Every time someone asks me to take a picture of them, as much as possible, I would like to say no because I am not confident with my photography skills. I always take the bad frame and they always ask me to take another photo, directing me on what shot is the best. Some even blatantly say that I take ugly photos. This always made me believe that photography is not for me. However when I learned about Lomography, I started to realize that I do not have to be Patrick Ludolph, Dan Cuellar or Russ Robinson to create stunning photos.
What is Lomography?
Honestly I do not CLEARLY know how the term “Lomography” started and with a lot of people loosely using the term, it is just so confusing what this is. From what I learned, Lomography is a photographic cult that started in 1991 when a group of students from Vienna, Austria went to Czech Republic and discovered a small camera called Lomo LC-A. Even without knowing whether the camera would take a decent picture, the group started using it; experimenting on angles, point of views and focus. They went back to Vienna and developed all the films they had, the results were a set of unique, crazy, beautiful photos that amazed them all. The friends formed a group of Lomo LC-A lovers and grew as more and more people became fascinated with the small compact camera. They named the photographic cult as Lomography (derived from Lomo LC-A) and formed the Lomographic Soceity International. The group started to sell various cameras worldwide and the number grows as the photographic following attracts a lot of interest.
Today, Lomography is not limitedly defined by the use of Lomo LC-A, but of any analog camera (professional or toy). What distinguishes it from photography is the attitude of the photographer to experiment and try new things to create unique and wonderful pictures. Various techniques are used in this following such as cross-processing, multiple shots, use of filters and many more. Blur, light leaks and grains, which professional photographers consider faulty are jewels for lomographers. It is like the unexpected is better and following the rule is boring.
These are probably the reasons why I was attracted to Lomography. There are no rules, no limitations, no expectations- just surprises and satisfactions. It is a good avenue to express my creativity to make life less boring. Plus, it is nice to look at photos and feel proud and satisfied with how you took the shots. They say a picture paints a thousand words but for me a lomograph paints more because there is no limit to Lomographic freedom.