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(3) Vintage Photo Looks: Lomo

April 23, 2010 - - 4:21 PM

An image shot with a Lomo is easily recognized, because it is photography with an attitude. As Vailancio Rodrigues eloquently put it in Smashing Magazine the characteristics are “oversaturated colors, extreme optical distortions, rainbow-colored subjects, off-kilter exposure, blurring and alternative film processing”.

1. Webbased tools

Pixenate has a “Lomo tool”, but I did not like the effect. The Lomo look may be a bit too complex for simple online photo editors. Swisswuff has an analysis of the lomo effect, if you are interested in the details.

2. Free software

Paint.net is a free software that features a Lomo plugin. You can find more information on how to install it and use it on this website. I am not overly excited about this option compared to the Photoshop actions and tutorials, but it does a decent job, if your image is light enough (higher than average exposure) and has a low contrast, before you apply the effect.

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3. Photoshop

a) Actions

There are so many Lomo actions that I made this collage to show you some of the good ones.

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From the top left to bottom right corner:

1. Action 3 by ZeroComrade
2. lomold action by turunchuQ
3. Retro Love by pseudonymfreak
4. Lomo Action Set by WingsOfAHero – Option “Lomo X Process”
5. Vintage Lomo Effect Action by NamfloW
6. Lomo by Addicted to Design – Option “Medium Vignette”
7. Lomo Effect by photoshop-stock – Option 6 with half the contrast
8. ABDPBT Lomo Action Set – Option “Rose-Colored Glasses” with half the contrast
9. bhp actions by Beau Hudspeth – Option “The Look of Lomo” with Unsharp mask reduced to 10%

Many thanks to Graphic Identity and Zedomax for these great resources.

b) Tutorials

For a standard approach how to achieve the Lomo look digitally try the tutorial by Darren Rowse.

Kwame Busia has a different way of doing “Fauxmography“, which creates warm colors and gorgeous light leaks.

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The Tutvid channel has a tutorial video on YouTube, which is really easy to follow and gives your images a washed-out look with a punch.

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If you need some inspiration then visit the “Lomo Faker s League“.