Film exploration is awesome. Some people have a dedicated film stock that they like to shoot. Portra 400, Fuji Superia, HP5+, etc. And you see how people really know the film stock and what it is capable of. They know when to overexpose and underexpose it. They know the latitude of the film stock and how far they can push it to get the type of photos that they want.
What other people don’t usually see is the journey leading up to that point. The mountains of test rolls of other films that that person had to go through to find that film stock that they liked to use. Testing out new film stock and seeing what each one is capable of sparks so much creative thought. Want more saturation? A detail in the highlights/shadows? Something with more contrast? Each film and how you treat it bring out so many different possibilities. I guess that would be the equivalent of the filters that are used now so much on social media but to an extreme.
I certainly have not reached the point where I have found my ideal film stock. I have gone through more random rolls of film in the past month alone. In my exploration, I wanted to try out Lomography film, in particular, Lomo 400. I had heard how Lomography had a reputation for unique results with their film. Lomo 400 is the standard film in their line up of color negative films. I shot the entire roll at box speed just to see the capabilities of the film. Would I get warmer or cooler tones? How would the details in my shadows turn out? To test this film stock out, I chose my most versatile camera in my arsenal, the Nikon F3.
I made a journey to my hometown to see one of its great landmarks, the San Gabriel Mission. This mission is rich with history and character from the mission itself to the surrounding buildings making up old town San Gabriel and even a cemetery. Even though I grew up in the area, I wanted to capture the typical scenes from new angles or unexpected situations.
Gone But Not Forgotten
Lomo 400 has such a great rendering of the colors. It has such a nice amount of saturation but it is also close to the real colors as I have seen. It almost reminds me of the photos I have seen taken on Kodak Ektar in some ways in the way it renders color. I think with how versatile this film is, it is going to be a daily shooter for me. Time to go and try the other film stocks offered by Lomography.
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You can view my first post here on 35mmc here from my thrift store Olympus XA!
The Drive-By Film Shooter