Lomo Life: The Real Analogue Experience

Before the ubiquity of Instagram or Hipstamatic, any amateur photographer hipster worth their weight in film was taking deliciously lo-fi snaps with the cutest (and perhaps most prolific) camera brand – Lomography.

Lomo Life book cover
Lomo Life book cover

The brand, which revived Soviet-era Lomo cameras and harnessed them to its ‘the future is analogue!’ mantra, celebrates its 20th birthday this year, and to mark the occasion has released a lively shiny two-volume book, Lomo Life: The Real Analogue Experience.

Hello sailor!
Hello sailor!

The book tells in glorious visual detail the history of the brand and its cameras, showcasing its vast repertoire of limited edition and one-off cameras.

The Pop camera
The Pop camera

Lomography was started by two students in Vienna, who discovered a small Russian camera called the Lomo Kompakt Automat (LC-A). Seduced by the images it produces – all light-leakage, shadowing and saturated colours – the pair set about distributing the cameras using the brand name Lomography, which soon attracted a rabid cult following.

Lovely coloured ferris wheel image
Lovely coloured ferris wheel image

Volume one of Lomo Life, The Cameras, documents every single camera Logography has ever launched, illustrated with the images they are capable of producing. Never one to miss a canny marketing opportunity, each is also cross-referenced to its accessories.

The foreword to the first book is by graphic novelist and film-maker Neil Gaiman, who claims to have fallen in love with the brand due to his love of ‘imprecision, ‘happy accidents’ and ‘uncertainty’  – core values that make Lomo’s images what they are.

A sunny seaside photograph
A sunny seaside photograph

The second book in the box delineates the story of the Lomography brand. Beautiful photographs show key events in the brand’s history – from the birth of the LomoWall to the opening of the Lomo Gallery Stores to the ongoing Diana World Tour, which gives fans of the Diana model the chance to meet one another and swap tips and images.

The Diana F + camera
The Diana F + camera

The book ends on its sweet, if a little nauseating, ‘ten prophesies for an analogue future.’

A nice Lomo snap of a little dog
A nice Lomo snap of a little dog

And while we may not all agree that if you ‘choose analogue your life will change’; there’s certainly something to be said for the ‘live offline’ advice it rounds-off on.

Lomo Life: The Real Analogue Experience is published on 22 November by Thames & Hudson Ltd priced £28.00

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