Just started to process all the photos from this summer’s Barcelona trip where I was speaking at the OFFF design conference. Unfortunately, my third Lomo LCA has broken so I lost half the shots (the film was not advancing properly half of the time). If you’re not familiar with the Lomo LCA, it’s a small Russian-made camera famous for it’s lofi vibe and heavy color saturation. It also has this really cool vignette effect that sort of pulls all the attention to the center of the photo. But as my three dead cameras will atest, they are very temperamental and prone to breakage. I treat all my equipment with almost obsessive care, yet these still fell victim to their own shoddy construction. This wouldn’t be such a big deal, they use to be only $99 a pop. But since they gained popularity and became a cult favorite around the turn of the century, Lomo has jacked up the price to $250 usd. In a side note, I owe my name in part to this camera and French designer Arnaud Mercier. Arnaud taught me a lot about photography and first suggested that I try the LCA with Fuji’s “ISO50” speed slide film, hence the moniker. After all that talk of the Lomo, I have to admit, the image above was not taken with it. This is a digital photo taken with a Nikon D80 or a CP8800 (can’t remember which I was carrying that day). Since I lost the film shots of this scene, I tried to make these digital shots appear as much like the output of the Lomo as possible. You can be the judge of how successful I was (Hint: Not very..). As I get these together and scan the remaining slides I will post them here and to my Flickr.
19 Comments Leave A Comment
Konrad says:October 3, 2007 at 2:39 am
I’m also a big fan of lomo cameras!!! And just like you it’s because of Arnaud’s photos. I remember few years ago it took me a long time to recognize what kind of camera he had been using ;) cheers
and btw great workz man!
Pierce says:October 3, 2007 at 4:40 am
ISO50, you must have to open the lens for half an hour on a sunny day to get an impression out of that.
Look forward to seeing your Flickr collection grow. Just subscribed.
Christian (Élément Kuuda) says:October 3, 2007 at 7:00 pm
I am also a big fan of the Lomo, my ex roommate had one and was about to sell it to me, but he broke it!!! It was a sad day! I experimented a lot with it before the incident and ever since, I’ve been doing a lot of digital photography to simulate the nostalgia of the Lomo. I dont think I’ve done it exactly but it definitely brought me a style and a new way to treat my images. Understanding how the lens of the LCA works.
I think you’ve done a great job in the color treatment, the negative edges gives it a good old style look as well and the halo is well done to. The only thing I would suggest would be to blur the edges of the photo a little bit so that way it would seem to be a cheaper lens.
Scott says:October 3, 2007 at 11:32 pm
thanks, knew I was forgetting something. I will try that.
Joaquim Marquès Nielsen says:October 8, 2007 at 3:22 pm
Hello again Scott!
I didn’t know about the Lomo before reading this post. You truly opened my eyes to this “aspect” of photography. After having seen numerous photos taken with the Lomo, I decided to order one myself from lomography.com! I can’t wait to feel this special camera.
There are very few items that i treasure in my life, but I think that my new camera will be one of them.
Thank you very very much…
Joaquim Marquès Nielsen says:October 9, 2007 at 12:52 am
Hello again Scott
After having read this post, I got curious about the Lomo camera. I didn’t really know about it before, so I started researching a bit and saw some lomographic galleries. From that moment on I was hooked! Yesterday I ordered an LC-A+ RL from lomography.com and I seriously can’t wait to explore the possibilities. The photos just have so much more soul with a Lomo compared to those slick DSLR shots!
You really opened up my eyes to this special camera! Thanks a lot man :D
Scott says:October 9, 2007 at 1:40 am
cool! glad I could pass on the info, I was sure glad when I was made aware of this camera. My first tip would be to use high quality film at slow speeds, really makes those colors pop.
Joaquim Marquès Nielsen says:October 9, 2007 at 4:23 am
Scott –> I will try that out, thanks.
Can’t wait for tip number two, hehe.
adyo says:October 15, 2007 at 1:22 am
my first LCA had big problems with the advancement mechanism. they can definitely be temperamental in that department.
Tim says:October 15, 2007 at 7:08 am
Nice work with the color and vignetting. Personally I could do without the film grooves but it does steer it in a “real film” direction. Love that you reference the Lomo. I have been shooting with its cousin the Holga for a while. The coolest thing about these cameras, in comparison with digital photography, is that they take the aid of technology out of it so you’re back to the very basics of capturing moments. I dig that. I’ve done more with black and white than color, and you can take a look-see at my imagekind gallery: http://putnam.imagekind.com
Did you make your own brushes or find them somewhere? I’m always on the lookout for more brushes. :)
Scott says:October 15, 2007 at 12:04 pm
thanks…. yeah, I don’t usually go so overboard as to do film edge overlays, but though I’d try with this one. As for brushes, I’m not sure what part of this image you’re referring to. But anyways, I don’t use brushes, I just scan in textures and things and then place them in photoshop individually. I had tried brushes in the past but never really got the results I was after, particularly with the large format, print scale stuff.
Tim says:October 15, 2007 at 12:26 pm
Wow – that’s really interesting to know. I’ve been into your work for a few years now and it’s cool to be able to have this dialog. Thanks for the reply.
nEmO says:November 19, 2007 at 4:33 am
hello there! i wanted to know if the HOLGA is it any good in adittion to the LOMO. I m looking for something more affordable for starting.
Scott says:November 19, 2007 at 6:11 am
Sorry nemo, I’ve never used a Holga….I have, however, seen others use them to great effect. They produce similar output to the lomo. To see what the Holga is capable of try a search for “Holga” on Flickr. This one is particularly nice.
Scott says:November 19, 2007 at 6:12 am
Sorry nemo, I’ve never used a Holga….I have, however, seen others use them to great effect. They produce similar output to the lomo, but the vignetting effect seems to be even more pronounced, probably a result of a lesser quality lens. To see what the Holga is capable of try a search for “Holga” on Flickr. This one is particularly nice. And yes, the Holga is considerably less expensive than the ridiculously overpriced Lomo LCA. Both are available from Lomography.com.
nEmO says:November 20, 2007 at 4:52 am
Thanks Scott! I did a little research and came up with some very nice photos.
Dan says:November 21, 2007 at 9:50 am
For those unable to afford the prices from the Lomography site, Ebay tends to have the Cosina CX2, which is the camera that the LCA was based on. The Cosina has gone for less than the LCA recently although Ebay does get fluctuations in prices so it’s a chance thing.
Also the russian cameras ‘Smena 8m’ and the ‘Cosmic’ tend to produce similar effects, with vignetting and light leaks, but go for a more affordable price (around £25 GBP).
My advice is to try everywhere else before settling with the Lomographic website, as the prices are rediculously overpriced as already mentioned.
On topic: I actually like this picture, I’m normally not a fan of ‘faked lomo’ but this has been done a lot more subtle than most, and I’m a sucker for those shades of blue!.