Photography, Philosophy and Authenticity


Lomography's Prophecy of the Analogue Future No. 5 is ‘Film & Paper ensure Originality, Authenticity and Eternity’…But what exactly is ‘Authenticity’? Let’s take a closer look…

Credits: fletchinski84

What is Authenticity?

When something is ‘Authentic’, it’s real, genuine and truthful. On the other hand, when something is inauthentic there’s a sense in which it isn’t being true to itself or is giving a false impression of how things are in reality.

Authenticity in Philosophy

The idea of Authenticity was a core part of the Existentialist Philosophies of Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus. They believed that all around us, every day, there are external factors trying to change and influence us – For example, salespeople try to tempt us into buying things we don’t want or need and TV shows project an image of an ideal person that we are supposed to aspire towards. The existentialists believed that being ‘authentic’ involves being true to ourselves and our feelings despite these external temptations. Sartre thought that we are free and responsible beings, and that we must act as such by not giving in to these pressures and temptations which we face.

Credits: juznobsrvr

Authenticity in Art

Think of your favorite works of art and, more specifically, your favorite photos. Why do love them so much? What makes them special to you? Well, one of the ways we normally value artworks is because we feel that they capture or express something differently – They aren’t clichés or copies. They aren’t just saying the same old things in the same old way. They are original and real. They are Authentic.

Sartre thought that one of the most Authentic art forms was Jazz music. Like Lomographers, Jazz musicians are ‘in the moment’ when they produce their art. They aren’t thinking about results, nor are they are trying to conform to an ideal of how they should be – They are just doing what they love, following their feelings and expressing their freedom.

Credits: borg_koenigin

Be true to yourself and to your art…

Now consider the process when you take an analogue photo. You load the film into the camera. You take a photo and light shoots through the shutter and hits the film. You hold the print in your hands once it’s been developed. You feel the paper, you see the grain. You are holding something real. Something original. Something Authentic.

Credits: shoujoai

Want to learn more about Authenticity and Existentialism? Read this Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry

Want to learn more about the analogue future? Head to the Microsite, take part in our Shoot Your Prophecy Competition and download the Future is Analogue posters!

written by tomas_bates on 2011-03-25 in #lifestyle #future #photography #authenticity #philosophy #analogue #existentialism #sartre

More Interesting Articles

  • Registering Moments With the Lomo'Instant

    written by bgaluppo on 2015-05-02 in #gear #lifestyle
    Registering Moments With the Lomo'Instant

    Some people say instant photos bring about a feeling of nostalgia. Although I often use the Lomo'Instant Camera with different crazy accessories such as the Splitzer and color gels, I have to agree there is something about it — dreamy vignettes maybe? — that always makes me want to go back in time and experience it all over again. In the name of analogue photography and good old memories, we passed by some classic spots in Vienna and took one shot after the other. Take a closer look at our gallery.

  • The Lomography Konstruktor F and the Konstruktor Flash Accessory Kit: Born to Be Together

    written by alienmeatsack on 2015-01-21 in #reviews
    The Lomography Konstruktor F and the Konstruktor Flash Accessory Kit: Born to Be Together

    The original Konstruktor is a fun camera to build and takes wonderful photos. But what would make it better? A way to add flash and even a few of your existing Lomography flashes into the mix, perhaps? Thank you, I’ll be having that.

  • Experiment: Chlorine!

    written by beway on 2015-07-15 in #world #tipster
    Experiment: Chlorine!

    What's so great about analog photography? You never know what you will get in the end. Not every film let all of my photos look perfect, some fail, too. Maybe some of you experienced the same. After trying out several film soups and chemicals I finally discovered the easiest and quickest way: chlorine!

  • Shop News

    Standard Photo Development Services

    Standard Photo Development Services

    Done shooting and want your films to be processed? We can process your colour and black & white 35mm, 120 or 110 films! Development, prints and scans are also included. (Service availability depends on your markets)

  • Camera Collections: b2377's Priceless Analog Possessions

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-04-25 in #gear #lifestyle
    Camera Collections: b2377's Priceless Analog Possessions

    From the simple Vivitar 110 camera he received from his grandmother, Brett Wolff already accumulated close to almost a hundred cameras and accessories in his analog arsenal. Some of the cameras he treasured were even handed down by relatives and friends, making these more precious to him. Let's take a closer look at his camera collection.

