The ‘Toy Camera’ Look


The last few years have seen a revival of photographs with crazy colours, strange casts, darkened corners, scratches and other such ‘problems’. The retro fixation has resulted in a number of camera preset modes and dedicated software that create something called the ‘Toy Camera’ or the ‘Lomo’ look.

Where does this name come from?

Lomography is a community and movement, founded in 1992, inspired by the old Russian cameras called LOMO. These were toy cameras with plastic optics, and thus produced images that were technically flawed. The images were then, further crossprocessed to create wild colour tones.

Its Revival in the Digital Age

Artists, hipsters and the youth embraced these flaws and started shooting with the LOMO and other such cameras like the Holga and the Diana, to get a look that was quirky, different and immediately attractive. But then, this entire movement has primarily been analogue. All this changed around five years ago, when digital camera manufacturers started introducing filters and Scene modes like Vintage, Cross Process, Pop Art, Retro and other such. In these past five years, not only have these modes become common in compact and mirrorless cameras, the popularity of retro-effect apps like Instagram has made the look much more commonplace. It can make an image look memorable, but remember, it cannot save a bad photo… do not overdo it!