In celebration of the 20th anniversary of Lomography, we’re on the lookout for your favorite Lomographs. Are you guys curious about the Lomo staff’s own? Then read on!
Lomography is a journey.
This is the best description I can give to someone who asks me about the essence of Lomography. It is a journey that does not end and constantly changes, much like the chemicals that create magic with each analogue shot we take.
Lomography itself, now on its 20th year, is on a journey with no end in sight, going against the grain of the digital frontier, standing the test of time. We don’t know what tomorrow brings, but we’re confident that Lomography has been a journey for you as well. The Your Favorite Lomograph Competition is all about revisiting that journey, whether you’ve been with us all the way, or you’ve just been shooting for less than a year.
Here’s my story, told in five Lomographs.
I discovered Lomgraphy by accident back in 2006. I was surfing around the ’net and stumbled across some strange and colorful photos. Hours passed as I clicked and researched, clicked and researched, then clicked and researched some more. I was hooked.
I was on a high. I quickly bought a Holga and blazed through a couple of rolls. I ran my way to one of the only two photo labs that did cross-processing back then. I need to note that prior to Lomography, I knew nothing about photography. Apertures, shutter speeds, fields of view – it was all Greek to me. So anyway, I got back the contact prints – everything was blank.
Crestfallen, I sold off the Holga and decided to try out the LOMO LC-A. I shot a couple of rolls and I still got crap – except for this one. I know this particular photo isn’t impressive or anything, but during this time, this Lomograph was what gave me a glimmer of hope that maybe, just maybe, I’ll get better. And I’d like to think I did.
It might sound a little bit self serving and vain to list a self portrait as one of my favorite photos, but allow me to explain. Back in the old Lomography website, awards were prominently displayed on the first page, making sure everyone sees who’s the LomoHome of the day is, the Mini Movie winners, and whatnot. One of the daily awards given out during that time was the OSCM (Online Shop Cover Marketing) award, which is simply put, a self portrait of you holding a Lomography camera.
This photo gave me my first ever Lomography award. After months and months of submitting, I finally won something. The feeling was nothing short of exhilarating. If you’ve already won something here, you know the feeling. If not, don’t worry. You’ll get there sooner or later.
I like this photo because it reminds me of the time when Lomography was at its zenith locally. TV appearances were had, newspaper pieces were written, and artistic collaborations were aplenty. I’ve gone on great length talking how Lomography is a journey and this photo reminds me that it is a journey I didn’t go about alone. I’ve gained a lot of friends thanks to Lomography, both locally and internationally. Heck, I even met my girlfriend through Lomography. Sadly, most of my Lomo friends got busier and aren’t shooting anymore. But we all still keep in touch and have drinks every now and then. The bond we’ve shared through the years isn’t that easily severed (Shout out to LomoNorth!).
On a related vein, this photo also made me win the LomoHome of the Day in the old site, so it’s really memorable for me.
The Holga is deceptively simple. It’s a clunky plastic black box that houses an equally clunky plastic (sometimes glass!) lens. It sounds unimpressive but wielded by the right shooter, it produces nothing else but sheer magic.
I mentioned that I sold off my Holga because well… I sucked at it, big time. But seeing all those beautiful square shots made me decide to give it another try. This time around however, I came equipped with the knowledge of how apertures and shutter speeds interact. I was confident that at the very least, I won’t get blanks. But as far as the Holga is concerned, trial & error is the only real way to get to know its little quirks intimately.
This photo is in my opinion, the best Holga photo I’ve ever taken. It gives me a sense of validation and accomplishment, that I didn’t just pussy out because I didn’t understand how it worked.
For this photo, I just reminded myself to a.) only shoot when the sun is burning, and b.) put the camera in front of my face while shooting instead of using the viewfinder. This way, I can make sure that the light-greedy negatives are adequately exposed, and that I don’t get parallax error in my shots.
After two years of shooting, I was given the opportunity to actually work for Lomography. I’ve been here lurking in the shadows since then. Not a lot of people are given the chance to do something they’re passionate about for work, so I really consider myself blessed. I might not shoot as much as I did back then (I really should…), but I feel the more important thing is that I still find enjoyment in what I do. That’s the dream, right?
To conclude, I’m choosing this photo. The reason? Well, aside from it being my most ‘liked’ photo so far, it reiterates my point of this whole thing being a voyage, an expedition that we have no clear-cut view of the horizon. Its been a long strange trip, from not knowing anything about photography, trying to shoot an f/13 Holga indoors, to actually getting paid to shoot commercially.
At the end of the day, I’ll say it again:
Lomography is a journey, and we all experience a different one.