Lomography

Discussion in 'Philosophy of Photography' started by Herman, Jul 30, 2010.

  1. Herman

    Herman The Image Stimulator S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 11, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Real Name:
    Herman
    I still got a Lomo camera somewhere. Never used it. The international site of Lomography: click here.
    Read the 10 golden rules.
    It doesn't say any word about using analog cameras, so I wonder, who is shooting Lomo with a digital camera ? Oh well, I did. Will post a few images later.
    CC welcome, thanks in advance.

    Kind regards, Herman
     
  2. soundimageplus

    soundimageplus SC Top Veteran S.C. Charter Member

    578
    Jul 6, 2010
    I must admit I've always found Lomo, Holga Lensbaby etc. as the glorification of ineptitude.

    Taking terrible pictures with cheap and nasty plastic cameras has never struck me as having anything to do with photography. Many people who use these also seem to have a idea that they are somehow producing something that can be considered as artistic.
    Which is as ridiculous as it is unfounded.

    My feelings are that the best use of all of these pathetic excuses for cameras is landfill.
     
  3. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    Real Name:
    BB
    :rofl: David, I had a feeling you'd have strong feelings!

    Believe it or not - yes, you probably will believe it, my first Photo 101 Intro to Photography Course in college/university where we either made the cut or didn't to get into the BFA Photo degree program had us start out with what was then a $10.00 plastic Diana camera. One of my favorite photographs (OK only one was really good) was done with that camera. I think they had us use it to disarm us and for some people in particular I think it was a very helpful exercise. We had to develop the film and print... Maybe it was a fad at the time, I don't know this was back in the mid 1970s. My guess is that some of the students were so enamored of their cameras that the department felt it would help to free everyone up and bring everyone down to one level for the purpose of using their eye, not their equipment. The exercise probably only lasted a few weeks, but I felt it was helpful then.
     
  4. soundimageplus

    soundimageplus SC Top Veteran S.C. Charter Member

    578
    Jul 6, 2010
    I can see that in the circumstances that you describe that there might be a purpose, but I see a danger of people being put off photography for ever because of the results!

    Whenever I see enthusiastic reviews of these cameras I wonder how many of people who love them would consider putting a knife through their hi-speakers, or gluing a polythene sheet onto the screen
    of the TV's, since to me that's the equivalent of using one of these.

    If people want to produce images like that then Photoshop is full of filters that let you achieve the same effect, or you could bury a lens in the garden.
     
  5. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
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    BB
    Perhaps it is an acquired taste? :biggrin: You are making me laugh.

    I think really it's a niche market kind of thing.
     
  6. sonomichele

    sonomichele SC Regular S.C. Charter Member

    43
    Jul 6, 2010
    Texas
    David, tell us what you really think, don't hold back! But I tend to agree, I realize what people are trying to do but I don't find it interesting.

    But if you bury any Leica lenses in your garden, would you please send a map?

    Michael
     
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  7. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    Real Name:
    BB
    A map with a nice big X marks the spot!:thumbup:
     
  8. Herman

    Herman The Image Stimulator S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 11, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Real Name:
    Herman
    Lomopics taken with G1 plus 14-45

    Just a walk and shoot from the hip.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Herman

    Herman The Image Stimulator S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 11, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Real Name:
    Herman
    Another Lomopic

    [​IMG]

    G1 plus 14-45.
     
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  10. Archiver

    Archiver SC Top Veteran S.C. Charter Member

    610
    Jul 11, 2010
    Melbourne, Australia
    The classic Lomo aesthetic is to shoot with film and cross process, with little regard for composition, focus or shutter speed. This can produce spontaneous images that have a certain character or quirkiness that properly framed and technically good photographs might not have. At best they are fun and spontaneous abstractions of life. At worst they are mush. Daido Moriyama's photography bears some similarity to the Lomo look, albeit in black and white form. Mind you, Moriyama definitely frames and shoots, rather than just running and gunning.

    I certainly agree with many of the 'ten rules' of Lomography. I carry a camera everywhere, I make photography a part of my life. I often shoot from the hip, although I do this less and less as I habitually frame for work purposes. Although I do like to know what I'm shooting!
     
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  11. Jon Kobeck

    Jon Kobeck New to SC S.C. Charter Member

    3
    Aug 1, 2010
    NYC
    I shoot with Holgas, Dianas, and various film cameras all the time, As a fine art photographer I appreciate the uniqueness of these cameras in their abilities to communicate the artists vision. I have been to museums and galleries all over the world that have images taken with plastic toy cameras hanging in them. It has nothing to do with the technology. By the way, I also shoot with alternative cameras(digital).
     
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  12. Jon Kobeck

    Jon Kobeck New to SC S.C. Charter Member

    3
    Aug 1, 2010
    NYC
    I apologize, but your comments re toy cameras are ridiculous and make you to appear to be a Neanderthal.
    I get the impression that you may be the Archie Bunker of photography.
    Your comments are insulting and ignorant.
    I suggest you visit some museums and galleries
     
  13. soundimageplus

    soundimageplus SC Top Veteran S.C. Charter Member

    578
    Jul 6, 2010
    OK. Convince me. Instead of just posting personal insults show me some images to demonstrate how wrong I am.
    I would be fascinated to see the "uniqueness of these cameras in their abilities to communicate the artists vision"
     
  14. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    Real Name:
    BB
    I can see why some might feel offended by the kind of "whatever goes" nature of the initial lomography introduction provided by the site Herman gave us the link to because the concept does rather fly in the face of traditional photography - both photojournalism and fine art photography. My own background is fine art photography, not as in photographing fine art but hopefully using the camera as a means to an end for achieving such. This was too many years ago, but I still have many of those same deep feelings I had then about why I personally still want to take photographs. That said, I also appreciate and would love to have the ability to explore and do well at other types of photography.

