Vivian Maier. Andre Kertesz. Henri Cartier Bresson. Every Lomographer here is probably no stranger to these greats. What ties them together? Lucid, transformative photos, documenting the everyday, the mundane and the rare moments of beauty that the worlds streets consistently cast. Best of all? All of these are analogue kings, proponents of Lomography long before it even existed.
You probably haven’t heard of the many photographers lurking amid London’s newest exhibition however. London Street Photography, which opened on Feb. 18, is a new free exhibition at The Museum of London, playing host to over 200 candid images of everyday life and capturing the metamorphosis of London from the beginning of photography as an art form.
Examining the many facets of London street life, from its ethnic neighborhoods, to the interaction between the wealthy and the poor, this new exhibition captures analogue in its early days right through to the 21st century and the influx of the digital era. Frolicking children in dirty street alleys, to the masses out in protest on the streets, the images convey a vibrant and diverse London that, surprising given how some images date back over 100 years, doesn’t look too dissimilar from that of today.
Perhaps most interesting is the exhibitions projection of a 20 minute documentary featuring four contemporary photographers, two of which continue to shoot analogue (Leica and Rolleiflex). Amid discussion photographers talk of the difficulties of modern day street photography, particularly the change in attitudes of city dwellers and their reluctance to have their picture taken. As one subject remarks: “there is a missing generation of children having their photo taken simply because children don’t go out on the streets anymore”. One only needs to take a look at the thousands of Lomohomes here on this very site to get a sense of this absence.
Nevertheless this exhibition is a must for anyone interested in Lomography and street photography more specifically. Hopefully your shots will one day be on display in similar fashion.