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Lomography started, like most brilliant things, as an accident. Sometime in the 90s, a group of students picked up a Lomo Kompakt Automat not knowing what to expect. Shots were taken from the hip while some others used a little help from the viewfinder. In either case, the results were fantastic.
Saturation and vignettes became household words for photography enthusiasts. By the time their own friends started picking up their own Lomos a revolution had inadvertently started. What used to be an isolated cult following is now a culture dedicated to producing playful photos that adhere to little or no rules.
The Golden Rules of Lomography
According to its official website, having an experimental nature, Lomos tend to do away with rules. So, the next ten are simply the guidelines to Lomography:
10. Bring along your camera wherever you go.
9. Take shots during the day and night.
8. Lomography is not a distraction to your life — it is a part of it.
7. Try hip shots.
6. Take shots as close to subjects as possible.
5. Don’t think — William Firebrace.
4. Be fast.
3. You do not know how your shots will look beforehand.
2. You do not know how your shots will look afterward too.
1. Don’t worry about these rules.
It is said that manual cameras are romantic while digital cameras are democratic. The huge popularity of high-spec cameras and the auto-focus, in reality, makes anyone a photographer with perfect shots every time. The philosophy of Lomography is different. Like digital cameras, anyone can use a Lomo but it is the aspect of not knowing how your shots look that makes them appealing.
They hark back to a time when you just simply did not know what you were going to get with your shots. No LCD screens for quick review and, more importantly, no deleting. The “wrong” settings of the Lomo which traditional photography regard as bad photography are exactly the qualities Lomo lovers are after.
The original cameras which popularized the Lomo are the LC-A, Holga, Fisheye, Colorsplash, and Supersampler. Their advantages include light leaks. Most love the effects produced which make for colorful and almost otherworldly shots. Others decide to tape all these leaks for a cleaner quality.
Another big advantage is its use of plastic lenses. These lenses are responsible for the vignettes, hues, and general quality of the photographs. Lomos are also highly unpredictable, which adds an entire element to taking photographs with them. Many effects are also possible such as long exposure, double exposure, and red scaling. To help you appreciate it more, here are 40 beautiful examples of lomography.