Saturday, May 22, 2010


This picture is a mistake. A classic example of a shutter release occurring while a camera is pointed in a more-or-less random direction.

I like it.

Along with the motion blur and random "subject" framing, the picture also exhibits several symptoms of having been taken with a cheap camera. A very cheap camera.

I like it.

In fact, I rather wish I had made the image deliberately.

There are probably many "serious" photographers that might characteristic that as possibly symptomatic of a frontal lobotomy.

Hence the "lobotography" of this post's title.

Which is also a bit of a pun on "Lomography" - a photographic culture of folks that enjoy pictures of this ilk.
  • They thrive on avoiding traditional "good image quality" by using "flawed" cameras, "flawed" procedures, and "flawed" processes.
  • They thrill to happy "accidents" - which mostly wouldn't happen if they didn't give them the opportunity to happen, hence are not entirely "accidental.
  • They eschew digital and idolize analogue.
Hurrah! Hurrah! Huh?

I don't knock film - I took pictures on film for over four decades. I still consider it something I might do again now and then, though it doesn't seem to happen and several of my film cameras have unfinished rolls in them of uncertain age.

The sad truth is that for all the joy that could be gotten from all the various fans of eccentric freestyle imagery enjoying each other and each other's work, there are some extremists & cultists - die-hard film fans mostly - who demonize the "others" who aren't part of their cult.

Or maybe that isn't it at all? Lomography is actually a commercial trademark, apparently owned by a commercial operation associated with, a very commercial operation selling - guess what - film and film cameras!

They also heavily promote a kind alternative style of photography on the web - illustrated with images in digital format, even if originally taken with a film camera - and with several wonderful books - illustrated with images that undoubtedly passed through digital format in the production process, even if originally taken with a film camera.

So I am inclined to take their analogue sloganeering as a self-serving rear-guard action against the millions (billions?) of cell phone cameras and cheap digital cameras that can more easily and much more cheaply provide the multitudes with access to the fun and esthetic delights of this sort of alternative photography.

I find that boring.

What would be really cool would be if someone would provide some lobotographic digital cameras and accessories commercially.

Not that I still wouldn't enjoy owning and occasionally using some of the Lomography commercial products.

And we badly need a really good umbrella term that goes beyond the narrowness of Lomography. "Lobotography" only has a couple of prior google search hits, which don't seem to have commercial restrictions, so I would be happy to see it become a public domain term.

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