Lomography Super Newbie Guide

What is lomography?

Technically:

Lomography, is a registered trademark of Lomographische AG (Austria), is a movement that, via the Lomography Society International, promotes the use of Lomo cameras — primarily and most famously the LC-A but also cameras as unlike this as the fisheye lomography camera — and a “shoot from the hip” attitude. (Many outsiders regard it as merely a sales gimmick to drive sales of these cameras at inflated prices.) Viewed as either a modern impressionistic art movement for photography to create images of everyday life or a simple (and effective) marketing ploy, Lomography has attracted a large international following around “The 10 rules”
http://www.camerapedia.org/wiki/Lomography

Theoretically:
Lomography in theory is a hodge-podge of previous photographic ideas. In terms of approach the closest would be the concept of snap shot photography where any one could capture a photo and shooting from the hip means to take the photo impulsively. Which of course can be a good or bad thing depending on how you look at things or maybe your skill and experience level. Initially this will mean good photographs produced merely out of luck and an instinctive sense of when the right moment comes but as you progress further, like any other field, it will become a mix of skill, and other extraneous factors that you learn to make the best of. Mind you that, shooting by means of muscle memory and impulse is something that is aimed for in some art forms and religions. Like a skillful archer, swordsman or painter it has to come to a point where you must master the fundamentals , commit them to muscle memory then you let all the theory and lessons go. Learn but do not obsess.

Eddy Peters theorizes that lomography is the reclamation of urban space, similar to skateboarders, Lomographers , use the city by way of documenting it and its intricacies and inanities. By means of lomography, the shooter creates an aesthetic that suddenly gives value to mundane objects like the shoes the shooter is wearing or signs on the road or random objects & weirdos encountered on the street or wherever the shooter is.To the lomographer, these are the things which comprise the essence of his or her world.

In terms of the movement, if we remove the marketing ploy of LSI, at its core and as someone observed and relayed to me once. Lomography to a large extent is closest to Dadaism which was an anti-thesis to traditional formalistic art. Lomography attempts to ignore most of the rules of traditional photography like composition, sharpness, color correctness, aperture, depth of field and so on. Which is not to say you need not learn these things. It is also to a large extent, a movement that resists but does not condemn digital photography. It is a counter culture favoring the traditional form of photography with the use of analog cameras and films. At the same time, lomography takes advantage of the internet by forming forums, groups and communities dedicated to a technology that is removed from the digital world. In terms of the aesthetic sensibilities of the images the closest would be an aspect of photographic impressionism or impressionist photography in the sense that it leans towards images that are softer in focus or the way the human eye would see what is being photographed. A disclaimer to this is that we are not speaking of the later aspects of impressionist photographs which are heavily manipulated in the dark room to make them look like paintings, which in today’s time is the equivalent of photoshopping your images till they no longer resemble the original.

Casually:
“lomo for me is my own little way of gathering memories of special moments spent with friends, family, or spent alone on the road or elsewhere” – riaholic

“is my guide – my beacon and that alarm clock that wakes me up every time I fall into one of those stupors brought on by a plain, workaday, ants-marching type of boring life.” -whitemumu

“i think lomo is not just about the camera ..as i read somewhere, think of it as punk music..you dont have to use a specific guitar to play punk..well u dont even have to be a musician to be a punk..you dont even have to look like a punk… Lomo can have a very loose definition that eventually that people may argue that it doesnt really exist or is not a valid movement. but we know its here, we get to be part of it and have fun..so what else matters ?” – sparklemind

“lomo is love…” lola melay

“it provides holy mess to my otherwise orderly life.”-pixiecorpse

“is probably the reason why I’m still into photography…” –suplada80

“Lomography is photography, painting and chemistry combined.”- jamkablam

“What Lomography offers is a completely different and fresh perspective into looking at and seeing things. It transcends the trappings of the everyday, workaday world and invites one to think.” –cruzron

What are the 10 golden rules or its philosophy?

1.Take your LOMO everywhere you go.
2.Use it anytime – day or night.
3.Lomography is not an interference in your life, but a part of it.
4.Shoot from the hip.
5.Approach the objects of your lomographic desire as close as possible.
6. Don’t think.
7. Be fast.
8. You don’t have to know beforehand what you’ve captured on film.
9. You don’t have to know afterwards, either.
10. Don’t worry about the rules.

What are the characteristics of lomo shots?

Since there is a loose philosophy of shooting there are loose characteristics of lomographic shots but for the sake of identifying usual commonalities:

Saturated colors

Vignettes

Grainy pictures

Light leaks

What’s the best camera for a newbie?

Different cameras have different quirks and characteristics.

