“Why do so many lomographers take pictures of their shoes and cappuccino cups (and sometimes of their bikes as well)? Too vanilla for us…we prefer mental hospitals!” That’s what Italian-British graphic designer and photographer Giorgio Giussani recently asked his fans on his Facebook page.
Giorgio admits to using Lomography cameras himself occasionally and he has a LomoHome, yet he is not a big fan of the brand or its community. Although he likes the same stuff that many lomographers do, such as double exposures and cross-processing, and he tags his pictures on Flickr with ‘lomo’ and ‘lomography’, Giorgio is annoyed by the randomness of people snapping pics of their shoes.
So does he have a point? Well, type ‘shoes’ in the search box on Lomography.com and you will get 12,375 hits. Narrow it down to a particular brand, for instance ‘Vans shoes’, and you still get hundreds of results. Some of these shoe pics are crap, most are mediocre, but some really do stand out, because they are great doubles, creatively composed or the x-pro colours worked out well. Whether they are new or old, lost or found, red or green, on or off: lomographers just can’t get enough of their shoes.
Which made me wonder: why? Why do we love taking pictures of the dirtiest piece of our outfit? Is it because they are the easiest things to photograph – just point down and shoot? Is it because we want to show off our hundred dollar kicks to the rest of the world? Or is it because a picture of your shoes is simply an alternative form of self-portrait? A recent American study showed that your shoes say a lot more about you than you think: by looking at shoe pictures, you can judge 90% of people’s personal characteristics, such as age, sex and wealth.
So what do our shoes say about the Lomography community? We like Converse, Vans and Nike shoes the most, we like to skate, laze on the beach and party. We like colour, particularly red and green. Or as one lomographer put it: “Shoes are awesome.” And apparently, wherever we go and whatever we do, there is always a camera at hand to snap a shoe pic. Here is a selection of some of the best.
Fifty Fabulous Vintage Film Adverts Once upon a time, when film photography was not some obscure hobby reserved for a bunch of hipsters, everyone did it: pros and amateurs alike, housewives, children and grannies – secret agents even. Take a trip down memory lane with these nostalgic vintage ads.
How To Reload an old Agfa Rapid Cartridge With 35mm Film Rapid was Agfa’s reply to Kodak’s instantly popular Instamatic. Cameras are still widely available on the cheap, but the film rolls have become rare and precious. No problem: revive your Rapid camera in five minutes with this easy tutorial.
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My Year in Analogue: Old Cameras and New Techniques 2014 has been a good year for me, photographically speaking. I finally realized a few projects I had been dying to try out for a long time and, despite my resolution not to buy new ones, acquired some new cameras.
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