The year 2019 has been one of the busiest years Lomography has ever had! The Lomography Community made sure to end the decade with a bang! Here's what we've been up to in the last 365 days: the milestones, accomplishments, and events that happened all for the love of analogue photography.
The Big Year of Film
You asked, and we listened. For years, there's been a growing demand for Lomography to create new film emulsions. The art of formulating new films is no easy task, but with thorough research, dedication and perseverance, we've finally expanded our Lomography film line. After the release of the second edition of the LomoChrome Purple film (a fan favorite!), we introduced the one and only LomoChrome Metropolis film on Kickstarter last July. Being the first new color negative film in the last five years, the LomoChrome Metropolis has its own signature look of muted colors and stark contrasts. In less than 72 hours, the project for the Metropolis was successfully funded! Moreover, the Metropolis received for its innovation and freshness in the contemporary analogue world by Katheryn Thayer from long-time global art and industrial design community, Core77.
Of course, we did not forget our monochrome enthusiasts this year! We released the German cinema-inspired film, the Potsdam Kino in January and launched a refined formula of the Berlin Kino film this October. Here's to more years of film!
Updates on the Art Lens Arsenal
Part of the Lomography's mission is to create and provide analogue tools for visual artists and photo enthusiasts. Keeping this in mind, we introduced a new addition to the Petzval family, the Petzval 55 mm f/1.7 Art Lens, our first art lens specifically designed for full-frame mirrorless camera systems. We also introduced the Lomogon 2.5/32 Art Lens, a wide-angle lens crafted for both analogue and digital SLR cameras. Recreating the iconic Lomo aesthetic has never been easier. Through the Lomogon 2.5/32 Art Lens, Lomographers can now attain soft vignettes with bold colors and contrasts, akin to the classic LC-A look while using their favorite SLR camera!
Camera Crafts: Going Experimental with the LomoMod and Love for La Sardina
It's already part of our routine to update the Lomography camera collection. We've launched a new edition of the Sprocket Rocket, the Red 2.0 https://shop.lomography.com/en/sprocket-rocket-superpop-red. And, with the help from the folks of the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid, La Sardina DIY got its own dressing in the artwork of the famed French artist, Robert Delaunay as seen with the La Sardina Delaunay edition. Last February, we also collaborated with illustrator Ale Giorgini for the primary-colored La Sardina Fitzroy. The month of love also oozed artistic ardour for the La Sardina as more artists customize their own La Sardina DIY. We also launched the seafoam green Diana Mini Picnic edition, inspired by the 1950’s Cadillac.
2019's camera highlight is the LomoMod No.1 -- The culmination of Lomography's desire to test the limits of experimental photography. The LomoMod No.1 is the first DIY cardboard camera to work with a liquid-filled lens, customizable and versatile for any analogue creative.
Strengthening the International Lomography Community
The Lomography Community keeps getting bigger and bigger, day by day. It has become our mission to keep everyone engaged and keep their passionate flame for analogue photography alive. As such, we've awarded the winners of our annual TEN AND ONE photo competition -- the 11 winners were granted a weeklong artist residency in Vienna, Austria from May 4 to 12, 2019. The participants enjoyed their itinerary -- from their LomoWalk at the Kunst Haus Wien, a day trip to Budapest, a guided tour of the Albertina Museum, and an engaging conversation with Auslöser Magazine. Lastly, the artists accomplished their main project to build a LomoWall from pictures taken during their weeklong residency! Almost 3,500 photographs were on the display at the Künstlerhaus 1050.
Our participants were:
- Nina Jukić a.k.a. ninotchka
- Franck Gonnaud a.k.a. franckgonnaud
- Christine Voss a.k.a. chvo
- Alvin Sebastian Setiawan a.k.a. spidey27
- Damian Hovhannisyan a.k.a. damianhovhannisyan
- Mihály Alagi a.k.a. lagia
- Torsten Dittkuhn a.k.a. bloomchen
- Joan Manel Cedó a.k.a. jmcedo
- Cagla Gulkilik a.k.a. caglag
- Martynas Katauskas a.k.a. duffman
- Lee Tsung Ming a.k.a. p3667
To keep our community of film enthusiasts as motivated throughout the year, we organized several fun events for everyone to learn and enjoy all things analogue. For starters, we had several LomoWalks around the world, encouraging everyone to explore the streets of London, Warsaw, Lyon, Turin, Roma & NY in black and white as we launched the new Berlin Kino formula. Here are more workshops and events we've organized around the world:
- LIA workshop with Shanghai JiaoTong University
- Film Photography Day Meet-up in NYC on April 12th
- Lomography x Penumbra Workshop Recap
Of course, to celebrate the historic moment when we released the new LomoChrome Metropolis film, we held a film community Kickstarter party in New York last August.
Collaborations and projects with other artists and organizations also took place! We lent the P&CO some Simple Use Film Cameras for their influencers as they put together photo diaries. Lomography also collaborated with Japanese students for the special exhibition in Kyoto, in which a LomoWall was also erected! 6 from Rubberband held his own exhibition of Horizon Perfekt camera shots in Hong Kong. We also had the LAL Workshop with Diane Sagnier and Double Exposure Workshop with Louis Dazy and CN 400 during the Lomography Weekend at Point Ephémère, Paris.
