Lomography or Digital Photography?

The new Lomo ambassadors for London had a meeting on Tuesday night upstairs in the Griffin pub on Leonard Street. It was terribly oversubscribed with people sitting on the floor and standing on the stairs. They announced some kind of project the constitution of which was left very vague. It might have been a semipermanent Lomo wall somewhere in London? They also showed the BBC documentary about lomography.

I had a different perspective watching the documentary in 2005 instead of 2001 (when it was shown on BBC Four). Many of the virtues of the Lomo Kompact have been superseded by cheap, high-quality digital cameras. Digital cameras are smaller (“take your camera with you wherever you go”), cheaper to take lots of photos with (“don’t think just shoot” — no film to buy, cheaper processing if you want photos), better for shooting from the hip (“try the shot from the hip” — because of the viewscreen on the back). And while the lomohomes are nice I’d also say that flickr is a far bigger, better, more usable version of the same thing.

The Lomo still scores on simplicity and build quality (far less worrying to drop a Kompact than a digicam). And it still has the tunnel lens with colour effects (though I seem to get less of this in my photos than others do). But the crazy, spontaneous, shooting-from-the-hip feel of lomography is surely in the province of the digital camera now?

4 Replies to “Lomography or Digital Photography?”

  1. digital doesnt provide the film variable tho, when you lose variables from lomography you may loss some of the soul of it…. I’d love to try a digital lomo I think they should make a inexpensive one with a mintar lense that would be amazing just to see if it would produce the same kind of results I’m looking forward the next lomo R.I.P LC-A long live the movement!

  2. remember, one of the rules of lomography is ‘don’t worry about the rules’. i think lomo purists get all high and mighty that you must use film cross-processed in an overpriced communist or toy camera. what a load of rubbish.

  3. ‘Lomography’ is a meaningless marketing term anyway, since it’s evidently been utilized by promoters and enthusiasts to include any type of camera they are currently selling or using, used for any type of purpose. Alternate or abstract photographs can be accomplished with any type of film or digital camera. It’s simply that not all of them will produce the same signature effects that may or may not be required to accomplish the desired effect.

  4. I think calling the activities of the lomographic society “marketing” is applying the term in a pretty broad sense. Yes, they haven’t hurt sales of their product but they are genuine enthusiasts (the ones I’ve met, anyway).

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