In an age of countless forms of visual enhancements that frost the real with a sugar-candy illusion (High def CGI, Photoshop, "reality" TV, Botox, plastic surgery, infotainment, the nightly news...) I'm drawn to the concept of lomography. Its genesis is somewhere in the many snapshots taken with the lowly 35mm LOMO LC-A Compact Automat Camera, produced by former Russian state-run optics manufacturer LOMO PLC of Saint Petersburg. Lomography's motto of "Don't think, just shoot" is the flipside of everything you ever learned in photography class. No need for image stabilization and polarizing filters -- just wave your camera and start clicking. It's the same kind of happy, spontaneous, unencumbered philosophy that inspired the French New Wave film movement, challenged artists to think outside of the purely representational and fueled free-thinking novelists to sidestep the rules established by the canon.
I know, I know... a lot of this is just a viral advertising scheme to get everyone who bought an expensive Canon digital SLR to throw down more bucks for a weird, low-tech camera. But let's take away the marketing tricks and just look at the idea...
Don't think, just shoot. Don't think, just shoot again. Forget setting up a frame or manipulating the light. Don't think, just shoot. Somewhere in this lighthearted approach you might discover wonderful little details of everyday life (sometimes literally) right under your feet.
Like here, for instance. Why had I never noticed the abstract beauty of the train tracks crossing Mission at Meridian in the late afternoon?
(Hat tip to my fellow Los Angeles photoblogger Kevin at The Jimsonweed Gazette for the inspiration to think -- and shoot -- outside the box.)