What Lomography seems to be becoming


Not only have I shot using lomo cameras, but I have learned how to utilize the right films for cross processing, learned how to develop black and white film at home, and embraced manual format photography in this world of digital using the 10 Golden Rules. I have tried to make my photographs more interesting and unique using these methods.

I get excited looking at other’s work and seeing what others come up with during these rumbles and contests. But lately, what I see now is a big popularity contest instead of having actual judges look at our work, especially when it comes to rumbles. I would like to win a rumble based on the quality and uniqueness of my photo, not because I got 200 “likes” from phantom lomohome accounts. This is not the way the art world works. And if LSI wants their philosophy to be taken seriously, it will depend on more than just slick marketing methods and popularity contests to get there. How can I be inspired to do some of the beautiful work I see here only to realize it will get buried inside my lomohome unless I 1) spam the shoutbox, which I hate to do, or 2) troll articles and tipsters just to get my name out there. It seems like a self defeating purpose and not artful at all, but political.

There are those out there that may not agree with me, but I bet there are a lot that do and don’t want to speak up about it. But we must have a dialogue about where we want lomography to go. I think LSI should send out some feedback forms asking us, the users, how we envision lomography as an art form and where we should go from here. I mean, the future IS analogue, so why not let us be part of a democratic process to take us beyond where we are now?

written by sthomas68 on 2011-04-14


  1. lucretia
    lucretia ·

    I somewhat agree with you. If someone won a popularity contest with fake accounts... that would be a huge problem. I don't know if it has happend... However there is sometimes the need for these kind of contests (maybe they don't have time to judge because they have a big event of some kind for example). It's not like they promote only these kinds of contests... most of the contests are judged based on the criteria you mentioned. And there is always choice... you can choose not to participate in these competitions.

  2. schemerel
    schemerel ·

    I do agree that being 'liked' doesn't necessarily mean your work is indeed the best work out there. I guess your just lucky if you have a lot of friends, or go through the trouble of making fake accounts. It wouldn't suprise me if people would do that, after all, piggies are dollars, and dollars make people crazy. On the other hand, this is a huge community, and it's impossible for a couple of judges to go through all the photo's I think, and a way of keeping it democratic like you say, is by letting people 'like' photos/articles/etc. Also, encouraging people to write articles and such, is a big part of the value of this community, no ? To me at least, they have been very helpful. Anyway I'm new here, so maybe I don't know what I'm taking about. Although I do mostly agree with you, I'm trying to put some things in perspective. I think this can be a very interesting discussion.

  3. veato
    veato ·

    I do kind of agree. I neither add hundreds of "friends" here nor create phantom accounts to "like" my rumble entries. If that means I dont win regardless of how good (or not) my photo is then that's rubbish!

  4. tallgrrlrocks
    tallgrrlrocks ·

    An interesting post, and very insightful. While I'm not against "Liking" contests, I must admit I find it annoying when other users bug me to "Like" something without even a "Hi" or "Hello." Bottomline: When I see a photo I really like, THAT'S when I'll click Like, and leave a comment. It has gotten unbearably rampant these recent months, all the fun of actually finding a gem of a Lomograph /Lomohome /Lomographer has diminished because of this practice. What I have chosen to do is just keep on browsing this community full of talent and passion, at my own pace and enjoyment. Well said, @sthomas68.

  5. minchi
    minchi ·

    I am completely agree with you

  6. yarnlass
    yarnlass ·

    I agree as well. Whenever I see those "whoever gets the most likes" contests I know I just can't compete, because I refuse to bother people I don't really know to promote my own blog posts or articles, I won't make fake accounts, and I only ever like something if I find it useful, insightful, inspiring, or artistically worth something. I think contests like that should be in stages: people submit things, and then the judges select perhaps the 10 best entries and then it's left to a popular vote which is more closely watched to make sure no one creates empty accounts to cheat.

    And if that sounds like too much trouble, then maybe LSI should SCALE BACK the number of contests. I joined up pretty recently (just a year ago one month from now) but I remember when there were maybe five contests per month and you heard the winners announced at most a month later. LSI has come out with winner announcements from TWO YEARS ago that were swamped under all the new things they had going, and there's been contests left unannounced for months now too. We have, like, 20+ active contests now! Does LSI really have the resources to judge contests of 1000+ entries in a timely matter, if they all come out at once? Put more thought into your contests, LSI! Quality over quantity means a better time for everyone!

  7. grazie
    grazie ·

    I totally agree with you on this. I had to use the shoutbox though to spread word on your blog entry :)

  8. natalieerachel
    natalieerachel ·

    Absolutely!! It seems that LSI doesn't quite put time into judging and choosing the rightful winners :(

  9. kneehigh85
    kneehigh85 ·

    Yeah I agree. Having said that I did come third in a blog-popularity-contest type of affair today, though I did not ask anyone anywhere to like that entry (even my fiance who shares a computer with me), nor did I visit the shoutbox to advertise that I had written an entry so I feel like my win is justified by being liked by people who genuinely liked it. I do feel really really aggrieved by people winning contests with what are either clearly fake accounts, or certainly people they have convinced to sign up to the community who have no interest in analogue photography whatsoever and the lack of response from LSI about this and still allowing one of these accounts to win a rumble is truly gutting to me. The competition in question had some excellent entries who have now lost out to people who won from getting likes from "members" who have added nothing to lomography.

  10. carmenism
    carmenism ·

    I am with you in this one, @sthomas68. It seems like if you did not firmly establish yourself in the Lomo world over a year ago or you do not viciously strive to make people pay attention to you, then you do not have a shot of winning anything. I've seen pictures that gathered 50 or so likes that (I hate to say it) do not even seem that great, but the person has liked 10,000 pictures so they had a lot of people visit their page. And then there are the Lomo celebrities, who gather attention and praise no matter what they do, whether or not it matches the caliber of their best works. Both of these situations are awful in my opinion. I'm here to have fun, but I would also like to get Home of the Day or win a contest or something just once and that seems like it will never happen as long as this horrible cycle continues. I really hate the popularity contest. *sigh*

  11. sthomas68
    sthomas68 ·

    Wow I didn't think I would get so much feedback on my blog lol. I'm not really upset or anything, just really want lomography to be this all encompassing art movement where people are passionate about creating something unique and different and not have it boil down to a facebook type of thing. It's like Farmville, you either want to play or you don't.
    I absolutely adore the whole lomo concept and want to keep that childlike curiosity pure and unadulterated!

  12. kneehigh85
    kneehigh85 ·

    It deserves feedback because it is a good point. I cant bear to go to the shoutbox most days because a lot of interesting discussion is lost among all the self-promotion. Plus, the best stuff really doesn't need all that crap, it will get a lot of interest on its own.