    I think that if people can enjoy and use different methods to achieve their own goals that I say more power to them. I have to admit that on Aperture 3, I have a couple of "presets" and some are "Holga" and "Lomography" types. I do sometimes use them and then change the effects to bring the image more in line to what I feel looks good. Right now I am such a novice at digital that it is a learning curve that has its ups and downs... Sometimes there are some really good ups and then I hit the downside again.

    I guess what I'm trying to get at is that if one is choosing to look through their own "lens" as a means to an end and that they chose to experiment with lomography and enjoy it that it's OK with me. My fine art background is quite traditional and I am not generally a big fan of conceptual art nor "contemporary" art (what is "contemporary" these days?) but I still look and decide if I like something as I go along. So if you were in New York City and said "Let's go to one of the art museums!" I would generally choose The Metropolitan or The Frick, rather than MOMA...unless of course MOMA had the Cartier-Bresson exhibit going on.:wink:

    Different strokes for different folks and if people are encouraged to express themselves and enjoy it, I think that's great. I have two close friends who are extremely involved in the contemporary art world and are involved with books and television programs relating to it...they were also very big supporters of Merce Cunnigham and still support his company and 99% of the time, I just don't get it...but we still enjoy ourselves together, and they now know not to invite me to a Merce Cunningham concert.:biggrin:
     
  15. soundimageplus

    soundimageplus SC Top Veteran S.C. Charter Member

    578
    Jul 6, 2010
    Your point is well made that the effects can be duplicated in software. That at least shows some intent, some thought and a creative decision.

    Choosing a poor camera doesn't an artist make. Unfortunately some of the proponents of the "lomography philosophy" seem to believe that it does, as if by using poor equipment and a "serendipity effect" you are automatically transforming the mundane into the special. I find this view without substance and also insulting to photographers and photography.
    I have no problem with people using the cameras or techniques, but to then attempt to hoodwink the gullible by pronouncing this stuff "art" is clearly ridiculous.

    A bit like saying if we had the right chisel we could all be Michaelangelo.
     
  16. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    Real Name:
    BB
    No, I don't think choosing a poor camera makes an artist. However, I think someone with a good eye can use a poor camera and achieve worth while results. Now when it comes to sculpture, I don't care if I had the best chisel in the world - I would never achieve anything remotely artistic, that's for sure.

    I think what I'm trying to say is that there are different opinions about what "art" is and that throughout history we have seen so many different incarnations in painting alone...so I suppose it is inevitable that we'd see photography as a means to an end change, too. Now that doesn't mean I have to like what someone produces...just as they wouldn't particularly like any of my photographs, and so on.

    As I said, I'm more of a traditionalist but, for example, I can appreciate Dali's paintings because I can see his amazing technical brilliance even though I do not like 99% of his subject matter...but once I saw his Crucifixion (Corpus Hypercubus) painting in real life, I was blown away. Thus, I can see beyond my dislike of his melting watches in Persistence of Memory.:wink:

    It's easy to allow our emotions to get away from us regarding things we love.

    Lomography is, I am sure, both a fun pursuit for many and a means to an artistic end for others.

    As for me, I'm just trying to find my way back into photography and am interested in see what other people find interesting and enjoyable. Photography itself offers different things to us all.
     
  17. soundimageplus

    soundimageplus SC Top Veteran S.C. Charter Member

    578
    Jul 6, 2010
    I don't disagree with a word that you wrote, and I really do think that we are both saying the same thing.

    My argument is that (some) people promote an idea that somehow the mere use of these cameras adds an "artistic" dimension to the process of picture taking. That the poor quality of the image itself is in some sense an "artistic" statement. And also the very fact that they are using poor equipment somehow confers "artistic" status on the photographers who use them.

    I have always felt the need to challenge these notions very strongly and the attitudes they seem to breed. I believe that things like "lomography" encourage laziness and demean the process of photography itself. They trivialise it, lower its standards, make it look silly and marginal to non-photographers and generally present an image of photography as art, if such a thing exists, as pretentious, unattractive, and something to be laughed at and derided rather than something that is inspirational and relevant to peoples lives.

    I firmly believe that by allowing these ideas and practices to go unquestioned allows them to gain ground and diminishes the thing that we all love. If I'm guilty of anything then I'm guilty of trying to promote the cause of photography as one of the best and most easily available recording instruments of social history and the world around us that we have. To see photography cheapened and degraded, offends me deeply and I feel compelled to object whenever I see it happening.
     
  18. Alessio Coghe

    Alessio Coghe SC Regular

    33
    Aug 20, 2010
    Mexico City
    "The single most important component
    of a camera is the twelve inches behind it." Ansel Adams
     
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  19. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    Real Name:
    BB
    Great quote worth remembering, Alessio! Thank you!