I have been eager to use Lomochrome Purple for some time now. I love the work of Richard Mosse using infrared colour film, and as the psychedelic portraits taken by Elliott Landy. Unfortunately, colour infrared film is hard to get now, but in my research, I came across this offering by Lomography. Though this is not actually an infrared film, Lomography claims it allow you to “get the effects of colour infrared film without the hassle of using additional filters.”
I wanted to test this claim for myself.
Given the limited availability (and price) of this film, I waited for the right chance to use it. I knew the film would particularly affect the way that greens are rendered, while maintaining skin tones fairly neutral, so I was keen to use it for some portraits. I had noticed that the canals of London seemed to have much more green algae in them than usual and I made a mental note that it would be interesting to see what the Lomochrome did to the green water.
My chance came when I did a photo shoot for the fingerer style guitarist Marco Regina. We took some shots around Camden Locks, which has a great mix of water, algae, and weeping willows. I then finished off the rest of the film on a trip to Llangollen – not what landscapes in Wales usually look like.
As expected, the film creates a unique look – turning greens into rich purples and shades of red, and rendering water in lovely shades of turquoise and greens. Overall, the grain is quite fine and pleasant in my opinion, but does tend to get more pronounced in any underexposed areas.
Compared to the colour infrared shots I was inspired by, the colours and a bit less “psychedelic” overall. There are less vivid shades of red and orange, with more subdued tones of purple. However, I was particularly pleased with the way rendered the water.
I hope Lomography increases production of this film, otherwise it will have to stay a film for “special occasions”.
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This series is being produced in conjunction with Hamish Gill's excellent 35mmc.com. Head on over to read the other half of these stories there.
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