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Lomography: colorful, unpredictable, and brilliant

10-03-2010 11:31 BJT

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What's colorful, unpredictable, and often brilliant? Well, I'll tell you my best answer: lomography.

It's a unique approach to photography, emphasizing casual snapshots and low-cost cameras and processing. So, it's no surprise that it has captured the hearts of many young people around the world, and is gathering quite a crowd among China's youth.

Today, we're going to get in on the excitement as well, as we visit a lomography store in Beijing to see what the commotion is all about.

Who said picture-taking was a technical matter? Not here. One look at these cameras and you'll get an idea of the LOMO culture. Yellow, Red, Blue ... different colors, different models, and different crazy functions.

"Who would've thought of that all the beautiful images here are all taken by cameras like this, which is like toy more than anything else. Well, this type of picture taking is called lomography. It's more than just photography but more like a lifestyle or special culture of its own. All the pictures you get will be full of surprises and I'm here with all the different types of cameras. I'm gonna take one of those for a test run."

Before I get started, I got some expert advice from a few pros. What's there to know about lomography? The story all started here with this small black camera.

So, the Russian spy camera ends up leading an international phenomenon! Perhaps its military history gives people one more reason to own one.

These days, LOMO represents a certain youth culture and attitude towards life. It's about being open-minded towards your surroundings, being expressive, and having fun. The pictures themselves are vastly different from the products of traditional photography. So what's the magic behind this little camera?

The magnificent variety of LOMO pictures appeals to the youth's call for individuality and diversity. Those young people, attracted by LOMO, form a community where they can share their pictures and experiences, joys and sorrows. This small store is one of their bases, The store owner, Huang Huang, started his own lomography store one-and-a-half years ago.

Huang Huang, Owner of Lomography Store, said, "This shop is for anyone who likes LOMO. Whether they have a LOMO camera or not, whether they are a devout LOMO fan or are just playing for fun, this is a platform for all of us to share and communicate. I love LOMO. I've loved it at first sight. The colors of the pictures left an amazing impression. My friends and I all play with this camera, so I asked myself, why not open a LOMO store and set up a base? First, it's very cheap, not as expensive as digital cameras. Also film is affordable. This kind of cameras produces effects that the digital ones can not provide."

Another popular means for lomography fans to communicate and share with each other is through the Internet. Holga Freak is an electronic magazine made and published by a group in China that favors the Holga brand of LOMO camera.

Liang Du, Publisher of "hOLGA Freak". said, "Each LOMO camera has its own temper. Unlike the traditional camera, LOMO cameras will exaggerate the features of the objects. It can exaggerate, or it will also make mistakes sometimes, creating unexpected results. So it is very dramatic and emotional. It makes me feel like a magician with amazing powers."

The enthusiastic group also invited me for a brief journey to a Hutong nearby, the favorite shooting locale of local LOMO advocates. Just like the lomography motto goes: "Don't Think, Just Shoot," all the beautiful sparkles can turn a happy moment into a lasting memory.

Editor:Zhang Pengfei |Source: CNTV.CN

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