First Date: Shooting from the Hip with the Lomo LC-A

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A quarter century after sparking a ground-shaking photography movement, the Lomo LC-A remains a favorite memory keeper of many analogue photographers. To honor its creative contribution to their everyday lives, four Lomographers look back on their journey with this little black camera and how it changed the way they see the world.

@lomomowlem, United Kingdom

Can you tell us about the first time you shoot with a Lomo LC-A. Any funny or strange occurrences?

My first experience shooting with the LC-A was back in the year 2000, I was at design school and had read about the camera in a magazine. The idea that it was compact enough to carry in your pocket combined with the amazing color saturation it produced were enough to make me go straight out and buy one. Most of all I loved the 10 Golden Rules of Lomography, especially the one that says "Don't think - just shoot".

The first time I actually used it was in a nightclub at a "Pimps and Prostitutes" party (Hey, we were art students!) and every single photo I took was blurred and out-of-whack as I struggled to get to grips with the zone focusing switch and shooting in low light. Despite this I was totally hooked and have been shooting with the LC-A ever since.

What's your favorite photograph from this first date?

My favorite shot from that first ever roll is a selfie (Before selfies were even invented!) which is totally out of focus but I still love how the colors came out and the great memories it brings back.

Describe the Lomo LC-A+ in three words.

Crazy, sexy, cool

How has your relationship with the Lomo LC-A+ evolved throughout the years?

For the longest time after I first got my LC-A I didn't have a clue what I was doing and was very much an accidental photographer—if I got a good shot it was totally by accident! Over the years that has gradually changed and now, thanks having experienced shooting hundreds of rolls along with experiments in cross processing and double exposures, I feel like I'm a bit more in control. All these years later I'm still in love with the little black box of delights that is the LC-A and finally taking the kind of the photos I always wanted to.

@orangebird, Japan

Can you tell us about the first time you shoot with a Lomo LC-A+. Any funny or strange occurrences?

I was excited when I first got LC-A+ because I wanted to try the difference with LC-A. My LC-A and LC-A+ both have Russian lenses. After shooting with both cameras and comparing them, photos with the LC-A+ have much darker corners when you shoot a dark colored subject, like the ground. In case of my LC-A, the corners look dark when I photograph a blue sky. I like the appearance of these individual differences, so I will continue to use both of them.

What's your favorite photograph from this first date?

Credits: orangebird

One piece that is remembered rather than favorite. Sunset in Tokyo that I shot for the first time with the LC-A+.

Describe the Lomo LC-A+ in three words.

Enjoyable, lovable, and lively.

How has your relationship with the Lomo LC-A+ evolved throughout the years?

Yes! The LC-A+ has become part of my life ever since I started shooting with it. LC-A + is my favorite camera that has been with me in the past, the present and the future.

@adi_totp, Indonesia

Can you tell us about the first time you shoot with a Lomo LC-A+. Any funny or strange occurrences?

It way goes back to 2008, I got my very first Lomo LC-A+ and it's the RL, russian lens. I guess for ten years I have so many both funny or strange occurrences even I'm lucky enough and went to many places and meet many faces and as I far as I can remember is meeting Tomtom at Bromo Mountain, East Java, Indonesia. You can read several stories about him here and here .

There's too many stories to be told to be honest, but my highlight must be meeting Tomtom. I must say it kind of changed the way I approach my subject. Can you imagine how many rolls I spent with this camera? I lost count but I'm grateful and it's been 10 years of a fruitful relationship with this camera. Here's to another 10 years! Long live Lomo LC-A+!

What's your favorite photograph from this first date?

Again, there's too many! Sorry for saying this but it is true. Well, if I must choose between thousands of photographs taken by my Lomo LC-A+ then, I pick this one:

Credits: adi_totp

Again, with all the story and history involved behind it. Also, this is a gentle reminder that I must travel somewhere soon with the Lomo LC-A+.

Describe the Lomo LC-A+ in three words.

Compact, versatile, reliable

Yes, all that! That's why I keep it close to my heart.

How has your relationship with the Lomo LC-A+ evolved throughout the years?

As I mentioned before, I spent so so many roll with it. It's been productive, really productive and to say now I'm a prolific Lomo LC-A+ user is a understatement because the last year, to be honest, I just spent several rolls with it due to work. Last year I've been concentrating on commercial photography but I do realized that to balance work and passion is a must especially if one chose this path as their career.

Looking back at my own path especially involving the Lomo LC-A+, it can't be separated. I'll always be the lomographer known as 'adi_totp'. I love to document everything around me and it makes me happy in so many ways. Comparing being a 'photographer as a job' and 'by choice', I can say that it changed me in someway, but not significantly, because I have these clients. It's part of the craft and it's the inevitable.

That's why, based on what I'm experiencing last year, I really need to bring Lomo LC-A+ with me every time I have a photo shoot. Also, I promise to myself that I just have to travel more this year. To kick start this, I will travel to the Middle East on February. 10 years is not a short period of time and being able to "celebrate" my 10th year with the Lomo LC-A+ is quiet a milestone, it's a coincidence! So on this occasion, I like to say "Keep shooting!" to all LC-A+ users and "Lomo on!" to all die hard analogue heads out there! Shooting makes me happy!

