When 2020 came, we all expected a fresh start full of bountiful prospects – whether you're a Lomographer or an onlooking enthusiast in the Community. But like any human being, none of us could have expected the unexpected. The global pandemic not only affected physical wellness but so did most of the people's emotional and mental health. We here at Lomography hoped we have helped you be at ease, hopeful and, be healed through the power of art and analogue. Here's what we all accomplished for the past year.
Year of Monochrome
Lomography's majestic Kino B&W film family grows as two new additions were made for 2020. This time, we wanted to add more experimental black and white films for the monochrome-versed enthusiasts and auteurs. The Babylon Kino B&W 35 mm, which has a 13 ISO, is meant for the faithful manual control users who want to exploit the tonal variance and range of their greyscale shots. Meanwhile, the Fantôme Kino B&W 35 mm boasts its low ISO 8 perfect for DIY film development and experiments, especially if you're after the natural dark and dreamy mood.
Experimental Additions to the Analogue Arsenal
We this year with a bang as we launch our 11th successful Kickstarter project. The New Petzval 80.5 mm f/1.9 MKII Art Lens is the newest addition to our Art Lens Family, this new generation of our Petzval line combines classic portraiture aesthetics and modern ergonomics to deliver that sweet swirly bokeh for both digital and analogue SLR cameras.
2020 has indeed been a rollercoaster ride, unlike the previous years. With most of everyone staying at home during the pandemic, we continued to expand the Lomographic arsenal with experimental cameras and accessories. We released a new 35 mm camera that made the analogue routine even more exciting with the revolutionary HydroChrome Sutton’s Panoramic Belair Camera as it imbues perforated panoramics together with Thomas Sutton's liquid lens design on the Lomography Belair body.
Lomography's own line of reloadable cameras is already a favorite must-have for film shooters, that even our special Simple Use Reloadable Camera pre-loaded with LomoChrome Metropolis variant of the camera is deemed the most cost-effective among other reloadable and disposable cameras by reviewer by Natalya Paul. So, it was only right that the Simple Use Reloadable Camera also received a special upgrade as it now comes in another form – the Analogue Aqua - Simple Use Reloadable Camera & Underwater Case with waterproof encasement and preloaded with the Color Negative 400 mm film.
This year's highlight goes to our project which further pushed the boundaries of instant photography and changed the game for large format photographers. How? By introducing the LomoGraflok 4×5 Instant Back, the world's first instant back designed and compatible for any 4×5 cameras for Fuji Instax Wide film. The accessory became critically acclaimed among large format photographers such as Kyle McDougall, mentioning that the instant back could be a great tool for newbies trying out large format. He also said in his YouTube video review :
"The other appealing thing to me is just how fun the LomoGraflok is to use... while I love large format film and the crazy amount of detail it brings, this instant film just gives the photographers another creative option on making images."
Special Editions for Special Occasions
Our existing collection of film photography equipment gets some refashioning under the creative vision of both acclaimed and indie artists. This year, our Lomo'Instant Mini gets its pastel taste in the hues of South Korean artist Song-E in the Lomo'Instant Mini Palette Edition. UK-based artist Laura Slater gives one of our instant cameras another modern look with the Lomo'Instant Automat Glass Assemble Configure Edition.
In celebration of Lomography Japan's 20th Anniversary, we made a special release of one of our art films through a collab with Kitamura in the LomoChrome Metropolis Film Tokyo Edition. Japanese aesthetics, both classic and modern were also integrated into our special editions as artist and brand owner Satoru Taguchi puts his urban touch of graffiti in Simple Use Reusable Film Camera Challenger Edition, preloaded with the surreal LomoChrome Purple; while the Diana F+ Camera and Flash Nami Edition prides itself as elegant as Japanese porcelain with the Seigaiha seas as its pattern.
And to cap it all off, we also revealed to the world the limited Lomo'instant Wide William Klein Edition just last month! Through this homage, we celebrate the pioneer's raw, unapologetic, aesthetic.
