THE GREAT LOMOGRAPHY MYSTERY


The Blender Gallery in Sydney is the Australian agent for Lomography. When I first heard about the new venture I thought it a strange move for a gallery, that has built a reputation for showing some of the best music photography from around the world. Shows over the past year or so have featured the Rolling Stones and The Beatles, with the next show being Forty years of Ziggy Stardust and David Bowie.

And to be honest the connection still seems tenuous. But at least Blender labels the Lomography Shop  as the Analogue Shoot Shop. The name doesn’t matter as the usual range of Diana, Lubitel, Holga, Sprocket Rocket and Horizon cameras feature along with a quirky range of films. All of them if the evidence of dozens of images posted on the various web sites is any guide, capable of the most atrocious quality images.

The mystery to me is just what is the attraction of these less than stellar performers. I have to confess to owning (and occasionally using) a Lubitel and having taken interesting photographs with it. I am also something of a 110 junkie, and Lomography have just released a new 110 camera, and more importantly, 110 film. So I appreciate the efforts to keep film and oddball cameras alive.

I just don’t really understand the attraction of shooting whole rolls of rejects. Most of the photographs look like the discarded frames one shoots at the start of a 35mm roll.

Admittedly there are some that are well thought out, well composed and well exposed but by and large these get lost in the dross that people post.

Also the pricing of the cameras seems a trifle excessive. Originally, these were bargain store items that the original manufacturers charged a couple of bucks for. Or gave away as a promotional item.

I can see that Lomography does tend to put a lot of fun and some creativity back into photography. It is as far away from pixel peeping and stressing over the latest sensor or gizmo being crammed into cameras that are becoming more like appliances than creative tools, as it is possible to get. And that may be the only justification needed for the continuance and success of Lomography.

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