@lomokev, United Kingdom

Can you tell us about the first time you shoot with a Lomo LC-A. Any funny or strange occurrences?

The first time I shot with LC-A would of been 1999 which is a bit of long time ago. I can't actually remember that much about shooting my first roll of film but I do remember buying the camera. At the time I only knew of two people that owned a Lomo LC-A, one was a fellow student and the other was one of my lectures. At the time I was just about to go on a trip to New York with my Uni, I'd been two years before but this time I wanted a camera I could take anywhere, not be bulky an be useable at night. The only camera that fitted all those criteria on my budget was the LC-A. At the time internet shopping was not really main stream so if you wanted to buy a LC-A back then you needed to visit one the Lomo Embassies, the closest one to me was on Rosebery Avenue in London. The Lomo Ambassador was Fabian Monheim, an eccentric, chain-smoking German. The "Embassy" was ran out of his design studio, next to his desk was a box of LC-As. After a little chat he pulled one out, made sure it work and ran me though the basics.

Before I left he took my postal address so he could let me know about any Lomography events he was running and then we parted ways. Little did I know that in the future I would do all the following with Fabian: chase him round Vienna while he was dressed as rabbit, shot photos at Tokyo fish market and shot the Commonwealth Games on Lomo but these are stories for another time. Needless to say buying a little Russian camera from this German and then giving him my address to him was one of the best things I ever did!

What's your favorite photograph from this first date?

I can't lay my hands on my first roll of photos that I shot in '99 but the one shot that sticks in my mind was a shot taken on a street at night, it was not that special but it made me realize the power of the LC-A. I rested the LC-A on a car and held down the shutter button until the film in my little Lomo had soaked up enough light to make a decent exposure, I got back a beautiful orangey pic of a nondescript street in High Wycombe. What made this image special to me is that I now had a camera that I could use anywhere in any lighting conditions. Back in the late '90s if you wanted a film camera that had a light meter built in, that could do long exposures and could fit in your pocket you either needed to have a bulky SLR or a very expensive compact from the likes of Nikon or Contax that would cost six times what a LC-A did. The LC-A was a game changer in a time before smart phones when the majority of people did not have a camera on them at all times. The photo I have included is not the original photo from Wycombe but a similar one, it's a night shot of a crashed retro looking Metropolitan police car from 2000.

Describe the Lomo LC-A in three words.

If I was gonna be a smart ass I would say: Lomo Kompakt Automat.

But if I was gonna say three words off the top of my head: Fun, Compact and Timeless.

How has your relationship with the Lomo LC-A evolved throughout the years?

I have to admit I don’t use it as much as I used to, as now that I have a family I don't have as much time for recreational photography as I did have. As a professional photographer I use a high end DSLR for my work. But I still use my LC-A on holiday and for shooting my montage portraits which I have now built up a vast collection of.

I also occasionally teach photography workshops and I have 16 LC-As that I use for my workshops, it's so much fun giving Lomography cameras to people who have never shot film or have not shot it for at least 15 years and see how they react to it.


Any fond memories of your first date with the Lomo LC-A? Don't be shy and share those stories in the comments below!

2018-02-12 #gear #lomo-lc-a #lomo-lc-a

Mentioned Product

Lomo LC-A+

Lomo LC-A+

Be an analogue photography pro with the Lomo LC-A family. Get the signature ‘35mm Lomographic look’ with shadowy vignettes, eye-popping colors and saturation.The Lomo LC-A is the Russian classic with customizable aperture settings. The Lomo LC-A+ has awesome added tricks like multiple exposure capabilities, extended ISO range up to 1600 and a cable release thread!

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7 Comments

  1. hervinsyah
    hervinsyah ·

    lomokev the truely legend (y) knowing him for the first time back in 2008 when I'm very active at jpgmag.com hahah that good old day when all the jpgers dreaming one of their submitted rumble photo being published at the printed magazine and get $100 the incredible lomokev at that time get 10 published photo WTF haha this man is must be something at my mind at that time. His vignette focus on the subject published photo series just his trademark at that time. Couple years later I read his photo book at my hometown most famous bookstore

  2. icequeenubia
    icequeenubia ·

    Thank you so much, @lomomowlem, @adi_totp, @orangebird, and @lomokev!

  3. lomokev
    lomokev ·

    @hervinsyah jpg mag there is a blast from the past!

  4. hervinsyah
    hervinsyah ·

    @lomokev hello legend 😀 also I miss Paul Lavalle aka @mylatehope his color infra red photo became the most popular photo at lomography.com and I has saw that photo at jpg before he uploaded it here 😁

  5. lomomowlem
    lomomowlem ·

    @icequeenubia Thanks for the feature! Thanks to @lomokev too, went on one of your Hotshots courses in 2011 and had a ball. It also led to discovering 2 great development labs, Vault and Colourstream, both in Brighton.

  6. lomokev
    lomokev ·

    @lomomowlem The Vault closed down but Colourstream took over their premises and now use that for large format printing and framing. It's really good for them as previously they had a space across town so it made life much easier for them.

  7. adi_totp
    adi_totp ·

    @icequeenubia THANK YOU

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