  • My Year in Analogue: Something New, Something Old

    written by murdoc_niccals on 2014-12-15 in #lifestyle
    My Year in Analogue: Something New, Something Old

    Hi, everyone! I'd like to share with you my 2014 summary on analogue photography. Some things I did were completely new, while some were my good old habits. This year I learned how to develop black and white film, which I consider my greatest milestone. But the most important thing is that in 2014, I remain in love with Lomography! And the rest? Well, let's see...

  • Meet our LomoGuru: zulupt

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-08-15 in #world #lifestyle #videos
    Meet our LomoGuru: zulupt

    Aside from being an immensely talented lomographer, what makes him a perfect LomoGuru is his burning desire to share his knowledge. The city where he lives is full of people who are interested in analog photography, but the lack of easy access to film and equipment poses a challenge for them to pursue their passion. To keep them motivated, Hugo organizes workshops and tours on different film photography techniques and DIY tricks. Let's give a loud round of applause to Hugo Pereira, better known in the community as zulupt, our LomoGuru from Marinha Grande, Portugal!

  • Shop News

    Try the LomoLAB Development Service!

    Try the LomoLAB Development Service!

    Whatever kind of film development you're after, you'll find it here! Now you can confidently shoot from the hip without having to worry where to develop those film rolls!

  • Photo of the Day by agung_achmad

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-07-16 in #world #news
    Photo of the Day by agung_achmad

    Looking for a camera and film to bring on your summer escapade? Let our featured photo demonstrate the striking colors of this no-fail combo!

  • The Analogue Quiz: What B&W Film are you?

    written by andie_sollmer on 2014-10-20 in #news
    The Analogue Quiz: What B&W Film are you?

    Did you ever think about the myth that we actually dream in Black & White? No colors, maybe no truth behind it anyways. But we know for a fact that you can create the most dreamy photographs with an analogue camera. And for that you need the right film. Scroll down and find out which B&W film is the film of your dreams!

  • Still Life Photography with Lomography Color Negative Film

    written by kenaz on 2015-06-05 in #world #lifestyle
    Still Life Photography with Lomography Color Negative Film

    A vacation is a trove of vibrant objects: the countertop of sublime-looking drinks, the mosaic tiles that line an Olympic-sized pool, the nautical stripes of beach chairs. We remember in detail, and photography is our way to anticipate what we will catalog long after the break is over. This Lomography Color Negative gallery celebrates the still life wonders of these dreamy holidays.

  • Shop News

    Fuji Instax Wide 300

    Fuji Instax Wide 300

    Shoot wider and bigger with this new instax camera that has film format twice the size of the instax mini films!

  • Creative Ways: LomoChrome Turquoise Exposed!

    written by Robn Kester on 2015-04-09 in #gear #tipster
    Creative Ways: LomoChrome Turquoise Exposed!

    What happens when you take one crazy film guy, some new and interesting Lomography film, and see what it can do? Magic is what happens, and that is why you need to try some of these techniques when shooting the LomoChrome Turquoise yourself!

  • Monday Moodboard: Rundowns and Resolutions

    written by chooolss on 2015-01-05 in #news
    Monday Moodboard: Rundowns and Resolutions

    It's that time of the year when we all take a moment to look back at the year that was, and list down our New Year's Resolutions. Here are mine - all related to analogue photography, of course!

  • When Two Legends Meet: User Review of Leica M3 Camera with Petzval Art Lens

    written by candilsw on 2015-05-21 in #gear #lifestyle #reviews
    When Two Legends Meet: User Review of Leica M3 Camera with Petzval Art Lens

    With a love of antique cameras and analogue photography, Shawn Lin has long been an active member of the Lomography Community with dozens of his shots being featured. Shawn likes to explore the effects of double exposure on different themes and objects, with an emphasis on the presentation of colours. Come take a look of his work of using Petzval Art Lens on his antique camera and his thoughts about the two!