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