Found from the archives, this meaningfully minimalist photo by one of the founders of the Lomographic Society International really stuck into my head. Shot with an LC-A way back in 1994, it inspired me to take a similar photo last year and, now that you I’ve seen them side by side, it creepily/coincidentally makes sense.
To celebrate 20 Years of Lomography last year, the Magazine published a series of articles that talked about the roots of this photographic movement and how it all began. In the course of my research, I found the above photograph while writing about the first epic Lomographic exhibition across two colossal cities which were New York and Moscow, held in 1994. It’s an LC-A photo taken by one of the Lomographic Society International’s founders during one of their many business trips to America.
To me, it’s a very entrancing photo for several reasons. Firstly, it possesses the undeniable film look you can expect from the LC-A. From the original models to the improved LC-A+, it looks great because of the trademark vignetting and rich tones, bringing out the best of the afternoon sky in blues and oranges. Next, the subject is, of course, historic and significant. It features the now fallen North and South Towers of the World Trade Center. Lastly, the composition is pure genius as it focuses on tops of the Twin Towers, emphasizing how they dwarfed over every other skyscraper along the Manhattan skyline as well as in the world as the tallest buildings then. The Lomograph just stuck to me because of all the stories associated to its beautiful simplicity.
It inspired me to buy my own LC-A+ and want to take a similarly minimalist but meaningful shot. And then one picturesque afternoon, while I was interviewing Japan Camera Hunter for the Magazine, I looked up at gorgeous Manila sunset and saw a big jet plane zooming across the blue-orange sky. Well, it looked really tiny in the context of the Earth’s atmosphere which reminded me of the Twin Tower lomograph from 1994.
I was so excited to see the developed photo back from the lab. The plane and sky looked good in my head but I had no idea if it would translate in the photo. Well, I think it did. Now that I’ve seen both the inspirational and aspirational photos, I’m quite pleased with the result and almost gasped when I realized how symbolic it actually is. With almost the same colors and shadows as the original and then putting the airplane and the Twin Towers side by side in comparison, isn’t it an eerily accurate retelling of 9/11?
I certainly didn’t intend for that diptych to become a narrative of the tragedy, but the photos certainly mean more to me now. This pair of Lomographs may seem mundane or trivial to others, but it reminds me of several things: the power of photography and the history of Lomography, nature’s beauty as well as engineering’s reality, and feelings of loss that shall eventually be replaced by feelings of hope.
For our 20th anniversary we wanted to pay tribute to the camera that started it all with the LC-A+ 20th Anniversary Edition. For the occasion we have designed 1000 pieces of this limited edition camera, each with their own serial number and certificate of authenticity. The black body of the camera melts together with an electric blue stamped leather boasting a crocodile pattern, giving the camera a distinctive avant-garde look. Additionally, the camera features the colourful 20th anniversary metal emblem on the back, representing all the facets of Lomography. These stunning looks are escorted by the legendary Lomo LC-A+ Minitar 1 32/2.8 lens, making photos burst with life, contrasts and vignettes. You will quickly get addicted to the beautiful and unpredictable results of the LC-A+! Be fast if you want to get your hands on this exclusive camera, as it might be gone soon!