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What is Lomography?

written by: Loreena Walsh•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 8/4/2010

Ever found yourself wondering what lomography is? How to get started with lomography or how to find lomo resources? Look no further, get all the information you need on this unique arty style of photography that has reached every corner of the globe.

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    How did Lomography Begin?

    Lomography is an artistic style of photography and trademark of an Austrian camera company, Lomographische AG. With a cult following that reaches almost every corner of the globe, lomography is a relatively new style of photography that encompasses a retro snapshot feel.

    Growing in popularity in the early 1990’s, the Lomo technique was borne from the discovery of the unique photography style created by using a Russian camera, the Lomo Kompakt Automat also known as the LC-A. Users of this little camera soon realized that its cheap manufacturing coupled with a little fun and imagination could produce fun, quirky photographs (lomographs) with high color saturation, outer edge vignette framing and a grainy effect that together was somehow arty and pleasing to the eye.

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    Lomography Cameras

    Lomography cameras are analogue, or film style cameras and dedicated lomographers do not generally take kindly to digital post processing in an attempt to pass photos off as genuine Lomo style. Special camera options are often featured on different models, including fish eye lenses, pinhole lenses, multiple lenses including some cameras that shoot from 4 lenses simultaneously for a unique effect, and not to be forgotten, a Lomo specialty, a colored flash.

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    Getting Started with Lomography

    For those wanting to get started with Lomography, there’s some good news. The initial outlay for a Lomo camera is not expensive with camera models starting at around $30 US. It’s important to keep in mind there will also be film and processing costs involved, and many Lomo camera owners don’t just stop at one, but increase their collection to include a range of camera effects.

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    Lomography Worldwide

    Lomography is not about capturing those boring portrait style shots, or the perfect landscape, but much more focused on point and shoot and doing it fast! The official lomography site boasts showcases of millions of lomographs in galleries and displays worldwide, and hosts a community of over one million lomographers from all over the world and provides resources, photo galleries and an online store for everything Lomo related.

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    Lomo Inspiration

    For some unique lomographs and inspiration be sure to check out the lomo Flickr group. Once you have your own Lomo camera and film, there are some guidelines followed by lomographers the world over. These guidelines set the standard and inspiration for lomography and help make the technique what it is today:

    1. Take your camera everywhere you go.
    2. Use it any time – day and night.
    3. Lomography is not an interference in your life, but part of it.
    4. Try the shot from the hip.
    5. Approach the objects of your Lomographic desire as close as possible.
    6. Don’t think. (William Firebrace)
    7. Be fast.
    8. You don’t have to know beforehand what you captured on film.
    9. Afterwards either.
    10. Don’t worry about any rules.

    With many other areas of photography taking on a serious and competitive atmosphere, it is not only fun, but also refreshing to discover a style of photography that allows users to be spontaneous and non technical. For this reason, lomography is a great style of photography for anyone, from children to adults, professional photographers or amateurs, it’s all about creative fun.