I’m glad that most of the audience tonight is young enough...
To remember the 80’s.
Let’s go back to the year of tapes, the walkman and Atari
The world was split into two sides, the good guys and the bad guys. Although, I still don’t know which was which...
We captured our memories in groups of 24 or 36 and kept them in albums and shoeboxes. We didn’t have the need to check how good the picture was just one second after it was taken...
... and we even had the patience to wait to finish a roll, drop it off, wait some more days (or just an hour if you were lucky) and pray that you ended up with some good pictures. The most impatience people had polaroids!
That was the magic of analog photography that is now lost and drowned in a world were we take billions of pictures every day, everywhere. We email them, share them, post them, like them, tag them and take all of that for granted.
But what if I would tell you that there is a group of crazy people trying to keep the magic of analog photography alive?
That is Lomography. Or at least, that’s part of it.
In the early 1990’s, a group of austrian students with crazy hair styles travelled to Czechoslovakia and ...
...discovered the Lomo Kompact Automat, a small enigmatic russian camera.
This was a cheap replica of a japanese designed camera that the russians managed to produce by the millions with very low costs.
So this students started playing with the camera and discovered how somehow the plastic and economic construction of the camera lead to colourful and blurry but interesting pictures.
So, after a series of international art exhibitions, they signed an agreement to become distributors of this camera outside the Soviet Union. The concept of using analog photography as an artistic expression instrument is not new, but in a world where everything seems to have a camera attached to it, it is more like a resistance movement.
Let me present you one of the most popular lomography cameras: the Diana F+.
And some of the pictures I took when I travelled from Toronto to Ottawa in august 2011.
Here is one of my favourites: the Oktomat. This one has eight lenses and you will get eight shots in just one picture. The best of it all: they are sequenced, 2 seconds apart from the first one to the last one!
It is like having a small video camera in your pocket. I love the effects you can create just by shooting moving objects. These were taken in Toronto during summer 2011.
After giving the oktomat to a friend as a present, I got myself the Action Sampler. The concept is similar to the oktomat but with just for shots per frame. This one also has a flash, which makes it easier to take pictures of drunk friends in the night.
And here are the results. The guy jumping in front of the Parliament Hill in Ottawa is me!
I always loved Polaroids, and I remember asking Santa so many times that I wanted one. Knowing that they’re still alive, I couldn’t help but getting one.
The simple fact of having the pictures processed in front of your very eyes is nothing less than magic to me.
After all, we do this just to have some fun out of photography. So the Lomography movement came up with a mantra: Don’t think, just shoot. And you might end up with a picture of a nose like this.
They also created “The 10 golden rules of Lomography”:
Take your camera wherever you go
Use it any time - day and night
Lomography is not an interference in your life, but part of it.
Try the shot from the hip
Approach the objects of your lomographic desire as close as possible
You don’t have to know beforehand what you captured on film
And the most important one: Don’t worry about any rules
When I was a kid I used to think that the future was going to be very technological, with computers everywhere and spaceships around us all the time...
Now I tend more to think that the future is analog. Thank you!