I always thought that a picture needs to have something extraordinary to catch your eye. Be it the decisive moment, an unusual perspective, some odd expression, a fantastic array of color, shadow or shape, you name it. But at least one element in a photograph has to be different in order to touch the viewer.
In fact, black and white photography have an advantage from this point of view. The world shows itself in color, so the B&W picture by its nature portrays everything in an unreal way. When you go into color photography, you have a problem. Color is closer to reality and that can turn a picture into something ordinary.
For long, I have tried different ways to overcome this issue. Digital manipulation, using casts, pushing Portra and so on. Some available films can give results that put reality to a distance. But, for me, most of them were either too artificial or couldn’t provide pleasant aesthetics. Recently, Lomography launched a new film that could possibly go into the direction I was looking for. Muted colors and high contrast. It’s called Metropolis. I gave it a shot and put some into a Leica M7.
I shot it at EI 400 and using a 50mm f/1.4 lens. Processing is regular C41. Of course, it may not be suited for all subjects. Possibly it is a great film for some kinds of portraiture but, since recently street photography is my day to day thing, I used it in the urban setting. It didn’t disappoint me.
The colors stand but are unobtrusive and contrast is quite good. The somehow greyish tone is quite adequate to portray modern city landscapes. A more cold and restricted palette may enhance a subjectively more aggressive environment.
Please appreciate my 5 frames with this new film because, in my opinion, it adds a distinct touch to these images.
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This series is 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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