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  • Tom Mills

Adventures with creative films

My return to analog photography has included several photographic firsts for me. I've ventured beyond Ilfosol-3 from the Ilford Simplicity Starter Kit and tried two more black and white developers, Kodak HC-110 and Kodak TMax and could visibly see how each impacted the negatives. HC-110 is now my favorite developer because it consistently gives me better results with the same films I developed using Ilfosol-3. If I had continued down the Ilfosol-3 only route, I probably would have never bought another roll of Arista EDU Ultra 200. I've also ventured outside the "traditional" 35mm film format to shoot 120 and even 620 film; in fact, I find myself gravitating more towards my Mamiya 645 Super over any of the 35mm cameras as my "go-to" camera (might be because of the whole Photographer's Block thing I wrote about previously though...)

Throughout the process I've learned some interesting things; first, for 35mm photography, I clearly prefer black and white to color negative film, not just because it's an easier development process, but I actually like the resulting images from black and white film better. For medium format, my absolute favorite film is color positive film; the images I shot on my recent outing with FujiColor Velvia 100 are just stunning; colors are beautiful, virtually grain free... amazing. One thing I hadn't experienced was to shoot and develop "creative" films like LomoChrome Purple. Proud to say I can officially check that off the list now.

My creative film adventure started with a single 120 roll of LomoChrome Purple. I applied the same logic I used in my Brownie experiment, a single roll was worth trying just to say I did it. I didn't think I'd like shooting with unconventional film; in my view, the world was either monochrome or "real" color.... you know, "normal". In retrospect, I should have found that point of view to be odd considering I actually enjoy abstract art, but let's get to the point of the blog post...

Lomography describes LomoChrome Purple as a "delicate balance of the finest photon reactive silver halide crystals and special color compounds" that turns blue to green, green to purple, and yellow to pink and promises "spectacular psychedelic results". I honestly didn't think I would like the results, but alas, I was wrong. This is one of my favorite images from the roll... the green trees and reflections of the trees in the water turned a beautiful purple, making the stream look like it was full of wine, really cool.

Creek of wine, Mamiya 645 Super, Mamiya-Sekor 80mm f/2.8, LomoChrome Purple 100-400

Here's another shot looking down one of the streets in the neighborhood. The yellow dividing lines turned pink, the blue street signs turned green and the whole image has a really neat purple tint... awesome!

Neighborhood Street, Mamiya 645 Super, Mamiya-Sekor 80mm f/2.8, LomoChrome Purple 100-400

According to Lomography, colors can also be altered by varying ISO settings; I shot the entire roll on my Mamiya at ISO 400 so looking forward to seeing if ISO variations really do change color variations as Lomography claims. Here's another shot of the woods in our local park... some lovely purple awesomeness.

Trail through purple woods, Mamiya 645 Super, Mamiya-Sekor 80mm f/2.8, LomoChrome Purple

I was so happy with the results that I immediately went on to Lomography to buy more rolls, in both 120 and 35mm. While I was shopping, I thought I'd go ahead and try some of their other more creative films as well and ordered a 3 pack of Lomography Redscale XR since it was back in stock... I'll write a post about those results after I get a chance to shoot and develop it.

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