Am I Too Old for Lomography?


Read about the thoughts of a thirty-something engineer based in Tokyo on the correlation of age, Lomography, and the realization of doing something you love other than a 12 hours a day job.

Am I too old for Lomography?

I often ask this question myself, given all the ages written on the “About” page of most photography Tumblr sites I have seen so far.

Coming from a third world country, we were mainly taught that a life cycle goes like this; school-university – work– help your family – work some more- get married – work harder. There was no time to discover things that you love to do or to nurture a hobby that will require you to spend an extra effort or an extra penny. Mainly, the reason why I became an engineer is because there is no money in arts, unless you made it on national television pop star search. Then one day, you wake up. You are on your 30’s or 40’s, you completely forgot those days when you were good at something other than work—like dancing, singing, painting, writing or whatever it is—and now your whole being was consumed by economy.

Consider me as a late bloomer, as I only discovered this fascinating world of Lomography after 9 years of working overseas and spending 12 hours a day in the office, in a business suit, trying to be a highly competitive salary man and tirelessly perfecting my PowerPoint presentation. I remember last year, the first time I walked inside the Lomography Gallery Store in Shibuya,Tokyo. I was bit nervous as I didn’t know what to buy, but the White Diana Mini on display makes the choice pretty straightforward. I even shyly asked the staff to teach me how to load the film. Despite the slight issue with language barrier, she was so helpful and trying her best on showing me how its done.

From that point, I never looked back. From the first release of the shutter, to my first 36 shots, few wasted rolls here and there, some unintentional multiple exposures and growing members of my films and camera collections, the world has never been the same again. I started to look at things differently, I see things inside the viewfinder and often imagine how good this scene will be if I shoot with this film and camera combination. There’s nothing quite the feeling of hearing the sound of the shutter release, the anticipation of getting your processed rolls from the lab, the unimaginable fulfillment and sometimes disappointment on seeing the result . There was apart of me that was completely awaken, an answer to the hunger for diversion that I was so longing for and above all, a realization that my world should not be contained inside my work cubicle.

So, am I too old for Lomography?

I would like to believe that the art of film photography in general has no age limit. It is one of those things in the world that is open for everyone and anyone who is willing to embrace it.

If you are on your teens when you first have your film camera, then you are one lucky pal, it means you have a lifetime of lomography journey ahead of you. Learn to treasure it, enjoy it, and be humble about it. If you are like me, a late bloomer, don’t worry as there is no hour glass that dictates if one’s film journey is up. Maybe with the given age comes the wisdom that could be magically transform into every frame we produce. Break the cycle- share it with your kids, siblings, cousins. It may not be the hobby that they will love but at least you ignite a spark on them—to live life apart from being another working statistics.

Sharing with you some results of my 35mm lomo venture.

Check out more photos at my blog.

written by orchid on 2012-03-20 #tokyo #lifestyle #lomography #action-sampler #holga135bc #diana-mini #analogue-lifestyle

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  1. laurasulilly
    laurasulilly ·

    It's never too late! I started photography almost 2 years ago at around 26, and I had hardly ever touched a camera before (apart from when my father let us have his when my sister and I were about 7 and 8 years old). Now I can't let go. Great that you finally found your passion :)

  2. superlighter
    superlighter ·

    I've meet lomography in my 39, now I'm near to my 54 the only question I ask myself every time I go out with a camera is to bring home some good photos, but most of the time I forghet of this :) everything else la lomography!

  3. coolsigg
    coolsigg ·

    it's never too late to start! I also started Lomography in my mid 30s. Ganbatte! がんばって!and Lomo ON!

  4. superlighter
    superlighter ·

    I forget to ask you: why there's not even one of your lovely pictures on your lomohome?

  5. gabysalas
    gabysalas ·

    @orchid, Lomography is not age specific! We have community members of all ages, all you really need is love for analogue photography!

  6. sweetoblivion
    sweetoblivion ·

    It's never too late! Your article is great, and I think it will appeal to all of us who are late to photography in general. I'll be 29 this year and it was a year ago that I first fell in love with taking photos...lomography helps you embrace your mistakes and see the beauty in them, something that is pertinent at any age. It has taught me patience and realising that 'perfection' isn't always the best outcome for something you love. Your photos are fantastic - best of luck on the rest of your lomo journey!

  7. dunkeldegu
    dunkeldegu ·

    Never think about your age! My teenager-years are far gone and I love my diana f+ that I got a month ago. And I realize only now, that it's not weird or crazy that I kept my old, beloved cameras, but it's a lovely lifestyle and a great community.

  8. herbert-4
    herbert-4 ·

    Age is not an issue... I'm 62! The only question is picking the camera.

  9. lamp
    lamp ·

    I agree with @herbert-4: it doesn't matter how old or young you are! It's for anyone and everyone. I'm 33 years young and only discovered the world of Lomography end of 2010 and LOVE it! Lomo-On is what i say :)

  10. gvelasco
    gvelasco ·

    The main issue with starting late is that you have to take many more pictures per day to catch up.

  11. trw
    trw ·

    I agree with gvelasco! As another "older" lomographer on the site, we just need to take more pictures each day! :-)

  12. horsoon
    horsoon ·

    Love your post! BTW, I'm 49.

