I was recently very excited to open a present and discover this little lady nestled inside…

Diana Mini Lomo

Diana Mini Lomo

And as a result, I was introduced to the world of lomography.

Rumour has it, it all began in the early 1990s when two students in Vienna happened across the Lomo Kompakt Automat. They had a bit of a play with it and were impressed with the results – vibrant colours, deep saturation and vignettes that framed the shot. Effects (sometimes caused by flaws in the camera, like sticky mechanisms and light leaks), all added to the artistic effect and fitted with their ‘shoot from the hip’ style. They soon negotiated worldwide distribution rights and lomography was born.

Now, apparently there are 10 Golden Rules to lomography, which we tried to follow on our first outing with Diana, which took us to Hawaii and San Francisco (and somewhat reluctantly; back to London).

Rule 1: Take your camera everywhere you go – check.

D&M Liquors, SF, Mini Diana

D&M Liquors, SF, Mini Diana

Rule 2. Use it any time, day and night – check

San Francisco, Diana Mini

San Francisco, Diana Mini

Rule 3. Lomography is not an interference in your life, but part of it (even when you get back from your holiday and return to normal life) – check!

Putney, Diana Mini

Putney, Diana Mini

Rule 4. Try the shot from the hip. What, as in actually hold my camera down by my hip and take a picture? Not even look through the viewfinder? When I’m shooting on film? I think I might be a bit risk-averse for this lomography lark. Here’s a picture of a palm tree instead!

Palm tree, Maui, Hawaii, Diana Mini

Palm tree, Maui, Hawaii, Diana Mini

5. Approach objects of your lomographic desire as closely as possible – check, even if it frightens inanimate objects!

Carousel horse in SF, Diana Mini

Carousel horse in SF, Diana Mini

6. Don’t think. (William Firebrace.) Just drink! (Design geek.)

Apple martini at i'o, Maui, Hawaii, Diana Mini

Apple martini at i'o, Maui, Hawaii, Diana Mini

7. Be fast. (Quick, before the island disappears from view!)

Alcatraz, SF, Diana Mini

Alcatraz, SF, Diana Mini

8. You don’t have to know what happened beforehand what you captured on film. I was really upset about this picture when I took it because the winding mechanism got stuck and I though it was ruined, but it turned out to be one of the best pictures we took on the trip.

SFMOMA, Diana Mini

SFMOMA, Diana Mini

9. Afterwards either. It took me ages to work out what this one was!

Wine glasses in Sonoma, SF, (I think!), Diana Mini

Wine glasses in Sonoma, SF, (I think!), Diana Mini

10. Don’t worry about any rules – thank goodness for that!

Overhead cables in SF, Diana Mini

Overhead cables in SF, Diana Mini

I’ve had a lot of fun getting to know Diana mini and look forward to many happy outings with her in the future. I also think these rules are a great way to shake up your photography – and perhaps even your other creative endeavours. Now just got to try that shot from the hip…

Further reading for the especially geeky:

  • http://everythinglomo.blogspot.com/
  • http://www.crunchgear.com/2010/10/27/lomography-sprocket-rocket-is-a-micro-sized-35mm-lomo-camera/
  • http://www.chinashopmag.com/2010/10/charmed-by-lomography/
  • http://www.versluis.com/2010/09/the-lomography-spinner-360/