Experiment with – Lomochrome Purple

Hey there, Mr. Green Sky

Lomochrome Purple is a colour negative film stock produced by Lomography, a Viennese-based company focusing on analogue cameras and photography. This film promises weird and wacky colour shifts while still maintaining fine grains and sharp contrasts. After seeing the results from many other analogue photographers, I knew I had to try it out myself and experience the world through Lomochrome Purple.

According to Lomography, the film exhibits different effects based on the ISO at which the film is being metered. I chose to shoot the film at ISO 400, which provided me with the flexibility to shoot scenes with lower available light or the fast-paced action of the street. The other suggested speeds, ISO 200 and ISO 100, would have resulted in additional exposures of 1 and 2 stops respectively. It was unclear how the choice of ISO would affect the final images so the only option was to experiment.

After developing the film, I was surprised at the resulting negatives and the scans. The lighter greens had transformed into lavender or lilac hues while the darker greens became indigo. Blues had become greens while yellows became pinks or magenta. Reds, pinks, and oranges appeared to maintain their hues.

I suspect the colour shifts are a result of different colour dyes being used for the blue, green, and red layers in the colour film — with the colour dyes for the blue and green layers changed and the red layer’s dye remaining the same compared to C-41 process films without the colour-shift effect. However, I won’t delve too deeply into this topic as it is purely speculation.

Interestingly, there is a yellow base for the Lomochrome Purple instead of the red-orange base found on most other colour negative films. Yet, I am not certain if this base colour has any contribution towards the observed colour shifts in the images.

Aside from shooting still subjects, I was also interested in the film’s suitability for street photography.

While these images were shot in harsh sunlight, the muted purple hues soften the scenes and provide a calming effect to the viewer. The film is able to modify the busy scene in the midday sun into one that is tranquil and bathed in a purple cast.

Familiar scenes are rendered alien due to the unfamiliar colours, and this departure from reality offers an almost otherworldly experience in purples. It has the ability to breathe new life into otherwise mundane scenes.

Overall, Lomochrome Purple is a very interesting film stock. The colour shifts provide interesting and surprising results which require more experimentation. I believe that this film lends itself to fine art or experimental photography but also has its place in street photography.

I look forward to shooting more of this film in the future and I hope you enjoyed my first foray into Lomochrome Purple.

The images have been shot on a Canon EOS Elan 7e (EOS 30) film camera using a Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM II lens. Lomography’s Lomochrome Purple film stock was shot and developed at 400 ISO. The majority of the photos have been taken using shutter priority with an adjustment of EV +0.

The film was developed using Tetanal’s C-41 kit developer for 3:15 minutes at 38C. Blix was applied to the film for 4:00 minutes at 38C. The film was rinsed with water for 3:00 minutes at 30C, followed by a stabiliser for 1:00 minute at 25C. The resulting negatives were scanned using the Epson V550 and edited in Photoshop.


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