Let every shot surprise you with lomography
By Lee Li Ying
When I first excitedly showed off my new Holga camera, my brother gave a derisive snort and remarked, “My DSLR can take much better photos and even if I wanted more interesting effects, I can always edit them in Photoshop.”
My red-and-white plastic Holga may look inferior. Furthermore, with advancements in post-processing, one has the power to remove, add or enhance elements. But where’s the challenge in that?
Ironically, with lomo cameras, with their lack of precision, light leaks, off colours and vignetting effects perfectly encapsulate the beauty of the moment. It’s a form of experimental, creative snapshot photography.
Featuring oversaturated colours, optical distortions and rainbow-coloured subjects, the golden rule is to shoot from the hip and not to worry about the rules. Every photograph is a surprise inked on film: you will only know what you’ve captured after you have developed the images, evoking a sense of the romanticism that I can only relate to old vintage films and Polaroid cameras.
Like me, Meerly Wang, General Manager of Lomography Singapore, fell in love with the spontaneity and accidental creativity of lomography. She gushes, “I was randomly searching for cool stuff online and found Lomography Fisheye No.2 by accident. The bubbly round images immediately captured my attention.
I felt like I was having a fish as a pet, and she is always hungry to view the outside world. I enjoy her twisted, turned, and distorted fisheye-framed wonderland.”
Her enthusiasm for lomography grew after she got a second camera, the LC-A+. She professes, “My heart will always call for images. When it does, I grab my LC-A+ and go trigger happy.”
Truly, the best part about lomography is the endless possibility, limited only by one’s creativity. The lightweight, plastic bodies of most lomography cameras also mean that you can experiment with it everywhere you go. (I’ve brought mine to the Botanical Gardens, Sentosa, dance studios, quaint cafes and even to lectures in school.)
Meerly agrees, “You might be at church, on a train, at work, or in bed with breakfast when the moment comes.”
Another exciting possibility that lomographers indulge in is film-swapping. One lomographer will shoot a roll of film and pass it on to the next, who will reload it into his or her camera and shoot again, creating double exposures: images layered on top of one another. You’ll never know what kind of accidental art you will create with others.
First-timers can head down to the Lomography Gallery Store for guidance. A meeting point for local lomographers and globetrotters to swap films and share photos, the store also serves as a gallery, has a well-stocked inventory of lomo cameras and related accessories, and hosts workshops about analogue photography and lomographic tools and tricks as well.
The workshops start from $10 and are conducted every Sunday, featuring different cameras. They are comprehensive, hands-on and suitable for any age.
Meerly says, “Lomography emphasises the luxury of coincidence, the celebration of the photo itself, and the indulgence of the photographic process.”
She adds, “Lomography is not about technique but emotions. It is all about living free, taking a close look, being open and creative without fear and doubts.
Don’t think, just shoot!”
Lomography Gallery Store, 295 South Bridge Road, #01-01, Singapore 058838. Visit www.lomography.sg