In a world of Instagram and Facebook, film photography has taken a major nosedive. Look no further than the once-almighty Kodak’s financial difficulties to see how far analogue photography has truly fallen.Which is why the phenomenon of Lomography has been so surprising. For the uninitiated, Lomography derives from a kind of Russian camera called the Lomo LC-A. Due to varying and ever-changing light leaks, lo-fi grain, blurring, and a high level of colour saturation, Lomograph images develop surprisingly similarly to an Instagram-filtered or Photoshopped image.
The major difference is that a photographer using a Lomo LC-A has no idea how the picture will turn out beforehand, which is what makes each shot so surprising and fun.
But it’s more than just a camera that develops visually-arresting images — Lomography has become a hobby in-and-of itself. There are now Lomograph exhibitions all around the world, Lomography-brand stores located everywhere from Chicago to Japan, and a healthy and growing online community where Lomography fans can upload their analogue images and share digitally with others.
The Lomography brand emerged in the early 1990s when a group of friends discovered a small Russian camera on a school trip to Vienna, Austria. The camera, a Lomo Kompakt Automat, produced images that were vibrant with vignettes framing each shot. After developing the pictures, friends and family began requesting cameras of their own, and slowly a business venture grew.
Now the Lomography website and stores sell over 34 variations on the Lomo cameras and nine different types of film, not to mention device and fashion accessories. The cameras themselves retail for anywhere between $35 and $399 (the original Lomo LC-A+ cameras are in the $300+ range), and the film costs on average between $7 and $20.
It has zone focusing, auto-exposure, and the original multi-coated lens that makes the colours so vivid.
The Diana Mini camera allows users to take a half-frame shot, which means you get 72 shots instead of the usual 36.
The Diana Baby camera is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, and can even shoot nighttime and multiple exposure shots.
La Sardina is a wide-angle camera that allows you to shoot as many multiple exposures as you'd like.
To shoot the Supersampler, you have to pull a ripcord (seriously). It's especially great for action shots.
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