Lomo School

Forget about stuffy classrooms with chewing gum on the seats, welcome to the most exciting school you’ve ever been to! Learn everything from the analogue basics to exciting experimental techniques with answers to your most-asked questions.

Are you keen to become an expert in all things analogue? Whether you’ve never seen a film camera before or if you’re an experienced photographer – this is a space where everyone can get involved. Find detailed guides to the analogue basics as well as tips and tricks for recreating Lomography’s signature experimental techniques. An ever-growing resource, we’re answering the most frequently asked questions from our Community and welcome any more at school@lomography.com.


How to make my own pinhole camera

There are many ways to make pinhole cameras, from cardboard boxes to beer cans! Here’s a quick and basic guide for you.

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  • What is instant photography?

    What is instant photography?

    Instant photography allows us to print fully developed photos seconds after they are taken. This is possible because instant film contains all the development chemicals needed already within it.

  • What are the different types of film cameras?

    From a SLR, to TLR, to rangefinder or point & shoot cameras – find out how these different types of cameras operate.

  • What is light painting?

    What is light painting?

    Light Painting (sometimes known as Light Graffiti) is a technique where you can alter the photo by creating movements of light within the image.

  • How to scan my film negatives at home

    Depending on the method you’re going for, you will be needing some of the following to scan your film negatives: digital camera with macro lens or your smartphone, a tripod, a scanning mask or film holder, a flatbed scanner or dedicated film scanner, a light table/LED panel or scanning kits.

  • What is a Lomographic picture?

    What is a Lomographic picture?

    A Lomographic picture usually mixes the golden rules of Lomography and a few of the defining characteristic styles. However, nowadays a Lomographic picture is entirely up to your own creativity.

  • What does it mean to overexpose vs underexpose a photo?

    What does it mean to overexpose vs underexpose a photo?

    Put simply, an overexposed image is one that is brighter than the reality of the scene you’re trying to photograph, while an underexposed image is darker than reality. Overexposure generally means you are giving your film too much light, and with underexposure you have the opposite problem of not enough light.

  • What are the best techniques for taking multiple exposure photos?

    What are the best techniques for taking multiple exposure photos?

    Multiple exposures are one of the best ways to push your creativity with film photography. Here are a few techniques to help you take your photos to the next level.

  • What is a multiple exposure?

    What is a multiple exposure?

    Multiple exposures (or MX) are photographs in which two or more images are superimposed in a single frame, and they’re super easy to create using your analogue camera. Set an image of a train against a field of flowers, or prop your friend’s face against an image of a city skyline to create enchanting and surreal images.

  • What are the different photographic film formats?

    What are the different photographic film formats?

    The three main types of film format are 35 mm, medium format and large format. More unusual formats also exist such as 110 and 127.

  • What is the difference between analogue and digital?

    Analogue and digital formats are both ways of storing information. In analogue technology, waves or signals are stored in their original form (such as vinyl where grooves are etched in order to create sound waves on the disk itself.) However, in digital technology, waves or signals are converted into numbers and stored as code on a digital device such as a hard drive, memory card or computer.

  • What are the best tips for light painting?

    With Light Painting there are no strict rules on the outcome, but here are some valuable tips to help you get the best shot.

  • What is a half-frame film camera?

    What is a half-frame film camera?

    Half-frame cameras shoot 18×24 mm photographs on 35 mm film. This means you can take up to 72 images on one single roll and save a lot of film!

  • What happens if I take out the instax film canister from my camera with film still inside?

    Removing the instax film canister from your camera when you still have unexposed film inside will likely result in at least one ruined and unusable instax. Any instax film beneath the first one will probably be fine, although they could also contain light leaks.

  • How should I store my instant photos?

    When it comes to storing instant photos a lot people simply throw them in an old shoebox or desk drawer. However, if you want to keep your instant photos in good condition for many years to come you can also take some additional measures.

  • How can I scan my instant photos?

    There are a number of ways to create digital scans from your instant photos. Let’s take a look at the options available.

  • What are some features of Lomography Instant cameras?

    What are some features of Lomography Instant cameras?

    The Lomography range of instant cameras have a ton of fun features including multiple exposure mode, bulb mode, remote control shutter release, and glass lenses.

