Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Two of Lomography's wacky films!

You will never hear me say that the Lomography folks are boring.  While I am not a fanboy of the "shoot from the hip" and "light leaks and sprockets are cool  features" hype, I laud them for bringing interesting low-fi (and some not lo-fi) cameras to market, and their ability to find some oddball emulsions and convince us to buy them.   I suspect that they have been able to buy up stocks of some aged films  in large quantities, and have their brand flashed along the rebate area above the sprockets.  Often, we see an odd film brought to market and warned in advance that we'll see odd color shifts (such as the Lomochrome Turquoise), and the results are so amazingly odd that we almost weep when we find it's out of stock.  Sometimes I come across a roll or two of a film and find that it is discontinued, such as the X-Pro Color Sunset Strip. That doesn't give me much to experiment with, but I know that whatever the results, they probably won't be what I expected.  I know that it's a bit late to talk about a discontinued film, but just in case you find one of these films, you may want to grab it and shoot.

Lomochrome Turquoise XR 100-400

Not to be confused with Lomochrome Purple, which gives a bit of faux IR-look to the images, the Turquoise has amazing color shifts that totally blew me away.  I had one roll to play with, and shot it with my Minolta Maxxum 5 last April.  Some of the images were taken at the Ann Arbor Festifools parade, and the colors are definitely amazing, and odd.  The film is ISO 400 and fine-grained, and as advertised by Lomography "LomoChrome Turquoise lets you explore the color spectrum like you never have before. Warm colors become blue, blue becomes golden and green becomes emerald. Capable of producing picture-perfect photos totally naturally, Lomochrome Turquoise will bathe your photos in lustrous tones from a broader color spectrum."    I can't do better than that hype. It is a C-41 color negative film with oddball color shifts that I find quite endearing.
No longer Maize and Blue!

Lomography Color X-Pro Sunset Strip 100

 Also now discontinued, this is indeed a strange film that is in reality, an E-6 (color slide) film that has no orange mask. Hence the x-pro designation.    I shot the roll with my Minolta Hi-Matic G camera, and developed in home C-41 chemistry.  The film looks very blue, and is also extremely curly, making scans difficult.  I don't know if it is the age of the film, but it is grainy and my best shots were taken with plenty of sunlight. In gray skies the colors are very muted.  The scanner had a bit of a hard time with the color for some of the frames that were taken under cloudy conditions, so I expect that the film has better results when there is plenty of light and good contrast. As the Lomo site advertises, "This emulsion is truly for the bravest of Lomographers."
You can see how odd the film looks after developing

Outside of Zingerman's candy store

See the  wrist strap on the lower right. I need to remove it.

At the Reuse center

Chelsea's famous clock tower

there used to be a bookstore here

Jiffy Mix

reds really are pronounced

not so great in the shadows

A strange film, for sure

So, yes, I enjoy playing with the oddball films from Lomography.  They add an element of surprise and are plain fun.  Try one, such as the Lomochrome Purple (while it is still available) and see what you think.  Definitely a departure from what the digital shooters are doing!  I advise getting a couple of rolls of any of the offbeat films. Test one to have a better idea of its characteristics under different conditions, and then use the other rolls when you know you have the best chance of getting the maximum effectiveness from the film.

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