By Evan Ackerman
One of the (many) problems with flash photography is that most of the time, a flash is a monodirectional light source that creates unnatural shadows and glare, especially with close-ups. To help mitigate this problem, you might want to attach four different flashes around your camera. And once you’ve done that, why not go crazy and add a bunch of color filters? That sort of philosophy is what Lomography is all about, although they seem to put particular emphasis on the “go crazy” part. The Lomography Ringflash slips around the outside of your camera lens, and its four individual flash bulbs will fire along with your onboard flash or hotshoe. You can add gel filters of various colors to the flash ring to create some pretty nifty effects, which will be revealed after the jump.
It turns out that there is a whole Lomography subculture, complete with 10 strict rules that all Lomographers must follow:
1. Take your LOMO everywhere you go and whenever you go.
2. Use it any time – day or night.
3. Lomography is not an interference in your life, but a part of it.
4. Shoot from the hip.
5. Approach the objects of your lomographic desire as close as possible.
6. Don’t think.
7. Be fast.
8. You don’t have to know beforehand what you’ve captured on film.
9. You don’t have to know afterwards, either.
10. Don’t worry about the rules.
Rule #10 makes that all too unstructured for my uptight ways, but it does sound like fun. The flash unit itself is only $65 (it comes with color gel filters, a hotshoe sync cord, and 5 Lomo camera adapters) and a Lomo Fisheye film camera is only $30 more if you want to try your hand at adopting the Lomography lifestyle. It’s not clear whether the ringflash is directly compatible with other digital cameras, but with the slave flash trigger, I bet you could kludge something together with duct tape if you wanted to.