Open source lomography

Super-cheap lo-fi medium-format plastic cameras with wide-angle lenses and leaky boxes, like the famous Russian Holga, are all the rage for lomo photography. There’s a few ways to “fake” the lomography effect with digital images using the Gimp and open-source, free software tools.

The first way is to follow any of the many Photoshop tutorials on the subject and try to apply them to the Gimp.

I’ve had good success using Flickr user tos/ultrapop/">ultrapop design's straightforward tutorial, which she has on this page with her beautiful fakelomo of the tos/ultrapop/2408734426/">Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco (one of the best fakelomos ever!); follow the step-by-step instructions and try to apply them to the Gimp. (Not all commands and tools will be the same.)

There are other Photoshop tutorials you can use to base your work on, too: there’s one on
Faking the lomo effect” and another way, quite similar. Another site has a">photoshop tutorial on getting a “Velvia” look and">another one on lomography.

One of my favorites is part of the "two minute tricks" series (no. 14): Holgafy

There’s a Photoshop lomo tutorial that’s been rewritten for the Gimp.

Some tutorials have been written specifically for the Gimp. Here’s instructions for faking lomo with gimp.

There are actual fakelomo plugins for the Gimp. I’ve only had moderate success with them.

Plugins:">gimplomo.scm page, an updated lomo filter, lomo-gimp, a "Photoshop-quality lomo plugin for the GIMP”; and lomofu [tos/kmf/4916250/">example].

But the the best plug-in of all might be this gimp 2.4 script that also mucks with the colors, giving that early-70s look.

For further reference

Lomo Fakers League (Flickr pool)

Get the book that details the philosophy: Don’t Think, Just Shoot

Search for more

First published on March 8th, 2009 at 1:05 pm (EST) and last modified on March 8th, 2009 at 1:09 pm (EST).