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Lomography Makes Analogue Photography a Fashion Accessory

05.20.10   |   Posted in: Art & Design   |   By: Nils de Mol van Otterloo
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I’m not sure exactly when aesthetics became linked to style which in turn became linked to commerce, but a good example of this is the resurgence of analogue photography. In the late Nineties it was rumored that film would eventually go the way of the Dodo. Probably the one company that is working the hardest to bring analogue back to the mainstream is Lomography. This company, nominally a camera store with locations in nearly every major city (they recently opened in Los Angeles) is keeping their end up for lovers of film everywhere, with a focus on cheap plastic Medium Format Cameras Such as the Diana and Holga, as well as Russian cameras like the venerable Lomo. I would argue that their biggest success has been at selling analogue photography as a lifestyle product.

Lomography has a “code of conduct” which it purveys to its customers:

1. Take your camera everywhere you go
2. Use it any time – day and night
3. Lomography is not an interference in your life, but part of it
4. Try the shot from the hip
5. Approach the objects of your lomographic desire as close as possible
6. Don’t think
7. Be fast
8. You don’t have to know beforehand what you captured on film
9. Afterwards either
10. Don’t worry about any rules

I got involved with Lomography by accident while on a trip to Holland. I had seen an interesting Photo Exhibit at a museum and my curiosity was peaked. Until this point I had never been excited by photography, but I had a week to myself in Amsterdam and I found myself at a store that sold Lomography products (along with spray paint, skate boards and other accoutrements of the street culture). The things that I like most about the analogue camera devolution are the infinite variety of styles of images and the relative ease that even amateur shutter-bugs can start making really stunning pictures. I found that I started to look at light in new ways, and with each picture I took new ideas for how to work became apparent to me.

Analogue photography has a great deal to offer over digital, especially when you consider that instant “vintage quality” of film. There’s a certain “creaminess” that digital pictures can’t capture. Making the switch to analogue will instantly open you to an entirely new world of creation. (Plus, there’s something badass about walking down the street with a vintage top-down view-finder camera like a Seagull).

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