Here are more Lomography collaborations:
- Shadow of a Doubt Exhibition in Paris: Potsdam Kino by Alban Van Wassenhove
- In Transit by Zac Farro Launch Party
- Competition with BHV Marais
More Film Friends Around the World
As an international community, we're all about bridging analogue souls, no matter the distance. We have LomoAmigos across the world share their own experiences with Lomography's creative tools for their unique ideas. Some have strong messages to convey, such as Dean Chalkey and his concept of masculinity today documented with the Lomo'Instant Wide -- the series is also part of Book of Man and CALM which are both campaigns for mental health awareness. Photographer Sebastian Franke and videographer Paul Max were on a mission to document Eastern Europe's drag scene with the Lomography Color Negative 400 120. Renegade shooter Dan Bassini also gave us an inside look at the Met Gala with portraits of high profiles captured in the Lomography Color Negative 800 35 mm.
We also have some pretty big names this year spotted using Lomography tools. American photographer Marcus Russell Price, known to work with some of the biggest names in comedy behind the scenes, as he tested out the New Petzval 55 Art Lens, while back in Asia we spotted famous Japanese idol group AKB48 using Simple Use Film Cameras in their music video, ジワるDAYS, fitting the nostalgic theme of the video. LomoAmigo Solène Ballesta also collaborated with renowned French artist Marion Séclin and Charlotte Issaly with the bold series Summer Memories, all taken with the Lubitel 166.
It was also a year of firsts for some. One of our long-time friends and LomoChrome Purple lover Maya Beano photographed with our black and white film for the very first time with the Potsdam Kino.
The Lomographer's Magazine
For this year, the Lomography Magazine's focus was to discover the cream of the crop in the Lomography Community, and thus, more Lomographers are engaging in analogue projects and sharing their work with us. Lomographer systemdevice led the community-wide project Lomographers' Print Exchange and has caught interest by many.
Our very own artists in the community were the constant buzz, rightfully so. Our two-parter story on women Lomographers spearheading the Lomographic movement today was widely celebrated by everyone as the Women's Month special was an inspiring read throughout the year. Everyone's also been so connected with Philippe Multeau, a.k.a. frenchyfyl as his own Lomographic journey was revealed in this interview. touching every analogue spirit. Personal stories from French Lomographers Den Saul a.k.a. densaul and Gérard Heinz a.k.a. gheinz were also top-reads, especially in their Community Spotlight feature.
Moreover, analogue travelogues were incredibly popular as they gave readers the secondhand experience of our very own wanderlusts. Our community's favorite travel diaries were:
- The World According to Herr Willie: Stretched Terrains – On Wheels Through West Africa - Part One and Part Two
- The Fields of Calais: An Analogue Travelogue by Neja
- Around the World in Analogue: The Terrains of Saxon Switzerland
Lastly, it seems like most of the community's been trying their hand on more somber aesthetic and vibe for 2019 as our Potsdam Kino B&W Cookbook and tipster on shooting under overcast weather were the most read tutorials.
Vox Populi: Community's Champions
We're proud to announce that the year 2019 for the Lomography Community has been entirely fruitful and wonderful. Recognitions must be made -- much of our 2019 milestones and achievements wouldn't be possible without everyone!
Over 15,000 film photographs were uploaded this year, and 2019's top three uploaders sakisaki01234, sinkinanchorssince1984, and vicccf were keeping our collective gallery often updated. For the past year that we've called out for competitions, we've received a staggering total of 70,000 submissions. We also made two open calls on social media for film testers for the Potsdam Kino, LomoChrome Purple, and the Berlin Kino 2019 film, and to our surprise, we received more than 5,000 sign-ups overall!
Our hashtag #heylomography has accumulated an estimate of 170,000 posts on Instagram. Meanwhile, most of the active Lomographers seem to be flooding the #35mm, #filmisnotdead, #film, #summer, and #lomography to no end! And of course, the top three Lomographers who give the most love and likes to the community -- gheinz, rik041 and koduckgirl -- were keeping tabs on our Community's trends. We also want to give our holler to top shouters hervinsyah, lomodesbro and wil6ka for helping the conversation on film and photography active.
Moreover, we also have an increase in newcomers and budding Lomographers this year. We'd like to make a special shoutout to new LomoHome owners svar, lomo_analogue_film and geo_96 for making strong first impressions in our analogue hub! Here are their most popular shots for 2019:
Of course, this recap won't be complete without the most anticipated list of Lomography's Top 10 Members for 2019! We extend our endless gratitude for always moving forward this community two steps ahead to the future with film:
Now, we're wrapping up our annual review for Lomography with some of 2019's best compositions. It seems that most Lomographers are getting into their soft and subtler side, and a lot of love is being given for black and white photography.
Here's a little curated gallery for 2019's Top 10 Community Photographs:
We can't believe not only the year's ending, but the decade as well! Thanks for sticking with us through thick and thin, our beloved Lomo Community! So, what were your fondest memories for 2019? Tell us all about it in the comments below!