Stories of Film in the Magazine
Life goes on with the magazine staff as they searched for 2020's best stories in the film world. We ruminated over the art of camera collecting in an editorial. Discussions with DIY, experimental photography, and personal projects were constant as many of our readers' favorites are about our very own Community members and their projects. The journey of our longtime legendary Lomographer Herr Willie continues as he shares his logbook; Our ever-elegant La Fille Renne graced Rotterdam's International Film Festival and the Sundance Film Festival, as she showcased her short film shot on the LomoKino, Tandis que je respire encore.
As we mentioned, experimental projects were also some of our most-clicked stories, as master Lomographer Yoshitaka Goto puts "magic" in realism with his carefully crafted multiple exposures while analogue experimenter LaLouve discloses her best-kept secrets for the most artful double exposures in her extensive tipster.
Street photography is always a classic topic. We've also had artists with signature styles grace our Magazine. We discovered the exquisite cinematic body of work photographer Sam Lee. Photographer Akira Saito's urban maze of Tokyo gave a new sense of wonderland in neon colors while Melissa Shriek married performance art and portrait photography in the streets with The City is a Choreography. Hong Kong-based photographer Rex Wong's Sprocket Rocket-captured shots of the city made real-life feel even more like a movie.
Lomographers on Lockdown
For many people, 2020 was a dark experience. The outbreak of the pandemic stifled not only daily routines but also hobbies and activities that helped us grow. The social distancing has furthered people into darker corners of their minds. But Art is therapy, and for many Lomographers, photography is therapy. We hope our editorial piece When Analogue Photography Meets the Mind and Soul has eased the steep path we all trudge around COVID-19.
To help the struggling creatives and keep them up on their routines, we interviewed fellow photographers to share their experience with the lockdown through the showcase Musings from Self-Isolation. Such photographers featured were Marcin Wolinski, Paul Estevez and Kasia Kozinska.
Lomography's editorial team also rounded up film photographers in the six-part series Documenting Isolation where we asked our fellow analogue lovers all over the world as to how things are with their situation and coping with the pandemic. There's also Oliver Grimm and Lomographer-doctor Morgane Roué for documenting important events in their respective localities during the pandemic. Oliver showed the emptiness of Berlin streets while Morgane showed his daily life as the Anaesthesiologist-Intensive Care Physician at the Bichat Hospital in Paris during the pandemic.
The magazine also provided plentiful of tipsters that Lomographers can do while they're on lockdown, such as indoor photography. We also researched film labs that were still open and processed film and was proven very useful for Lomographers.
Lomographic Community Activities
No virus could ever stop the blazing passion of analogue photographers as the Lomographic Community carried on with the annual 10 and ONE Competition. We held submissions for various categories and themes such as Portraiture, Urban Explorers, Experimental Photography, Future Generations, Nature.
Last summer, Lomography also invited 20 photographers to try out the Fantome and Babylon Kino Film. Here are the two features we did. Check out their works and reviews of the films in Fantôme Kino B&W ISO 8 – Shadowy Blacks and Stark Contrasts and Babylon Kino First Impressions: Cool, Calm, Contrasty.
Before the global lockdown, we also managed to hold LomoWalk and Lab workshops for the LomoChrome Metropolis in London with the London Camera Project, and in Bangkok with LERT's. We also erected a LomoWall in Manila.
An Absolutely Analogue Community
The Lomography community thrives on its huge online gallery of film photographs as we garnered a total of 538,922 uploads this year. Many of these photos are tagged with 35mm, Lomography, summer, film, and filmisnotdead. It seems 2020 was also a year for monochromatic photography as the tag blackandwhite has over 15,443 photos. Over the Instagram platform, #heylomography is now at 308,872 posts. Contests and competitions also continued this year to keep our artists up despite the gloomy year, garnering over 108751 submissions in total.
Understandably, the pandemic has left many artists in a creative rut, but we'd like to give our commendations to this year's top Community members for bearing the torch of hope and keeping the passion of film ablaze through their perseverance and keenness to inspire others:
The year 2020 was a tough one – each one of us experienced a collective gloom as the pandemic persisted throughout the year... but one thing was for certain. We pushed on for a better tomorrow, a better future: We Lomo On.
Let's wrap up our yearly recap with the awaited and highly anticipated Hall of Fame of Community Photos for 2020 and how these photos gave joy and serenity to everyone else:
May this year of 2021 be even more filled with wellness, love, and film.