We've had 20 years of Lomography, and I've been a part of the movement for almost 17 years. But, I said "almost" because I had long breaks in between. Anyway, I think it's time to look back at those old pictures from the beginning. I have to admit I never made an effort to scan all my old pictures, but there are still a few of them. I think it's worth it to have a look at them.
It must have been in 1996 when I moved to Leipzig for my studies. It was a new step that brought me far away from my family and friends. I was excited. But soon there was this feeling to have a closer look at my past, not only because getting to know new people meant getting asked about my roots and what I have done so far all the time. I also noticed that there were almost no pictures of my life from the time I was 13 to 21. It couldn’t go on like this I thought.
The ones to blame for me finding my way to Lomography are the members of the music band Tocotronic from Hamburg. They had these sweet blurry photographs in their booklets and I fell in love with the imperfect shots immediately. So I went in a photography store in my hometown and bought myself a Lomo LC-A. This is a shot from my first roll ever, which I took while driving by an Aral fuel station in Tübingen, Reutlinger Straße:
The camera was/is so handy that I took it with me all the time from then on. And I really mean all the time. It’s small but not that small so I could easily put it in the pocket of my shorts. So I bought myself a shoulder bag. Today, I would even go to the bakery with my bag and at least one camera inside.
The pictures I took in the beginning were pretty awful but back then I didn’t see it that way. But from then on I started documenting everything that happened in my life.
After more than two years I moved from Leipzig to Berlin. As you can imagine there were so many things to take pictures of. Being new in Berlin I was always cruising through the city by bike with one of my best friends. The LC-A was always in my bag. In the gallery below, you can look at a compilation of my first two years in Berlin. Some of these places do not exist anymore: The Bar Pigalle in the Friedelstraße in Berlin-Neukölln (it was a brothel), the Potsdamer Platz, a club in the Falkensteinstraße in Berlin-Kreuzberg which was in the courtyard of an unoccupied housing block (where you could dance on an open-air space until sunset and even longer), the flea market at the Arconaplatz (it was moved to the Mauerpark), the Love Parade in Berlin, portraits of my friend who was strolling with me all the time, the Pfaueninsel (small island in the Wannsee), the Mauerpark and a bottle of dutch beer from the former snack-bar Hummel Snacks in the Reichenberger Straße.
Shortly after moving to Berlin, my car, a Peugeot 205 Junior, like the our dear community member @peopel owns, broke down.
Before I got the Peugeot, I had a Citroen 2CV. There’s this saying among owners that if you ever owned a 2CV you will have it for life. And it’s true. I bought myself a completely refurbished special edition Dolly. From then on, we were unstoppable (my girlfriend, the LC-A, the 2CV Dolly, and myself); we went to France, Corse, Spain, Italy, Finland (without the 2CV), Switzerland, Austria and Germany. Here is a small compilation:
Well, those are my early Lomogrphic Milestones from until around 2003. After this, something different replaced lomography for a few years in my life. But until then my girlfriend and I took part in Lomo-Contests that were organized by the Lomographic Embassy in Berlin-Prenzlauer Berg, and we did even win prizes. I also took part in the Lomographic Summer Sampler Album contest (see photo below). By the way, LSI, that would be something to do again— pure analogue content!
Back when the ActionSampler was released, I had a job as dispatch rider during my studies, and a job in Vienna. So I took the opportunity to visit the Lomography HQ and bought it directly from the Lomo people. I still remember that on my way back to Germany there was a snowstorm and I was on the road with a rented van with summer tires. So, I drove behind a snowplow because I didn’t want to risk driving a rented car onroadside ditch. I remembered that I took a shot of the snowplow with my LC-A, and amazingly, I found it!
Can you believe this?! Yes, those were the days. Also, during my search I found a few interesting old pictures, including those from a roll with light paintings in b&w from around 2002. I must have taken them with my LC-A but I don´t remember how I made it). Maybe I’ll scan them if have the time But, having some time off will be difficult.