Existential philosophy of LOMO and my creative inspiration

It’s hard for me to get my creativity motivated sometimes. While it has always been part of my soul, real life and circumstances get in the way a lot more that I would like. So I turn to music, imagery and past experiences to get my inspiration. Or I’ll watch a really good movie and think, “Wow I’d like to do a series of Diana images based on that film.”

Credits: sthomas68

It’s a very complex process for my creative inspiration. Most of it depends on my mood. But in discovering lomography in general, it’s an upbeat lifestyle that appeals to the younger side of me. Most people my age have children as young as the main lomo demograph, so they are all about digital point and shoots and could care less about shooting with film, as we all did in the 80’s and early 90’s. There are a few, however, that have that extra lift in their smile when I tell them I still shoot film.

As I go through boxes of slides from decades past of my family, all I can think about is the music that defined those times. Big band, Swing, Martin Denny, Les Baxter, Arthur Lyman, Dean Martin, the Exotica and Tiki Culture of the 50s….
Then I think of the style that defined it. Mid century modernism. Designers like Charles Eames, Hans Wegner, Paul McCobb…the list goes on and on.

Now we have the rebirth of this generation in shows like “Mad Men” and I can’t help but wonder if lomography is an unintentional part of this rebirth in postwar old school analogue pop culture? If so, what is it’s role? Sure we have vinyl spinning down at the local club, we try to live one day without analogue, but in order to truly live analogue we must understand what it was like 50 years ago.

The “Home of the Future” video on youtube comes to mind. In it a beautiful young woman is whisked away by a tuxedoed man into the kitchen, cars and matching clothes of her dreams. This example of “retro futurism” is part of what draws me to lomography.

Current music styles don’t really inspire me to shoot photographs, but seeing what has been photographed in the past does. And with that goes the music. So I put on the cool bachelor pad tunes of the 60s and all I can think of is cross processed photos of architecture, American kitsch, and road trips down Route 66.

Add some ambient music to the mix and then I want soft dreamy Diana images of beaches, nature, and the reflection of real life as we see it, not through megapixels but through plastic. In that lies the philosophy and addiction of lomo and creative photography. I can’t get enough. It’s the gateway drug I crave.

written by sthomas68 on 2011-03-20