Lomography timeline

Lomography began with a fateful encounter in the early 1990s…

…when two students in Vienna, Austria, stumbled upon the Lomo Kompakt Automat – a small, enigmatic Russian camera. Mindlessly taking the shot from the hip, and sometimes looking through the viewfinder, they were astounded with the mindblowing photos that it produced – the colours were vibrant, with deep saturation and vignettes that framed the shot – it was nothing like they had seen before! Upon returning home, friends wanted their own Lomo LC-A, igniting a new style of artistic experimental photography that we now know as Lomography!

Following the mania that ensued upon the introduction of Lomography, they flew to St. Petersburg to work out a contract for the worldwide distribution of this fantastic little camera. Soon, the 10 Golden Rules was set up as a guide to this analogue movement, followed by exhibitions, world congresses, parties, installations, collaborations, and events. New products, films, and accessories were developed, and Lomography. com served as the communication hub for Lomographers worldwide. At the same time, Lomography Gallery Stores were put up worldwide.

Today we are a globally active organisation dedicated to experimental and creative visual expression, a playful combination of lo-tech and hi-tech, and a cultural institution involved in commercial photographic and design company. We are dedicated to the unique imagery and style of analogue photography, and will continue to contribute to its development!

1982 Birth of the LOMO LC-A – the camera that started it all!
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General Igor Petrowitsch Kornitzky, right-hand man to the USSR Minister of Defense and Industry, slammed a little Japanese compact camera onto the desk of his comrade

Michail Panfilowitsch Panfiloff, the Director of the powerful LOMO Russian Arms and Optical factory. Panfiloff carefully examined the item, observing its sharp glass lens, extremely high light sensitivity and robust casing.

Realizing its potential, the two gentlemen gave orders to the LOMO PLC factory in St. Petersburg, Russia to create an improved version of the Cosina CX-1 – and the first working sample of the LOMO LC-A was born!

1984 Launch of the LC-A
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The LOMO LC-A began mass-production this year, with 1200 people working on the camera.

Starting at 1100 units per month for the Russian market, its popularity soon spread to then Communist countries such as Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Cuba.

1991 Discovery!
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While touring Prague, a group of Viennese students stumbled upon the LOMO LC-A in a quirky, old-school camera shop, and started shooting from the hip.

Upon returning to Vienna, they had their film rolls developed, resulting in strangely beautiful images. Soon the questions started coming from friends, family and strangers, they wanted their own LC-A cameras!

1992 The birth of the Lomographic Society International
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Lomography timeline