I recently found myself wondering which, of the many spectacular photos on this site, was the most popular of all time. I imagined that there would be many photos that had several thousand likes. I also imagined that it would be easy to track down the top photo. Not so my lomo-friends, not so.
My purpose for finding the most popular photo was to analyze it and identify why it appealed to so many people. I figured that I could simply click on the “Photos” tab at the top of the Lomography home page. I expected the most popular photo to be the first one at the top, right hand side of the screen (similar to the “popular” tab on the individual lomo-homes). However, this gives you the recently trending popular photos. Not quite what I was after.
I then entered the word “popular” into the search. The first photo that pops up is this one, with only 117 likes. Although lovely, I knew that with this amount of likes it couldn’t possibly be the most popular photo.
I eventually realized that I would have to try to find it by searching the “popular” tab of individual lomo-homes. And down the rabbit hole I went.
I started with the usual suspects: @mephisto19, @atria007, @upic, @clickiemcpete, @troch, @warning, @hodachrome, @dakadev_pui, @mczoum, @grazie, etc. I was very surprised to find that none of these lomographer’s most popular photos exceeded 1000 likes. Here are each of these lomographers’ respective most popular photos (at present time):
I then expanded my list and very quickly and easily identified approximately 60 lomographers that I am familiar with who could have been contenders for holding the top photo. Here are all of those popular photos that I tracked down from this list:
Through this search, I discovered only one photo that exceeded 1000 likes. With 1191 likes, and countless comments, this is the photo (by the great @satomi) that I believe is the most popular lomograph of all time:
When I clicked on this photo, I encountered a rush of memories, because when I first started my own lomo-home, this is the photo that seemed to appear everywhere. And I have seen it so many times since then. So what was it about this photo that appealed to so many people? In my assessment, it has many elements that set this lomograph apart from any generic photograph. For example:
• Creativity – the rainbow mask provides additional colour and depth.
• Grain – the grainy effect, which likely resulted from the combination of the Diana F+ camera with the colour gels, gives it a retro feel.
• Shallow depth of focus – the focus on the subject and the flower field in the foreground, with the background blurry draws your eye to the person holding the flower.
• Miscellaneous – I like the contrast of flower print skirt against the yellow wild flowers in the field. There is also an overall “dreamy” feel to the photo.
What are your thoughts on this photo? Feel free to post the link to your own most popular photo in the comments section. With so much talent here, I may have unintentionally missed some of the other great photos.