Photography can be an intimidating hobby with a big learning curve. Nevertheless, Lomography puts the fun back into photography, whether you’re a professional photographer or a total amateur. Compare the crowd at the official Lomography store in Dunhua to the camera stores near Taipei Main and you’d see what I mean. Throughout the day, you have hip youngsters buzzing around the Lomography store with big grins on their faces.
Lomography picked up in the early 1990s with the compact 35mm LOMO LC-A camera. The low quality of the plastic camera was also its charm. The camera often produced whimsical photos that was blurry and discolored.
Fast forward to today, and the range has grown to over dozens of film cameras and accessories. The most popular being the Diana+ and Fisheye cameras.
The philosophy of Lomography is pretty straight-forward and is mainly about being spontaneous. They have even developed 10 golden rules that are short and easy to follow:
1. Take your camera everywhere you go
2. Use it any time – day and night
3. Lomography is not an interference in your life, but part of it
4. Try the shot from the hip
5. Approach the objects of your lomographic desire as close as possible
6. Don’t think (William Firebrace)
7. Be fast
8. You don’t have to know beforehand what you captured on film
9. Afterwards either
10. Don’t worry about any rules
The Lomography store in Taipei opened in June this year and it’s probably one of my favorite stores here. If Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory is a haven for sweet tooths, then the Lomography store provides never-ending eye candy for photographers.
What I like about the store is how everything’s hands on. Every product and accessory is laid out in front of you on a glass table. There are photo examples plastered around the walls and the staff are very knowledgeable and helpful.
There’s even an open coffee lounge with vintage furniture from Vienna and free Wi-Fi access. What’s more, the store also offers frequent photo workshops and seminars. Although the classes are in Chinese, the staff do go out of their way to assist you in English. Some workshops allow you fiddle around with the products and take them out for a test drive. How sweet’s that?
Even if you know nothing about photography except for using a camera to take photos at parties, the Lomography store is definitely still worth checking out. It’s a fun environment that offers something for everyone.
Where: No.35. Lane 187, Sec.1, Dunhua S. Rd., Taipei
Opening hours: Mon-Fri: 2:00pm–10:00pm; Sat-Sun: 12:00pm–10:00pm
Contact: +886 2 27736111