LC-A Big Book Chapter 64: First of All: What are Compact Cameras?

So why did compact cameras become so popular and successful? Photography hasn’t always been as easy as that and what we see before us with the LOMO LC-A + (which is clearly our most preferred compact camera) is the fruit of many decades of hard work and fancy inventions.

The description of compact cameras is as simple as they are: small as possible, comparatively cheap, handy, fast and easy-to-handle photographic tools. You simply kick in a roll of compact film (e.g. 35mm film), take your camera and start your snap-shot adventures. In comparison to bigger and more expensive cameras, which offer more functions, compact cameras won’t keep you busy with lots of settings and things to take care of – your job is to simply concentrate on the situation and action of capturing what is around you without worrying too much about technical settings and old style “photo composition” issues.

So why did compact cameras become so popular and successful? Photography hasn’t always been as easy as that and what we see before us with the LOMO LC-A + (which is clearly our most preferred compact camera) is the fruit of many decades of hard work and fancy inventions. When photography was first introduced in the middle of the l9th century, the whole process was much more difficult than today. Big cameras were required, tripods were indispensable to hold them, bulky photo-plates were used, long exposure times were necessary (and made “action-shots” more or less impossible) and photography in general was only accessible to a certain number of people who had the know-how and the money to use and afford the necessary equipment. Given this situation, you can easily imagine what happened when the first cheap and easy-to-use compact cameras hit the market at the dawn of the 20th century. Huge sales, exploding popularity and a real change in lifestyle were only some of the factors that the sudden step towards the democratisation of photography caused. Suddenly it became part of people’s everyday landscape to see people cruising by with little brown boxes in their hands, trying to capture and eternalize what was around them. The term snapshot was coined during this time and the apparition of compact cameras signified a real change not only in photography but also in society: the ability for everyone to take pictures wherever they were and in whatever way they liked took us to a whole new, developing and enduring, era of democratic visual memory, art and expression.

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written by ungrumpy on 2012-11-20 #library #lc-a-big-book #lomography #excerpt

Thanks, Danke, Gracias

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