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Lomography, Photography & Me

A few years ago I bought myself a Lomo camera.

The Lomo LC-A+ is a modern designed, not too cheap, and not much sophisticated of a real classic.

The Lomo Company was established under the name Russian Optical and Mechanical Company In 1914, and developed optical equipment for the Russian army. In 1930 the Company produces the first Russian photo camera, and through the years, innovated equipment (for its time) and many different inventions in the optical field. During the cold war the Lomo cameras were used by the Soviet Union for spying needs.

With the collapse of the Soviet Union at the end of 1991, 2 students from Vienna discovered the camera and took it on a trip around Europe. The results were extremely impressive and the rumor went on. The Lomo company started to sell cameras to the western market, and the “Lomo Kompact” was sold like fresh buns. Soon, the Lomographic Society International was established.

A simple manual 35mm camera, a low optical quality fixed 32mm lens with infinite focus, and a fixed aperture. In other words – professionally there is no lower than that. Amazingly, the low quality of the camera, the light leaking inside on the film surface, the lens vignette, and the over saturated colors, actually made this camera in an artistic point of view as heaven.

Ironically, the lack of accuracy in manufacturing became an ideological marketing lever of the camera. “Lomo” became synonym for a unique photography style, unprecised, full of defects. Today in the digital age, there are even photoshop filters that imitate in a very successful way the “unsuccessful” effect of the Lomo lens.

But the interesting technical result that is being made in the photo isn’t the main reason for the revolution that the Lomo camera has made. The main thing is the unique approach for the act of photography itself. The motto “Don’t Think, Just Shoot” is the essence of the ten golden rules that were made by the society, and meant to throw all your inhibitions about photography away. Those ten rules must be the most special thing about this camera, and for me was the main reason to pay almost 300 dollars in order to hold this piece of junk in my hands. The respect, the nostalgia, and the memory of the moments I knew that this is what I want to do. Always. It’s even not my style of photography, but it is what I love. It is my internal connection, and this is my angle for what is around me, and the same angle is the most personal thing I have for this world which I can visually present, with no words.

The same rules relate to the basic approach of love for photography, how to release your inhibitions, get wild, shoot from the hip, shoot always, never think twice, and the most important- says the tenth rule and the most significant- Don’t worry about any rules.

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