Lomography is a style of photography that originated in the 1990s and has since gained a global following. It is characterised by its use of low-fi cameras, unpredictable results, and a focus on capturing the beauty in everyday moments. Learn about the history of Lomography and its impact on the art of photography.
The origins of Lomography and the Lomo camera
Lomography began in the early 1990s when a group of Viennese students discovered the Lomo Kompakt Automat, a small, inexpensive camera produced in Russia. They were drawn to the camera's unique qualities, including its vibrant colours, vignetting, and unpredictable results. The students began experimenting with the camera and sharing their photos, which eventually led to the founding of the Lomographic Society International in 1992. The Lomo camera became the flagship product of the society and remains a popular choice for Lomography enthusiasts today.
The spread of Lomography as a global movement
As the Lomographic Society International grew, so did the popularity of Lomography as a global movement. The society opened stores and galleries in major cities around the world, and organised exhibitions and events to showcase the work of Lomography enthusiasts. The society also launched a range of Lomography cameras and accessories, including the popular Diana and Sprocket Rocket cameras. Today, Lomography has a strong online presence and a thriving community of photographers who continue to experiment with the unique qualities of Lomo cameras.
The impact of Lomography on the art of photography
Lomography has had a significant impact on the art of photography, particularly in its emphasis on experimentation and the use of unconventional techniques. Lomography encourages photographers to embrace imperfections, such as light leaks, blurs, and vignettes, and to use these elements to create unique and striking images. This approach has challenged traditional notions of what makes a "good" photograph and has inspired many photographers to push the boundaries of their craft. Lomography has also helped to popularise film photography in an age dominated by digital technology, and has introduced a new generation of photographers to the joys of analog photography.
The evolution of Lomography and its embrace of digital technology
While Lomography has always been associated with film photography, the brand has also embraced digital technology in recent years. In 2013, Lomography released the Lomo'Instant camera, which combines the instant gratification of digital photography with the unique aesthetic of analogue photography. The camera allows users to take instant photos with a range of creative features, such as multiple exposures and colour filters. The camera uses Fuji Instax film (you can read more about this format with our article "Everything You Need to Know about Fujifilm Instax Films")
Lomography has also developed a range of smartphone apps that allow users to apply Lomo-style filters and effects to their digital photos. While some purists may argue that this move towards digital technology goes against the ethos of Lomography, it has helped to keep the brand relevant and accessible to a new generation of photographers.
One of the key values of the Lomography company is accessibility. They believe that everyone should have access to the tools and techniques that are necessary to create art. They also believe that art should not be reserved for the elite, but should be accessible to everyone. This is why they have always encouraged people to experiment with their cameras and film.
Another value of the Lomography company is experimentation. They believe that photography should be playful and that photographers should be free to experiment with different techniques and processes. They encourage their customers to try new things and to push the boundaries of what is possible with their cameras and Lomography film. This has led to a culture of experimentation within the Lomography community, with enthusiasts around the world sharing their techniques and results with each other.
In addition to accessibility and experimentation, the Lomography company also values community. They believe that photography is a social activity and that photographers should have opportunities to connect with each other and share their work. To this end, they have created a global network of digital Lomography Homes, so customers can meet and connect with other enthusiasts. They also partner with local communities around the world to host events and workshops, where photographers can learn new techniques and share their work with others.
Analogue Photography as Resistance
One of the most important contributions that the Lomography company has made to photography is the idea of analog photography as a form of resistance. In a world that is increasingly dominated by digital technology, the Lomography company has advocated for the value of analog photography as a way of pushing back against the homogenising effects of technology. They believe that analog photography offers a way of creating images that are unique and individual, and that this is an important value in a world that is increasingly dominated by mass-produced images.
The future of Lomography and its continued influence on photography
Lomography has become a cultural phenomenon, with millions of fans around the world embracing the company's ethos of experimentation, spontaneity, and creative freedom. With its unique cameras and film stocks, Lomography has helped to redefine the way that we think about photography, encouraging us to embrace imperfections and celebrate the beauty of the unexpected. As the company continues to evolve and expand its product line, it is clear that the spirit of Lomography is here to stay, inspiring new generations of photographers to see the world in a new light and capture it in their own unique way.