Hungarian House of Photography



LOMO photos of Lajos Major

”It is not the camera that counts, but the person behind it” as the photographers’ saying goes. This – as sayings in general – is true, and – as sayings in general – is not usually taken seriously. So much so that the one who does take it seriously, like Lajos Major, is looked at as a ”weirdo” by the community of photographers. While they normally spend most of their time and money on completing their equipment with the state of the art wonders of technology, Major does not care about it. He is attached to his old, familiar, beloved LOMO. This old-time machine (made in the USSR) would not be ranked higher than mediocre by any reliable trade papers, but it is small and feasible for one-hand shooting, even from the hip.

Yes, you got it right. Major does not use the viewfinder. He just turns the camera where things that he finds important and dear are going on, and releases the shutter. For him, the camera is like the drum for the shaman: the tool of the magic that happens unalterably in the moment of exposure.

There is some charming, naive fatalism in the way he treats his pictures after the exposition. The exposed photographs are final and unmodifiable. Naturally, he uses the entire negative. No cutting, no composition afterwards. Working out is simply a tool to encance the magic materialized on the film and to present it in the fullest possible form to the observer. To achieve this goal, hovewer, he uses the most advanced techniques and museum proof materials, with a level of accuracy that any technical photographer could envy.

His completed pictures inspire a very simple thought: it is good to live here, and it is possible to find happiness here. Whether this idea is an up-to-date artistic message at the beginning of the 21st century, he probably does not mind.

I think, though, that this has been the most modern message for the past 7000 years.

And lucky is the person who can sound authentic when saying it.

László Haris
august 2003


Hungarian House of Photography in Mai Manó House
H-1065 Budapest-Terézváros, Nagymező utca 20.
Telephone: 473-2666
Fax: 473-2662

Main Page :: © 2002 Hungarian House of Photography - in Mai Manó House :: Imprint