  • What are the different instant film formats?

    All Lomography cameras use Fujifilm Instax film. These come in three different formats – Instax Mini Film, Instax Square Film and Instax Wide Film.

  • What is the LomoGraflok 4×5 Instant back?

    The LomoGraflok is the world’s first Instant Back for 4×5 cameras. It attaches to 4×5 cameras using the common graflok system, which most 4×5 cameras have, and so allows you to shoot Fujifilm Instax Wide film using large format cameras.

  • How to do a long exposure with an instant camera?

    To do a long exposure with an instant camera, make sure your camera has a bulb or a long exposure mode as one of its settings. Lomography’s instant camera range whether it’s Lomo’Instant Square or the Diana Instant Square, have previously mentioned features that will allow you to experiment with long exposure and light painting

  • What is the sunny16 rule?

    The Sunny 16 Rule is a way to meter for correct exposure during daylight without using the camera’s meter. It is great for photographers who don’t want to get slowed down by metering for every shot or rely too much on their camera’s in-built light meter.

  • How long should I expose the frame for pinhole photography?

    The answer, simply, is that it depends on many factors, including the image you want to create, the type of light-sensitive material you will be using, and the amount of light. Because of the small size of pinhole cameras' opening, these cameras take in less light so exposure usually takes longer.

  • Which Lomography cameras can be used for pinhole photography?

    A few Lomography cameras have pinhole photography function, namely the Diana F+, Diana Instant Square, LomoMod No. 1, and the Diana Multi Pinhole Operator.

  • What is pinhole photography?

    What is pinhole photography?

    Pinhole photography is the stripped down version of photography. Instead of an actual lens and a sophisticated system, pinhole photography makes use of a tightly-sealed box and a pinhole (aperture) to capture light and create images.

  • What do I need to start creating long exposures or light painting?

    Having a camera with manual or bulb mode, as well as a tripod, and a portable light source is all you need to start creating long exposures and light painting.

  • Which settings should I use on my camera for light painting?

    For light painting make sure to be on manual or bulb mode when shooting. Depending on what you want to do with your light painting you can set the shutter from 30 seconds to a few minutes in order to create your photograph.

  • How long should I expose the frame for a long exposure photo?

    To start creating a long exposure you should set the shutter to stay open for at least 2 seconds. From here you can start to experiment and figure out what shutter speed works for the effect you want to create.

  • Which Lomography cameras can be used for long exposures or light painting?

    Which Lomography cameras can be used for long exposures or light painting?

    Most of the Lomography cameras come with a bulb function which allows the shutter to stay open for as long as the user is holding the shutter release button. Other Lomography cameras also have the option of using a shutter release cable.

  • What film should I use for light painting?

    Any film can be used for light painting but film stocks with an ISO 400 or 800 are commonly used since it does well in low light situations. It is mostly your camera and the settings that will determine the success of your light painting photo. Film stocks with an ISO of 400 or 800 are commonly used since they do well in low-light situations.

  • What are the best Lomography cameras for beginners?

    What are the best Lomography cameras for beginners?

    Lomography has many cameras made for different occasions. For taking your first journey into film, wanting to learn the more technical side of photography, or even just letting loose and experimenting, there is a Lomography camera for you. This list highlights five cameras: the Simple Use Camera, Fisheye No. 2 35 mm Camera, Diana F+, the Lomo LC-A+, and the LomoApparat, which are all great starting points to your analogue journey.

  • What is the LomoLab?

    The LomoLab is our film developing and scanning arm of Lomography. Found in Vienna and only available for mainland Europe, you can send in your rolls directly to us at Lomography – LomoLab, Kaiserstraße 34/12, 1070 Vienna, Austria.

  • What is a LomoAmigo?

    A LomoAmigo is an artist we collaborate with. They bring their own unique styles to our products and we publish articles in the Lomography Magazine highlighting their work.

  • What makes Lomography cameras different from other film cameras?

    What makes Lomography cameras different from other film cameras?

    Lomography cameras are different from other film cameras because they’re designed to be easy to use with film experimentation in mind.

  • How and where can I get my film scanned?

    Film processing labs that offer film development services will typically also offer scanning services.

  • How to scan 120 film?

