I always had a fascination with Kodak Aerochrome (Kodak, please bring it back!). So when I came across Lomography’s purple film, I jumped at the chance to test it. It’s not infrared-sensitive, but it’s the closest thing I can get my hands to have similar effects. I was hoping that Lomochrome Purple would allow me to discover a new world and see my surroundings in different tones, and I was not disappointed.

With its relatively higher cost, it made me think more about composition and which shots to take and not take. I was drawn to green scenes (scenes that would allow me to maximize color shifts; but also an attempt to channel my inner Richard Mosse). I used my first rolls of film to take photos of parks or buildings with some trees, but I wanted to try something new. I wanted to see something wilder.

I have dabbled in macro photography using digital cameras before but never used it on film. I was motivated to combine Lomography Lomochrome Purple XR 100-400 for macro photography because I could not find much online from others doing this. I thought, why not! Having about 10 shots left on the roll, I thought it would not hurt to experiment.

The shots were taken in my garden using my beloved Minolta X-370 and the Minolta MD 50mm f/3.5 Macro Lens. I used the Minolta 1:1 extension tube extension, a tripod, and a cable release. I decided to skip flash and relied on direct sunlight (metering using an app on my phone). All shots were taken at El 200. I found that that rating film at ISO 200 gave me more appealing results. I did not like the results when rating the film at El 400. I cannot say if it was my light metering or the way the film was developed. I started rating the film at El 200 and never looked back.

I had low expectations with this macro experiment. I did not know if I would get anything in focus or even appropriately exposed. I was hoping for color shifts and to see something new. I was not disappointed!

I developed the roll myself using Cinestill’s Cs41 “Color Simplified” kit and scanned the negatives with an Epson Perfection V600 scanner with Silverfast. I must admit that these photos are my favorite from the whole roll. Side note – using Lomochrome Purple to photograph a plate of Tabbouleh is not something anyone wants to see! I shared the macro photos with my father-in-law, who was the one who planted all the flowers in the garden. He loved the photos – from details to the color shifts.

Looking at these photos, I wish I took the chance with more shots around the garden. I know that this is only the start, and I will definitely try it again. Perhaps even using a whole roll just for macro photos of flowers. I am fortunate to have access to a garden with different types of greens and flowers to explore. I am even more inclined to buy my wife flowers to see how they look on purple film (Wife if you are reading this :), I love you!). Next time, it may also be interesting to see how I can get this to work with a flash and see if I can get some abstract macro shots.

With travel restrictions still in place worldwide, I really think others should explore the purple macro world!

~ Alwaleed

Share your knowledge, story or project

The transfer of knowledge across the film photography community is the heart of EMULSIVE. You can add your support by contributing your thoughts, work, experiences and ideas to inspire the hundreds of thousands of people who read these pages each month. Check out the submission guide here.

If you like what you're reading you can also help this passion project by heading over to the EMULSIVE Patreon page and contributing as little as a dollar a month. There's also print and apparel over at Society 6, currently showcasing over two dozen t-shirt designs and over a dozen unique photographs available for purchase.

Join the Conversation



This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.