The trick here is to look at shots taken by cameras and feel which style or feature you like. You can also base your decision on the type of film that it uses. Or perhaps entry level priced ones:

But most noobs start with:
Cameras that use 120 film (62.6mm)

Diana

Holga

Cameras that use 35mm film

Fisheye 2:

Action Sampler

Pop 9

Super Sampler

Premium Cameras
Lomo LC-A or LC-A +

Price Range : 9,000 -14,000

Horizon Kompakt:

Price Range: 14,000 -18,000

Non-LSI endorsed but with a cult following:

Vivitar Ultra WIde and Slim ( Sometimes referred to as the poor man’s lomo/lca)
Vivitar PN2011 ( with Panoramic Mask)
Vivitar IC100
Vivitar IC 400
Vivitar Ice
Olympus XA
Fuji Instax Mini
Snap Sights Underwater Camera

I’m a little tight on the budget can I use old film cameras in the house and get a “lomo effect” instead?
Yes. You can use any ordinary camera and give it life. To get the “lomo effect” you can use a slide film or wrap the camera’s flash with cellophane and do some colorsplashing of your own.

What’s color splashing?
Color splashing is a technique used to alter the colors of things/people that are in range of a flash.
LSI Color Splash:
http://www.lomographyasia.com/microsite/colorsplashflash hk/

Alternative Colorsplash:

What is the best film to use?
Based on Film Size: there are two sizes which are commonly used:

35mm film – this is the film that you probably grew up with.The advantage of this is you can take more practice shots and that this type is more common in shops.

120 film for medium format cameras. A bit harder to come by but a must try for every lomographer.

Based on type of output
Negative film

Slide film
More expensive but preferred.

Based on price:
Cheap – midrange ones out there are 55-180php
Lucky 200
Solid Gold 200
Mistubishi 200
Kodak ProFoto 100
Fuji Proplus 100
Fujicolor 100
YKL 100
Kodak Max 400

Keep in mind the possible lighting conditions of where you are shooting as well as if your camera has a flash or not.

Based on film speed:
50-100 iso/asa – Very Sunny day
200 iso/asa- Overcast conditions
400 iso/asa – Indoor or nightime conditions
It’s safer to use the flash indoors and at night unless your camera has a bulb mode that will let you capture ambient light via long exposures.

Slides are priced:
140-350php (depending if they are expired or not. Yes, its ok to use expired films as they are cheaper and may have surprising output. Just be ethical and don’t try to hoard the films)

Fuji Velvia
Fuji Astia
Fuji Provia
Kodak Elitechrome
Kodak Ektachrome
Agfa CT Precisa

To see the difference:[url=http://lomography.com/photos/films
Where can I get “Lomo” Cameras and other toy cameras and how do I get there?

Brick and mortar shops:

Oh shoot (Boni Serrano Rd.) http://ohshoot.us/

Lomo Embassy (Jupiter St. & Rockwell) http://www.lomographicembassymanila.com/

Fullybooked (Bonifacio High Street & Mall of Asia, Gateway, Edsa Shangri-La)

Kamera World(Mall of Asia and some other branches)

Brat Pack (Robinson’s Ermita, Greenbelt 5)

Hidalgo Shops – be careful a some stores will take you for a fool if you let them. Know the market price first before you buy your gear

Online Sellers:
Most sellers here transact online (obviously) or through text they can do meet ups or have your cameras or film shipped to you.

Where do I get films?
You can get them from any photo stores or refer to above brick and mortar shops

You can also fish online but be quick and be ready because cheap negative and slide films go very fast.

Where do I have them Developed and stored on a cd?
Fuji

Digiprint
Tip: It’s cheaper to have five rolls developed and digitized at a time. They charge 155php for the first roll , 30php for the next ones.Maximum of 5 rolls per cd.

Studio 58 LAB Unit C1-B, Building C. Karrivin Plaza, 2316 Pasong Tamo Ext. Brgy. Magallanes, Makati City

For more detailed guides and videos of how to use your lomo cameras, visit

Lomo Society International FAQ


26 Responses to “Lomography Super Newbie Guide”

  1. do all 120 film camera will give a lomo effect ?

  2. Hi, no not all medium format cameras will give you a lomo effect. A lot of of more serious or capable cameras will produce an image that’s sharp and precise.You could go for toy cameras like the holga, diana and to a large extent the lubitel cameras all of which use 120 film

    • hey
      thanks for the info …..but i am getting very complicated with lomography…..even we use a holga or diana with 120 or 35 mm film,do i hve to cross process it everytime to get the lomo effect …..does the toy camera instantly give that effect??if not whats the point using specified lomo labelled cameras??????

