Your Mom likes Lomography

Double exposure photograph taken with a Lomography camera, photo courtesy of lomography.com

What is Lomography? Lomography is, in short, experimental photography. It all started back in the early 90’s when a group of eccentric Austrian students stumbled across a Lomo Kompakt Automat which is a small Russian camera. The photos that resulted were super saturated, candid snapshots of everyday life. Blur included.

So, what does this have to do with old time vintage cameras? Well, for starters, Lomography is popular because the photographs often look like they are from another time period. I personally would relate them to photos taken in the 1970s or 1980s since the results closely resemble the old photographs in my parent’s albums. Lomography has become its own subculture in photography, even photographers who specialize in the field. Lomography is awesome because the results are beautiful, almost dream like depictions of life. I find them really whimsical and fun but I know quite a few photo snobs who would dismiss Lomo photographs as the ultimate blasphemy against “real” photography.ย  To me, photography is whatever produces a photograph. There is no right or wrong way. If there were, we wouldn’t ever have any beautiful accidents. What else sets Lomography apart as it’s own subculture in photography? Most of us know by now that the lens, or glass, of a camera is, well, made of glass. Lomography cameras are PLASTIC. Yep, just like little toys.

Photo taken with a Lomography camera, photo courtesy of lomography.com

Times Square taken with a Lomography Camera, photo courtesy of lomography.com

Saturated colors are a main characteristic of Lomography, photo courtesy of lomography.com

Unfortunately with the hipsters running rampant these days, these little plastic cameras don’t come so cheap.

Diana F+ model, image courtesy of lomography.com

The Diana F+ model is the most popular one and it retails for about $89, including the flash. The film is relatively cheap, around $20 for three rolls, and can be purchased in color, black and white, tungsten, and red-scale. The film is also offered in 35mm and 120, which surprise, is one of the reasons our blog is called 120pearls, a lot of older cameras use 120 format film.

Settings include the ability to produce multiple exposures, set to bulb exposure, and removing the lens (yes, it can take interchangeable lenses) to create a pinhole photograph.

Worth the price? I think so. The camera is plastic, so you can pretty much just toss it in your car without worrying about it getting too beaten up. I wouldn’t recommend using expensive film, Lomos are notorious for light leaks and unexpected results. You’re also using a plastic lens, so stay cheap.

If you read our last post, you’ll know that we tested out the Polaroid grandchild, Impossible film. It was pretty cool, but not worth the price, at least to me. I have been argued on it multiple times. This week we’re going to do the same with a few Lomography cameras. Hopefully there will be some more crazy photographs on the way!

10 thoughts on “Your Mom likes Lomography

  1. Fantastic article, had never heard of Lomography, the photos are not for me, maybe due to my poor eyesight, I feel as though I’m having to squint to view. Absolutely love reading your blog ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Not all lomography cameras have plastic lenses. A bit more research on this topic would be better before posting a blog that has incorrect information. Lomography is certainly huge and there have been a ton of cameras around for ages that would give you the same look as a holga..look back at any of the old kodak cameras, brownie, starflex and some of the old box cameras, agfa cameras,etc. Not to mention the Russian cameras. Lomography is a fantastic marketing gig with over-priced cameras, but fun none-the-less.
    .

    • This particular post was referring to the cheaper ones, the ones that are sold in stores like Urban Outfitters. Those all DO have plastic lenses. Most of the people just starting out with Lomo or thinking of purchasing one do choose the plastic lenses. My prior posts do discuss older cameras, I own several of the Kodak Brownies and I did a test post with a DuoFlex II. I make mention to the Russian cameras as well.

      I do agree with you on the marketing gig. I do think it’s fun though! I like not really knowing how exactly the film will turn out. I suppose the element of surprise is what keeps me using older cameras as well as Lomo cameras. Urban Outfitters definitely knew what they were doing when they went the Lomo route but I won’t complain ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. The photos are supposed to be “perfectly unperfect”. I think it adds character. I wouldn’t take lomography seriously but it’s a fun project to venture into. ๐Ÿ™‚

    and great! I shall keep on posting interesting reads.

  4. Another great article! You’d think I would have heard of Lomography at my age, but I hadn’t until today….thanks for the info and photos I find it fascinating!

  5. Hi Kaitlin – I love the photos and the info – never heard of it before – the pictures are wonderful…I completely agree – there is no “right” and “wrong” with art. Had a painting teacher once who loved the “happy accidents” ! Keep on posting !

  6. Urban Outfitters sells a selection of lomography cameras including the LC-A, which has a glass lens as well as some Holgas with glass lenses. You didn’t mention UO in this post, so I had no idea. Again, not all Lomo cameras are plastic, some of the La Sardine cameras are metal and UO sells the La Sardine cameras. I like the blog, I just think you need to fact check and be clear because people with less knowledge will read it and think – ALL lomo cameras are plastic with plastic lenses and this is simply not true.

  7. I believe she was referring to the Diana F+, which has a plastic lens. And from what I understand, the add-on lenses are also plastic. The paragraph in which she mentions the lens is plastic is a follow-up on the information provided for the F+, therefore she wasn’t incorrect.

    Regardless, awesome post! Lomography is a great way to enjoy photography without stressing many of the fine details us photographers worry so much about.

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