Care Free Photography!
I have infuriatingly wobbly hands. This is a poor trait in a photographer, and causes me to carry a monopod with me whenever I wish to take photographs. The monopod does solve a lot of my issues, however using this makes me as a photographer more aware of alignment and the rule of thirds, as well as the idea of a perfect photo, although I doubt much of my work could be called perfect. I guess what I’m trying to say is that its pretty sad when a form of art forces you to follow rules that are boring… “line the shot up, focus the lens and make sure you use the rule of thirds”… yeah.
Then, Voilà! Lomography appear on the scene to rescue me from my trauma. When researching into Lomography I found it difficult to find a short but concise written explanation of what Lomography actually is, and so I read on and on, absorbing the “10 golden rules” and interpreting people’s work and comments until I came to the conclusion that…
Lomographers take photographs without prior thought on what the image will look like, or how it should be framed, or even what is really in it. The idea is to take many photos, mostly on analogue cameras although digital cameras work too, as well as giving no real thought to the condition of the camera, for example I have heard from one photographer that the Diana F+ was almost designed to leak light.
So, what you’re saying is, snap away without a care and eventually you’ll get some cool shots. Cool!
I notice however, there is a list of rules on the Lomography website. I consider them relevant, one rule more than the rest, and so I shall list them!
- Take your camera everywhere you go (making a conscious effort to drag your camera around with you everywhere, until it becomes unconscious, because you know that the one time you don’t have your camera, will be the one time you see Gramsci, roaming Hampstead Heath, looking for the meat).
- Use your camera any-time, day or night (I suppose a flash would help in that situation, but seriously, it’s true. Most of my photographs are taken from drunken nights out on the town, from when I was young, and great photos happen at both these times and during the boring hours of the day).
- Lomography is not an interference in your life, but a part of it (Love it! Love Lomography or you will find it gets in the way, don’t do it just to be cool! I think this rule is a polite way of saying, no one is impressed by pretension).
- Try to shoot from the hip (Lomography is all about not framing the shot, so don’t give yourself the temptation, the viewfinder calls to the eye, tempting, luring, and so the best way to avoid it – hold it near your groin, or if you’re a little older, rest it on your belly).
- Approach the objects of your Lomographic desire as close as possible (up close and personal, a necessity for the short-sighted like myself, however Lomographers advise it also, and I can see why. The blurry images, the light leaks and the massive uncertainty in you contrast makes it pretty important to get close to the thing you want to shoot).
- Don’t think (sounds easy, surprisingly difficult. I take this rule to mean don’t get tied down by convention or suffer from a need to try to fit the rule of thirds into your work. Be free, my friends).
- Be fast (The world moves fast, so don’t try to catch up with it, just shoot it as it goes past, after all, I think very few people know what’s going on any more, and the few that do need to change into a pair of multi coloured shorts, don the pair of unwieldy sunglasses, incite a breach of the peace and go outside.
- You don’t have to know beforehand what you captured on film (Don’t worry, be happy. It doesn’t matter what you think you’ve got, sometimes you won’t have it, and sometimes when you’ve got nothing, you’ll have something awesome, so just do it).
- Afterwards either (like I said, have fun doing it because it doesn’t matter what you’ve got, it’ll still make you remember that time that you found a human tooth down on Delancey).
- Don’t worry about any rules (Laws are meant to be broken, and so take some speed and photos. Or it could just mean that Lomography is not a job, it is something enjoyable to be done and you should find it enjoyable!).
So, there are the rules, which I got from the Lomography Website which by the way, has a bunch of really awesome Lomographs.
Here is an image that I kinda like, that was taken admittedly on a digital camera, but kinda sticks to the Lomography Ethos.
And a second image for your viewing pleasure, one not taken by me admittedly, but by a random crazy Lomographer I met on a beach!
And finally, because I have been quoting various song lyrics throughout my writing this post, and because the sun it out, I leave on a song.