how i make my pictures look like this

A few people have asked me recently how I get my pictures to look the way they do, so I thought I’d write a quick post.

First off, if you are not familiar with lomography, it might be useful to Google it or check out this site. Most of the pictures I take are lomo pictures or use lomo techniques, as I love them so much – I love the effects, when a picture is “messed up” (lens flares, double exposure), the vintage-inspired, and taking subject matter from non-traditional angles/from the hip, etc. I know that sometimes real photographers dislike lomography because it breaks all rules, but I think that is what I am drawn to personally, and well, pfft, I’m not a real photographer.

For the purpose of this post, I’m going to consider all vintage-inspired photos and all of the settings that I’m going to talk about to be under the category of lomography (not sure if they technically are or not).

It should be said that actual lomography is done with toy cameras and I do own a Diana mini, but I have not gotten my first roll of film developed yet, so I haven’t posted any of those yet. But you can get similar effects on digital film.

My favorite is the Android app, Vignette. It is for Android cell phones and I believe it is similar to the Hipstamatic app on the Iphone, but I don’t have an Iphone, so I am not sure. There is a free version and a paid version, I use the paid. It has many lomo effects, my favorites are the “instant square” frame with the “faded” vintage effect. That’s what I use the most (and what is being used in my last post).

I also occasionally use the app Fxcamera, which is similar. It’s a very nice app, but I like Vignette better.

If I take a “real” picture and I want to edit it to look more more vintage-y or whatever, I sometimes use Picnik, which actually has a few lomography settings of its own, the lomo-ish and holga-ish. I also frequently use the 1960s, cross-processing and vignetting settings.

On Gimp, you can get scripts, which are similar to Photoshop actions. I get Gimp plugins from the GIMP plugin registry. Off the top of my head, I have the lomo, the Diana-Holga and the Vignette.

Admittedly, I pretty much only use my cell phone. It’s the easiest and even if I forget to take a picture using the apps, you can import a picture into those apps and change them anyway. 🙂 I’ve actually taken photos from my digital camera, uploaded them to my computer and uploaded them from there to my phone, just to run them through the Vignette app.

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  • Thanks for taking the time to write this. It’s a neat look!

  • Lauren

    @Erika – You’re welcome. I had a few people ask me on Facebook too, and a few others here and there, so I figured it was about time, lol.

  • Amber

    I completely and wholeheartedly disagree in the most intensely passionate way a human possibly can – you are indeed a real photographer. I brought up your blog on my phone so I could walk my mom through pages of your photos this evening!

  • That’s a great entry. I wasn’t even particularly interested, but you explained it pretty easily. You know, I’ve kind of thought that eventually I’d like to take a real photography class, though I don’t know that I ever actually will. 😀

  • I use vignette demo, and I think I like it more than I like the fxcamera. I wasn’t sure if I should play with picnik, but I think I will after reading this post!