    Like other film formats, you can scan a 120 film using a flatbed scanner, a dedicated film scanner fit for the 120 film format, paired with a scanning mask like the Lomography DigitaLIZA 120 film scanning mask, or scanning kits like the Lomography DigitaLIZA+ and DigitaLIZA MAX which comes with a 120 film holder.

  • What are the different methods for scanning a film negative?

    If you’re looking to invest in your own film processing equipment, or simply want to try out scanning on your own, here are the most common methods and what you will need to scan your film negatives.

  • Can I scan my film negative using my smartphone?

    The answer is yes! You can scan 35 mm and 120 film negatives using just your smartphone with scanning kits like the Lomography DigitaLIZA Max and our free in-browser Lomo DigitaLIZA LAB tool or by installing a film scan app on your phone to invert and enhance the images.

  • How to scan panoramic film negative images?

    You can scan panoramic film images using a flatbed scanner, medium format scanner, a scanning mask like the DigitaLIZA scanning masks, or the DigitaLIZA scanning kits.

  • How to scan overlapping frames?

    You can scan film negatives with overlapping frames with a film holder or a scanning mask, a flatbed or dedicated film scanner, or a scanning kit like the DigitaLIZA+ and DigitaLIZA MAX.

  • How to scan 110 film?

    There are a few ways to scan 110 film, such as with Lomography’s dedicated DigitaLIZA 110 Scanning Mask, or Lomography DigitaLIZA+ and Digitaliza Max with a modified frame.

  • How to scan sprocket holes and film borders?

    How to scan sprocket holes and film borders?

    Much like other film formats, you can scan sprocket holes and film borders using regular flatbed scanners or dedicated film scanners like the Lomography DigitaLIZA scanning kits.

  • What is a LomoHome?

    Your LomoHome is your gateway to sharing your photos and yourself on Lomography.com. It’s where you can upload your photos, create albums, and keep up with your friends’ latest activities.

  • What is Colorsplashing?

    What is Colorsplashing?

    Colorsplashing is a technique where colored filters are attached to the flash to change the original white color. Colorsplashing will give you the opportunity to bring any mood to photos with the full range of the color wheel at your disposal.

  • What is metering?

    Metering is the process of reading the lighting conditions before taking a photograph, to make sure you will get the right exposure for your images. This is where shutter speed, aperture, and ISO all come into play.

  • What is macro photography?

    What is macro photography?

    Want to learn how to take those super close-up shots? Then you should definitely check out macro photography.

  • What is wide-angle photography?

    What is wide-angle photography?

    Looking to change up your shooting style? Try wide-angle photography and be open to a wide world of possibilities!

  • What is the focal length?

    Do you wonder what the number/measurement on your lens stands for? That’s the focal length of your lens and it can dictate how your photos will look like.

  • What is minimum focusing distance?

    Focus is an integral part of photography. It’s essentially what makes your images clear and your subject distinguishable from the background. Cameras have varying focusing capabilities and that’s why it’s important to learn about focusing distance and how it plays a role in the way you take photos.

  • What is pushing or pulling a film?

    Pushing or pulling a film might feel daunting at first but it’s actually simpler than it sounds.

  • How can I shoot multiple exposures with my LomoGraflok 4×5 Instant Back?

    Taking multiple exposures with the LomoGraflok 4×5 Instant Back is quite an easy process. Just follow these simple steps to master the technique:

  • What are the best film cameras for creating multiple exposures?

    Most Lomography cameras have a Multiple Exposure button or switch, easily recognisable by the MX icon.

  • Can I do multiple exposures with my Simple Use Reloadable Film Camera?

    There is no multiple exposure button on our Simple Use Reloadable Film Cameras. After taking a photo the shutter button will be locked until you advance the film wheel for the next exposure. However it is always possible to find ways of making multiple exposures.

  • What is a film swap?

    What is a film swap?

    A film swap is when two people shoot the same roll of film to create combined images (or double exposures.) The first person shoots the film, then rewinds it and gives it to the second person, who will shoot the same roll of film again, creating images over the top of the first layer.

  • How to do multiple exposures with an instant camera?

    Lomography Instant cameras have a multiple exposure button or switch (labelled MX). This allows you to expose one frame as many times as you like, easily creating incredible layered effects.