  13. toni78
    toni78 ·

    if to you like to do photos, you don't to think to the age! The photos help to see the world with more calm. You find very things nice under your eyes!

  14. orchid
    orchid ·

    hi guys, thank you for all your comments and likes :)
    i'm happy that this got published , able to initiate a discussion and get a chance to have your insights regarding this topic. really, just amazing to hear your stories as well. thank you everyone!

    @superlighter, i am arranging all my pictures and will start uploading to my lomo home soon. still finding my way on this website/community :)

  15. fabc68
    fabc68 ·

    Great pics, orchid; and a very nice article.
    About the age issue: photography was a hobby I had when I was a child, then I pursued other interests in life. I got back a couple of years ago (at 42) to shooting digital, which was ok but something was amiss. Got interested in analog & lomography only recently and decided that shooting film is way funnier (I know I'm preaching to the choir, here). I know a guy my age would look more "proper" carrying around a posh digital SLR, but I try my best to look comfortable with a plastic analog camera as if I was a 20 y.o. hipster...

  16. plyshbel
    plyshbel ·

    Great article! It's also interesting getting older with lomography. Joined the community in my 26, now I'm pretty happy with my little plastic toys, photos from different countries and beautiful friends!

  17. plyshbel
    plyshbel ·

    I forgot to type "in my 36":)

  18. gatorchick
    gatorchick ·

    Another oldie here...I joined a couple of years ago but have been taking film photos all my life (I'm 36)...the furthest I've ventured into digital is a P&S, but I use my phone and "lomo" apps too. Besides my lomos I have a Yashica FX-2 that I inherited from my grandpa at 12...still works great! :) Feel free to stop by my home and be friends!

  19. twiggapleez
    twiggapleez ·

    Fantastic article! It mirrors my experiences so closely...I, too, fell in love with the white Diana Mini, and she was my first step back into the analogue world that I left behind many years before...It's been a tremendous creative outlet.

  20. hanibale
    hanibale ·

    who shot LOMO- is ALWAYS YOUNG!!!

  21. ophelia
    ophelia ·

    It's never too late to be yourself and to follow your dreams...I'm 28 so I can consider myself as a lucky pal! But you, you are lucky! You discovered yourself and the reality is that you love your new yourself! BE STRONG AND LOMO ON!

  22. kaimcn
    kaimcn ·

    It's never too late to learn to do something, and I think analogue photography really shows that. The act of loading a camera can get past a language barrier, so there's no reason it shouldn't get past age!

  23. weedos
    weedos ·

    Great Article. Never too old or too young. My kids are 12 & 13 and have a love for film (and their own collection of cameras). I'm 41 and have shot film my whole life. I say enjoy what you do and you will do it well :-)

  24. frau_inga
    frau_inga ·

    Great article and beautiful pictures! I started with Lomography 1 year ago, at age 35. Before that I hadn't touched my analog Praktica B200 (it used to be my dad's) for years. Now, my love for analog photography is bigger than ever. :) Happy shooting!

  25. jeabzz
    jeabzz ·

    love your article, and yeah age is not an issue! Enjoy :D

  26. takezzo
    takezzo ·

    you might be a bit too late to start skateboard, but you're definitely not too late for lomography... BTW, i didn't know that there were so many old-timer lomographer. i thought i was one of the oldest :P

  27. vici
    vici ·

    This 55 year old lomographer really enjoyed your article! Great pics too.

  28. orchid
    orchid ·

    thanks everyone for your kind comments :)
    i 'm really enjoying reading all of your responses. i never thought that there are many old-timer lomographer like me out there, shooting and having fun...

  29. mafiosa
    mafiosa ·

    Great article. I've often asked myself the same thing :) But I believe that you are as young (or old) as you feel.

  30. gr0219
    gr0219 ·

    loved the article and i'm glad too know i'm also not too old =P

  31. juliaperalta89
    juliaperalta89 ·

    I just have to said it, your article was inspiring. You are really lucky, many people never give themselves the chance to do what they love or to discover what would that be in the first place. It doesn't matter if you're 16 or on your 40's or 60's or whatever, you've found something you're passionate about and that's what really matters :)

  32. solitary_man
    solitary_man ·

    really touching story! makes me appreciate what I have more than ever before!

  33. aalper
    aalper ·

    Wonderful! Remember it only takes practice! According to neuroscientist Daniel J. Levitin ("This is Your Brain on Music"), it takes 10,000 hours and your an expert? The good news about this? With serious practice, ANYONE can be an expert!

  34. bunit
    bunit ·

    Awesome article! I have also mostly lived a life devoted study and work. The realisation that you can do something just for yourself and get joy out of it is totally liberating! Passion and joy do not have an age limit!

    P.S. What cameras do you use? I really loved some of those pictures, they're so dreamy!

  35. orchid
    orchid ·

    it never fails to put a smile on my face whenever i read new comments. i never thought that this article which i sneakily wrote in my office desk will receive much enthusiasm from the community. once again, many thanks guys and happy to meet everyone! :)

  36. orchid
    orchid ·

    @bunit, thanks.. i mainly have diana mini, holga135bc, action sampler, ultra wide & slim. for the dreamy effect, maybe the credit goes to the lab guys for using less chemicals or so :)

  37. joyce-liu
    joyce-liu ·

    enjoy your lomo life !! :DD

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