Lomography

April 8, 2010 § 7 Comments

Used in this context it denotes the subculture, not necessarily the actual use of a lomo brand camera.

Mack Fai shared with me this guy’s photography. I don’t know anything about the guy, but I thought I’d share because it’s a perfect example of the vibe I’ve been striving for all this time.

It seems to me that with the rise of cameras, everyone is getting better at taking pictures; but there are few people, photographers included, that remember how to take photos.

To me, a photo is art. And like all good art, it should follow certain rules. I’m not talking like, the rule of thirds or dominant lines (although those make for a good picture) I’m talking like soul or story. The photo, like the art piece, should share some passion with the viewer. It should imply movement, allow your brain to think and chew it over, adding it’s own implied details and questions.

Photography, as of late, is lacking this entirely. I’m as guilty as anyone else, I’m certainly not a master photographer by any means, but I’m guilty of these types of shots:

This is not mine, and all credit is to the original photographer.

Okay. It’s a sunset. Pretty, sure, but so? Where’s the story? How does it interact with me as a viewer?

It’s a good picture, a good postcard, but a horrible photo. It’s not story telling, or soulful.

Also not mine, click for credit link

The above is similar (I tried to find another sunset, turns out they’re all bad) but brings in this drop element. What do drops do? They drip. You can see it falling off, the leaf springing up, the sound of the drip, the coolness of the water if it were to land on you. It doesn’t really tell a story, but it implies an action. The movement aspect is what engages the viewer, this is art.

So, photographers out there, smarten up.

Lomography (again, culture) is wonderful because it’s ugly technically with things out of focus or over exposed etc, but it has a soul and imperfection to it. They typically are really good at telling a story, a portrait of a homeless man or whatever. It’s just that slice of real life, being candid and natural. It’s so much better than the photoshop colour perfect crap we’ve been feeding ourselves.

Ugh.

</rant>

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§ 7 Responses to Lomography

  • Scott Axel says:

    I love Lomography. One day when I have money to waste I’ll find the camera(s) and accessories needed to take true Lomography.. but.. until then CS4 helps me.

    check out http://www.lomography.com if you haven’t already.

  • Brennan says:

    I’m doing the same.

    One day I’ll splurge and buy a real Lomo or Holga or something.

    The problem is having to import all the film…

  • Mackfai says:

    Amen.
    I feel a little meh lately. I want to capture more soul in my photos. I think that I have in some of my work but as of late, I feel a little lacking. Good thing I’m going to Israel! I think I’ll have some good chances there.
    I definitely agree with you. Some of my newer photos have been very cliche.

  • Brennan says:

    Oh man, and mine so much.

    Everything lately is 50mm, F/1.8 and subject slightly off to the side with really sharp DOF.

    Every single one is the same, save for the subject in the photo.

    Bleh. That isn’t photography.

  • dirk says:

    Is stepping back in time the future of photography? i guess we all want it to be pleasing to the eye… rules are set, and we apply. up till now, i haven’t really found a new way to do it, i don’t know if it’ll ever happen, but it’s my aim. as a first year student, i have to do all my stuff 50mm.

    finding a decent camera for lomography isn’t even that difficult. it’s everything else that makes it hard for the budget. expect the prices of photographical paper, films and reagents to become more and more expensive the coming years. soon kodak and ilford will become the only ones producing these. you know what happens when monopolies are in the making…

  • Brennan says:

    That’s why I’m really excited for the impossible project to revive the old films.

    But it’s not really about vintage equipment, it’s about the life of photography itself. It’s not the look, colours or style of the vintage stuff (although personally I also love that) it’s the fact that for the most part, these people are the ones with soul filled photography that tell stories. These people are true photographers; artists.

    So, the Lomo/Holga thing is because I like the processing, but in all of my future photography regardless of camera I’ll try to apply the story aspect.

  • Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate
    you penning this article and the rest of the website is also very good.

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