  • Which Lomography cameras can be used for multiple exposures?

    Most Lomography cameras have the ability to make multiple exposures. At Lomography we know how integral experimentation is, especially when it comes to creating awesome multiple exposures, and we’ve got you covered with our wide range of MX enabled cameras.

  • How many exposures can I make on one frame?

    How many exposures can I make on one frame?

    There is no limit to the amount of exposures you can do in one frame. (As long as you have a camera that enables multiple exposures of course)

  • What is the aperture?

    New to film photography? If you are, then one of the things you should learn about is aperture.

  • What is the shutter speed?

    Another photography basic every beginner photographer should learn and take to heart is using the right shutter speed.

  • What is the ISO?

    Sometimes, you can’t just depend on aperture and shutter speed alone. ISO can greatly help you get the right exposure without the heavy trade-offs from relying too much on changing your aperture and shutter speed.

  • Where to get film developed

    There are a lot of places that can process and develop your 35 mm color negative film such as local drugstores or one-hour photo labs.

  • What is the processing method for Redscale and LomoChrome films?

    All Lomography color films are processed using C-41 chemicals. This includes Lomography RedScale XR and our popular range of color-shifting LomoChrome films – LomoChrome Purple, LomoChrome Metropolis and LomoChrome Turquoise

  • What is cross processing?

    What is cross processing?

    Cross processing (or “X-pro”) is the procedure of deliberately processing film in a chemical solution intended for a different type of film. As each chemical mixture is optimized for a specific kind of film, you will get unpredictable results when combining them differently.

  • What is B&W slide film?

    Slide film, (also known as “positive“, “transparency“ and “reversal“ film) is a type of film that produces a positive image straight onto the emulsion. Unlike negative film, the light and dark areas appear on the film as they do in reality.

  • What is B&W negative film?

    This is by far the most common type of black and white film, and it works in much the same way as color negative film. Essentially, all the areas that appear lightest on the negative will be dark on the final print and all dark areas of the negative will show light on the print.

  • What is slide film and E-6 processing?

    Slide film has many other names, including “positive“, “transparency“, “reversal“ and “E-6” film. Unlike the more common color negative film, slide film produces a positive image straight onto the film. The light and dark areas appear as they do in reality. When mounted on card stock, these images are the slides that you’d put in a slide projector, or the slides that your grandparents have in boxes in the attic.

  • What is color negative film and C-41 processing?

    Color negative film is the most common and widely used type of color film. One of the main features of color negative film is its flexible exposure latitude. This means that it is very forgiving of incorrect exposure, particularly overexposure. Missing the correct exposure by 1 or 2 stops is no big deal with color negative film as you will usually still get decent results.

  • What is the difference between color negative and slide / positive film?

    Color negative and slide film both produce color images, however the difference is in how the image is made.

  • What are the different types of photographic film processing?

    There are three common types of development processes in film photography. These are C-41, E-6 and B&W, which correspond to the three main types of films, color negative, color positive (color reversal/slide film) and black and white, respectively.

  • What is large format or sheet film?

    “Large format” refers to a film type with a frame size of 4×5 inches or larger. The film is produced in individual sheets which are loaded into film holders and so for this reason it is also sometimes referred to as “sheet film.”

  • What is 127 film?

    127 film is 46 mm wide, placing it between 35 mm and medium format films in size. It was created by Kodak and is now rather rare to find.

  • What is 110 film?

    The 110 film format (also known as pocket film) was introduced by Kodak in 1972. This cartridge-based film measures just 16 mm in width, roughly half the size of the 35 mm film most people are familiar with.

  • What is medium format film or 120 film?

    What is medium format film or 120 film?

    Medium format film (or 120 film) is larger than 35 mm, but smaller than large format (or sheet film.) The terms “120 film” and “medium format film” are pretty much interchangeable nowadays, but you should know that the film is not 120 mm.

  • What is 35 mm film?

    35 mm film (sometimes also referred to as 135 format) is the most common photographic film format. The film is 35 millimetres wide, and each standard image is 24×36 mm.

Anything missing?

Can’t find an answer to your question? Or do you have some useful advice to add to one of our answers? We want to build the world’s largest analogue learning space, so please send any further requests or information to school@lomography.com and we’ll take a look!