hype around..


i still have chaotic boxes full of prints – the downside of analog photography, and one reason why i completely switched to digital that soon.. but everyone ever having used a lomo the “lomography way” knows that there isn’t a digital equivalent for this so far. there probably never will. i’ve tried numerous compacts over the last decade, but most were plain too slow, either on startup or after hitting the trigger.


on a recent short trip to london i gave my current compact (a panasonic lx-3) another chance, though it’s technically still far from perfect. it’s got a rather long and slowly expanding lens and way too many dials and rockers which can be accidently hit when handled unobtrusive at hip-level.


the results were surprisingly similar to what i got back on film. using the uncorrected distortion of the lens, adding a little vignette and a bit of a film-like curve the only disturbing thing left is the whitebalance which sometimes still looks a bit too artifical – but this could be tuned for those single shots.. quality easily suffices for todays 7x10cm prints – the 500px screen renderings, but all the technical stuff aside – what i love most in these shots are the stories they tell.


it took me hours going through them  cause they contain so many details i plain didn’t see back when shooting. this of course is the nature of street photography, just that with this lomographic approach the results are way more random – as it’s all done from the hip, while walking, mostly without stopping at all.


what is still lacking from the “real” lomography are the shots involving light and patterns, interfering through the often longer than expected exposure times which the LC-A measured “on the fly” .. something probably no digital camera ever will be able to do..




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July 21st, 2011 at 2:09 pm

Posted in geekery&tools,holidays

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