Digital Lomography

I must admit, I love lomography. I love the high contrast, the grain, the vignetting and the intentionally bad image quality. I love the retro look and the concept of taking a camera with you everywhere and shooting the odd random picture completely unplanned. Lomo has a way of taking mundane subjects and making them look like art. It has so much character and is completely different to the clinically perfect results of modern digital cameras with the correct colors and exposure. But in reality, due to my busy schedule (not to mention how forgetful and clumsy I am) I’d would probably either land up losing the camera or breaking it. Full rolls of film would probably land up sitting in my house forever before they ever got developed

Which is why mobile toy camera apps are becoming so popular. In a way, you can think of a cellphone camera as a modern day equivalent of a lomo camera. It’s image quality isn’t the greatest. They tend to be grainy and unsharp (although they are getting surprisingly good.) Users carry their phones everywhere with them at all times and combined with their modest image quality, they make the perfect modern day toy camera. All that is missing is all the light leaks,high contrast, vignetting and the weird color casts.

That’s where toy camera apps come in. There is a vast variety of toy camera apps on the various phone operating systems to choose from.  Most are made for the iPhone or Android based phones. But if you search hard enough, you’ll probably find them for Blackberry and Symbian phones on their respective app stores. Most of the good software developers have dedicated websites that show samples of what their app can do and even have free trail versions. I use an Android based phone and of all the samples I viewed from the various developers, the one I found the most impressive and accurate looking is Little Photo. I downloaded the free trial version to fiddle with and was suitably impressed. It has various lomo filters, cross processing filters and Polaroid filters to add borders to. It’s easy to use and the results are realistic looking. You can even add multiple effects to one photo.

There’s no film developing and printing fees required like proper Lomo cameras. There’s no waiting to see what you photos are going to look like. Of course it still lacks that certain something that you can only get when using a proper analog camera but this is as close as you’ll get to the results with many added benefits. It really is worth the small fee for the full version. They tend to vary in price from about R6.50 to about R30.00. That’s the cheapest camera you’ll ever buy. Who could say no?

Most popular for iPhone:
Hipstamatic –
Instagram –

Most popular for Android:
Vignette –
Retro Camera Plus –
Little Photo –
Mr. Lomo –
Action Snap –
Instant Camera –