Unusable lomo

The cult with the "little blacks" booming even after 9 years and still hip thanks to clever online features

The mir is sunk in the pacific, leningrad has been in hiding for a while st. Petersburg, the socialist state world has passed away 10 years ago.

Here and there relics from that time are still passed around, but nobody is really interested in the kitsch and stuff of ex-soviet provenance any more. With one exception: the 35mm camera "lomo compact" it has around 500.000 people around the world. What happens when you shoot with the "little black" are not photographs, but lomographs. This use of words is not only a reminiscence of the device, but indicates a stylistic dissidence. One of the reasons for the continuing boom are the original online services on lomo.Com

Unusable lomo

the lomo compact

Kneeling down, squinting one eye, pressing the other to the viewfinder, is verpont among lomographers. Their credo is the snapshot – in its purest form. Blurred, overexposed and underexposed images are the hallmark of an art movement that emerged in austria a few years ago. Three austrian students in leningrad stumble upon an inconspicuous camera named "lomo compact", which was manufactured in the optical-mechanical factories there. Enthusiastic about the first steps with the then about 10 mark cheap box, some wanted to snap around also with a lomo. In the meantime, according to the lomographic society in vienna, there are half a million people who can’t resist taking pictures from their hoofs. Lomography experienced its first boom in 1995 and ’96. All kinds of celebrities "outed" themselves at that time as lomo snapshots. Boris becker, ex-talking head david byrne and – how could it be otherwise – the finnish schrag rockers leningrad cowboys, thought it appropriate with the "little blacks" to pose.

For the spreading however not the rough names provided, but the movement character of the lomographie. The so-called lomo embassies were established in most european countries, starting from austria. These self-proclaimed "official agencies" organized happenings and exhibitions, where lomography was introduced to a wider audience. The "headquarters" in vienna provides for the supply with the cameras. 1994 should be the production of the "lomo compact" the company was forced to discontinue the production of lomo compacts, as the company focused on more lucrative business in the field of military technology. The demand for the low-tech camera was so great, however, that the lomographic society in vienna, in order to guarantee sufficient sales, promptly took over the exclusive rights.

Unusable lomo

Lomography of the centre pompidou

Since the lomo arrived in western europe, the images are also distributed electronically. One click in a search engine is enough to discover the numerous, z.T. To view online exhibitions that were created years ago. Now, the lomographic society has launched an online offensive and significantly lowered the barrier to putting lomographs on the web. On lomo.Com, a comprehensive range of online features can now be found. For amira bibawy, spokesperson for the lomographic society, this development is a clear consequence of the lomo boom:

"Earlier it was possible to get in touch with the lomographers through the mail and at events. With the growing community also another communication platform became necessary. Our people use analog cameras, but they spend a lot of time on the internet. The lomolab is therefore the logical service that resulted for us from this connection."

In addition to information about events, online shopping of lomo products such as the elf mini night vision device, the services of the lomolab stand out in particular. If you had to have your lomo films developed in a specialized shop, which often led to disputes about the poor quality of the prints from the point of view of the experts, you can now use lomo’s own laboratory. Put the films you’ve snapped through into the appropriate mailing bag – and off you go!. For about 20 marks you get, in addition to the paper prints in the lomotypical 7 x 10 cm format, a cd with all the pictures as dtp-ready jpegs. But that’s not all: even before the pictures are delivered offline by the letter carrier, you receive an e-mail with a link to a password-protected website where your own pictures are on display. Within a few minutes and with two or three mouse clicks, one can create a homepage from there and present a selection of pictures on the worldwide web. (homepage of the author) the offer is used, measured at the half million lomographinnen, however, still rather sparingly.

Unusable lomo

Lomography, paris

Although old first-generation lomo enthusiasts are somewhat skeptical about online services, this is not an obstacle to further expansion into virtual worlds, says amira bibawy. "From the very beginning we have taken a clear position that there is no place for cultural fundamentalism in lomo! Those who criticized commercial activities in the cultural sphere already said goodbye in 1995", the spokeswoman of the lomographic society clearly states to telepolis. The reason for the separation of the lomo fundamentalists was the increase of camera prices due to production problems in russia.

The fact that there is a difference of opinion about snapshots and the whole shebang is not only evident from the example of commercialization. From a professional point of view, most of the lomo pictures in no way meet the minimum standards of classical photographic theory. Therefore the attitude of professional photographers with "love or hate" to describe it, according to amira bibawy, and goes on to say, "some of them have discovered lomography for their free time or professional use, or have even participated in lomo projects. Others, on the other hand, believe they have to distance themselves intensively from it." despite this rejection by some professionals, lomography has spread far beyond the circle of users. For example, in the aesthetics of advertising photography of the 90s. Or as amira bibawy puts it, "in the meantime, lomodesign and the cropped and blurred lomobile language are perceived with an independent artistic profile."

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