I do not often shoot colour films, and I tried to explain my reasons for that in a blog post that I wrote a long time ago: if you wish to find out more, just follow this link. But, as I already explained back then, I am by no means a purist: I enjoy other people’s colour photography, and, occasionally, I give it a bash myself.
There is one aspect that, when it comes to colour photography, has been crucial to me: I do not wish to give a realistic rendering of what is in front of me when I take my photos: high resolution, realistic colours, incredible depth of field – all those blessings of the digital age mean very little to me.
Sure, I enjoy those in other people’s photography (and more than just occasionally).
Yet, in my own photos, I want to capture what I see and what attracts my attention while reducing that ubiquitous noise, visual and otherwise, that surrounds me. I want to reduce the presence of what is not important to me, and to increase the intensity of what stands out to me. To be able to do that by analogue means, rather than subsequently applied digital filters, is a genuine pleasure.
In the past, I’ve tried out expired colour films, cross-processing slide films, as well as a few novelty formula or colour reversal films (such as the Rollei Redbird), and I genuinely enjoyed the experience. I may actually share some of the results here at some point.
But with this piece I would like to share some recent photos that I took using my trusty Zorki (a Zorki-1) and a roll of Lomochrome Metropolis (2019 formula), shot at ISO 400 settings.
I found the results, with their subdued colours, the slight emphasis on the reds, and the 1960s, 1970s overall feel, very pleasing indeed.
Some further examples of what this film is capable of:
And even in low light conditions and for long exposures, I found the results to be highly satisfying:
Finally, a long exposure:
I still can’t imagine to swap my black-and-white game for colour – it’s just not my preferred style of expression.
But I certainly feel inspired to try out further colour films that combine what I like in photography with a colourful aesthetic.