Impacts of Lomography

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Impact of Lomography

Lomography is a kind of snapshot photography developed during the post-Cold War era, and it is also “a coinage and a new trend in photography, which is usually defined as a photograph which is taken spontaneously and quickly, more often without artistic or journalistic intent” (Chen para.1). In fact, lomography originally required the deliberately low-fidelity and inexpensively constructed cameras. However, with the highly developed digital cameras and the digital single lense reflex cameras available, the growing rate of people who are attracted to lomography is surprisingly high (Lomography Society International, 2009). In this age of digital cameras, there is still a huge group of people who are attracted to lomography. As time passed, lomography has been developed into a spirit of snapshot photography and a community for people who enjoy this unpredictable way of taking pictures. Gradually, more and more people start to take lomography as part of their lives. the image editing softwares nowadays, such as Photoshop and PhotoImpact, etc, are capable of turning the regular pictures into the pictures which look exactly like the ones taken by the lomography cameras with a few clicks. It may seem strange for people who don’t fully understand the reasons why the lomographers would choose lomography instead of the digital cameras which create pictures with high-fidelity. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to elaborate on the impact and the significance of lomography nowadays. In order to elaborate on the impact and the significance of lomography, the history and definition of lomography, the similarities to and differences from image editing, and the reasons why people are attracted to lomography will be discussed in the following paragraphs.

Generally speaking, lomography is an international vernacular-photographic movement founded by two Viennese students, Matthias Fiegl and Wolfgang Stranzinger. In the early 1990s they discovered the Lomo Kompakt Automat, a basic auto-exposure 35 mm camera made in Leningrad (St Petersburg) since 1982, and found it ideal for taking uncomposed, spontaneous snapshots, especially in the street and in low light (Albers 101). This kind of lomo camera requires the kinds of cameras which are deliberately low-fidelity and inexpensively constructed. Usually, lomography contains the classical process of developing films. Everything about Lomography started with “a Soviet-era, retro-looking, simple camera, Lomo, or Lomo Kompakt Automat” (Chen 1). When the order from the Soviet vice-minister of Defence I.P. “Komitsky came to assemble an exact copy of the Japanese Cosina CX-2, it was the 40-year old engineer Kholomyansky who took over the task and constructed the LOMO LC-A with his team in just one and a half years” (Lomography Official, LC-A Big Book).

In fact, lomography has not become as popular and well-known until it’s been discovered by two art students in Vienna since 1992. Although this kind of lomo camera was built for the Soviets to take pictures and spy on each other for the government during the Cold War era, it’s become the best kind of camera for the lomographers. After the Cold War ended, a group of Viennese students rediscovered the LC‐A in 1991 on their tour of the Czech Republic. These two art students found this old type of camera in a second-hand store and named it “Lomo camera.”They were amused with the garish and unfocused images (Lomographic Society International, 2009) Because Lomo cameras are easy to carry around and easy to use, people around these two Austrian students started to become addicted to Lomography. Soon, these Lomographers started to form an organization named Lomographic Society. “Lomo” is the abbreviation of “Leningrad Union of Optics and Mechanics” in Russian (Liu para.1). Although the word “lomography” means a type of photography for most of the people, there are a huge group of lomo devotees who thinks of lomography as a life...
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