      • Well the original lomo spirit was based on using little obscure cameras. The effect on the shots is based more on your style of shooting. No you don’t have to cross process every time. the holga or whatever toy camera you have will contribute to the look but not be the sole determinant of how it will turn out.The same way when you cook a dish, you may have all the ingredients but its the combination and skill you put in it that determines how it will taste like. Remember that Lomo labeled cameras are just marketed that way. the guys from Lomography Society have marketed the brand as a lifestyle.The same way Nikon or canon has marketed their wares as the best in the industry when in fact, other brands are just as good. shoot with whatever camera you have.

  3. Hi! are LOMO LCA cameras still sold nowadays? tyvm!

    • Hi Ewel!

      Thanks for visiting. Yes occasionally you can find an original LCA online. I once ordered 1 from Russia deadstock and all, but had some difficulty with the sticky shutter syndrome. If you like, you can get the LCA+ version or if you want a taste of that original Lens the LCA RL version online. But really the differences with the china lens and russian lens are so minute. SO I would say go for the LCA+ version. Warranty’s are a safeguard you’d want.

  4. that’s very helpful, thank you! 🙂 i’m considering your advice to get the LCA+ (although your vintage deadstock is what i really want! huhu!).
    been checking the websites you mentioned and i just saw that lomography.com sells both the LCA+ and LCA RL but they’re pricey. would you know if they come with a warranty?
    lomographyembassymanila has LCA+ and LCA+ No Nukes edition too. would you know the difference between the two?
    you’re right. there are also online sellers of 2nd hand units sold for half the orginal price but with no warranty.
    i have yet to check with TEAM MANILA stores, turns out, they’re fullybooked’s supplier too.
    tyvm for replying!:)

    • No nukes edition is just a special issue LCA+ warranty of the LCA + is 2 years even if you get it locally or order from LSI. getting second hand is just a trade off. Yes it’s a bit pricey if you get a brand new one the value of that is the 2 year warranty attached to it. I advise against getting the original LCA camera. It’s really not worth the hassle to keep going back to the camera shop to have it fixed not to mention the films that you lose mid roll because of a sticky shutter.I’ve been there and wasted rolls not to mention shots that may have been nice.

  5. Hello!..i bought a meikai mango camera..its a toy camera actually..do you have any reviews about this brand??..thanks!

  6. yes i did..^_^..well, i hope its worth it

  7. Thanks! This has been unbelievably helpful. There were a couple of terms that I had no idea about since I’m a neophyte when it comes to photography, and your article cleared them up for me.

    Can you do an article on saturation, please? I’d like to know what the term means exactly.

  8. Nice post! How will i know if my film is a slide or negative? BTW, i have a solid gold 200 film. TIA

  9. http://studio58.com.ph/catalog/location.php?osCsid=7d757187al1qc9cacl86d1iptee8uujd

    • Thanks. Layo pala. Medyo mahirap nga maghanap ng nagpprint ng slides. I already asked some mall shops pero mostly eh digital na talaga. Thanks. Research na din ako kung ano malapit dito sa QC.

      • i’ll take that back. MRT accessible naman pala. Thanks. I’ll give you a link for the scanned outputs para may samples ang solid gold 200(kung maganda ang outputs). Your blog’s very helpful. Rakenrol.

  10. Hi. Would I have to take my film to a specialist lab to have it cross processed or will my high-street lab do it for me?

    And also, are all hot shoes the same size? Or will I need a flash specific to my camera?

    As you can tell I’m very new at this lomo style!

    I also just received a Meikai Mango. Really looking forward to taking my first batch of photos with it.

    • You have to find the labs in your area that accept cross processing.Most Regular Film Labs only do normal processing of C41 films(regular negatives).Try to ask around your local film community for which labs accept cross processing. YOu can try visiting this link to see which labs are near your place.

      Yes hot shoes are all the same size, what you have to watch out for is the voltage it generates as it tends to short circuit mixed and matched for example DSLR flash Guns on film cameras and Film SLR cameras on DSLR’s might short each other out. Double check if its a much older camera as some may look like hotshoes where in fact they are PC Flashes or a Cold shoe.Hope this helps.

  11. hello.. i just bought a 35mm underwater toy camera. im just worried that i might buy a wrong kind of fil for shooting underwater. what film would you recommend for that kind of shooting ba? and what is cross processing. (i know, noob question)

    • Hi thanks for you message, generally you ought to get films with a higher ISO for underwater shots but I’ve been able to produce workable images at 30feet with 200ISO on a very sunny day. But if you also plan to use your film out of the water on a bright sunny day get 100- 200ISO. Cross processing is intentionally using the wrong chemicals on a particular film c41 film with E6 or the more common slide films which originally are for E6 chemicals and processing them with c41 which is used for regular negatives.Here, we do it for slides most;y which gives the image its saturated punchy false colors. There are a lot of articles online about it, for further research.

  12. your article was really helpful by the way..

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