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Lomography (more rarely also Lomography ) describes an artistic practice that is dedicated to creative and experimental snapshot photography. Most of the cameras and films are with the practice of Lomography Lomography connected. There are also often associated other cameras with the term, such as from Hong Kong originating Holga . Blurred photos are characteristic of Lomography.

The term Lomography is a word in the case of the brand name of the Soviet camera Lomo LC-A and the term photography. In the countries of the Eastern Bloc, these cameras, which had been produced since 1983, were not particularly popular because of their unreliability and poor image quality, although it was the only viewfinder camera with interior light measurement available. In the case of Lomography, however, the technical deficiencies are expressly desired.


The history of Lomography is closely related to the corporate history of Lomography. In 1991 a group of Viennese students discovered a small Soviet- made camera in Prague , the Lomo LC-A . After the fall of the Wall, the demand for the Lomos fell into the abyss, and the students contacted the then Vice-Mayor of St. Petersburg, Vladimir Putin, in order to obtain exclusive marketing rights. The students persuaded the Russian state to hand over the entire production of the Lomo to them.

The cheap construction of the camera resulted in effects such as strong vignetting and a certain blurring that quickly found its first followers and fans. The students began to bring more and more cameras from the former Eastern Bloc to Austria in order to sell them there. In 1992 the Lomographic Society International was created, under whose name the "10 Golden Rules of Lomography", a kind of guide on how to create Lomographic images, was later published. These include, for example, that you should always carry the camera with you, just go for it or take photos from your hip. In 1992 they started holding the first exhibitions of Lomographies.

“The term [Lomography] was derived from the Eastern Bloc photo camera Lomo, a rudimentary device that shoots rudimentary images. While in the 1990s a global megatrend was developing around digital photography, which enabled error-free and non-stop photography, creative people stepped on the brakes and returned to rustic cameras. Lomographers prefer the shaky to automatic image enhancement. The radical opposition gave rise to a business area for which new products are constantly being created. "

- Paolo Tumminelli (design professor at the Cologne University of Applied Sciences) : Handelsblatt print: No. 223 of Nov. 18, 2009, page 60


A cross developed image with a Lomo LC-A; also note the strong vignetting

A defining characteristic of Lomography is that it plays with not being technically mature. This is mainly achieved by using cameras with poor lenses with a lot of vignetting or blurring. Furthermore, the Lomographic Society International itself offers some camera models under the brand name Lomography , which for example have a fisheye lens or several lenses arranged side by side. Many cameras also have no way of regulating aperture, focus or shutter speed, which means that control over the image and the success of such an image is left to chance and not to the experience of the photographer.

When creating a lomography, the photographer should n't concentrate too much on the composition or on the technical aspects, but should just start shooting. Blurring, a shaky picture or overexposure or underexposure contribute to the artistic effect.

In order to intensify these effects, Lomographers also rely on a certain creative freedom when selecting and developing films. The so-called cross development is particularly popular, i.e. the development of a slide film in chemicals for negative film or vice versa. This provides particularly strong contrasts and ensures color inversions.

Used cameras

Cameras with only rudimentary settings are mainly used for Lomography. It is often only possible to choose between two apertures (e.g. for photographs in sunny weather and in cloudy weather). A zone system is also usually used for focusing (e.g. with the Lomo LC-A: 0.8 m, 1.5 m, 3 m and infinite).

The film formats used are medium format (e.g. Diana or Holga ), small format (e.g. Lomo LC-A , Lomography Actionsampler, Lomography Fisheye) or pocket film (e.g. Lomography Diana Baby, Lomography Fisheye Baby).

Lomography also sells back panels and dedicated cameras for the Fujifilm Instax instant film, which means that the effects of a Diana F can also be captured on instant film, for example.


As with many forms of art, there are also critics of Lomography who see Lomographs as bad snapshots with no artistic content whatsoever. In many cases, criticism of Lomography is also directed against the manufacturer Lomography, as they sell poorly processed plastic cameras at comparatively high prices. The Lomo LC-A +, which has been slightly modified by Lomography and is now manufactured in China, is sold for around ten times the price that the founders of Lomography should have paid in Prague at the time.

Some photographers also criticize the Lomographic Society International for giving beginners the impression that all you have to do is press the shutter button to take great photographs. However, this requires a certain amount of knowledge about how the camera works and what the limits of the camera are. This is especially true for cameras with a fixed aperture and a fixed exposure time, as the photos can be overexposed or underexposed very quickly.

See also

  • LOve & MOtion - a documentary about Lomography
  • Instagram - social network with software for subsequent alienation of photos taken with smartphones

Web links

Commons : Lomography  - collection of images

Individual evidence

  1. Neue Zürcher Zeitung of June 10, 2013, No. 131, p. 43, Wolfgang Ullrich : Instant-Glück mit Instagram - Capturing the sensation of life, About the return of the aura in mobile phone photography.
  2. Frankfurter Rundschau of June 20, 2015, page B1: Perfectly imperfect
  3. Der Tagesspiegel No. 21505 of Nov. 6th, 2012 page 21: Pig lentils and rubber legs // madness has a method: Schlomography is photography with humor and home-made cameras.
  4. The Standard of August 11, 2009, page: 14: Lomo or the continuation of the cult of analogy
  5. WirtschaftsWoche No. 50 of Dec. 8, 2008, page 165: World from the hip
  6. a b History of Lomography on lomography.de
  7. The 10 golden rules
  8. ^ A guide to Lomography
  9. Adam Blenford: Lomos. New take on old classics. In: news.bbc.co.uk. BBC News, September 22, 2007, accessed January 17, 2015 .
  10. Tony Gale: An editorial clarification: My personal stance on Lomography. In: pdexposures.com. Pdexposures, November 25, 2013, accessed January 17, 2015 .