Purple Poses - Playing Purposefully with Lomography's Purple XR Film

June 21, 2022

"When God made the colour purple, God was just showing off."

- Mae Jemison

Engineer, Physician, former NASA astronaut and first black woman to travel into space.

 

Shooting film has made a big comeback in recent years.

There are many reasons why, but the twin feelings of anticipation while waiting for your film to be developed, and of surprise when you get back your images, are definitely included on that list.

Canon AE-1

 

Experimenting with unique film stocks - ones that have been pre-exposed or have unusual chemical formulas - elevates those elements of anticipation and of surprise.

I've enjoyed trying out several film types for this very reason. One of them is Lomography's Lomachrome Purple XR 100-400 film.

Monarch Butterfly I

In this blog I will share some images I captured with this unique film type. All were taken in September 2021 with my Canon AE-1.

Purple is rich in symbolism, often linked with royalty, but with many other associations also. I'll let you draw your own conclusions though, as you view the images shared here.

Monarch Butterfly II

The essential thing to know about Lomochrome Purple XR is that it shifts colours. Blue becomes green, green becomes purple, yellow becomes pink but reds stay as red. So it definitely offers some surprises, especially if you capture scenes with blue, green and yellow.

Butterflies enjoying the lush plant life in Toronto's Kew Gardens - on a gorgeous September day - provided me a great opportunity to try out the colour shifts that Lomachrome Purple has to offer.

A Pair of Monarchs

 

Others have written much more in-depth about the chemistry of this film, and of how to shoot images with it. Here are two such links well worth looking at if you are considering trying out this film:

- Emulsive's tips and users guide to Lomochrome Purple

- Matt Loves Cameras' review of Lomochrome Purple

 

A former Black's store in Toronto's Beaches neighbourhood

Black's is still active under new ownership as an online photo business, but their bricks and mortar stores closed in 2015.

 

Colours of Queen

I love the architecture of this building.

 

Making Space

A scene just across the street from the previous image.

 

In some images the colour shifts are more subtle...

McTamney's

One of Toronto's biggest pawn shops - seen here on Church Street but now located on the Danforth.

 

While in other images the colour changes are much more dramatic...

Leafy Floor

A view of the grounds of Toronto's Metropolitan United Church.

 

Greenwood Graffiti

 

Channeling Chi

Greenwood Park

 

Thou Shalt Not Steal

A bike with a sign noting the eighth commandment.

The bike hasn't moved in months. I guess the sign is working!

 

Tasty Restaurant

 

Tasty

 

A Blooming Lie

 

Kim's Convenience

 

Purple on the Tracks

Workers repair streetcar tracks at Queen Street and University Avenue

 

Crossing McCaul

 

Cycling McCaul

 

Passing OCAD

 

AGO Colours

 

AGO Reflections

 

I really like how the butterfly images turned out, so I'll end with one more...

Monarch Butterfly III

 

If you liked this unusual film type, you might enjoy my blog post featuring images of Coney Island captured on Revelog's Kolor film.

If you like film photography, click here to see my other blog posts featuring film images.

Thanks for looking!

"Be different. Be original. Nobody will remember a specific flower in a garden filled with thousands

of the same yellow flower, But they will remember the one that managed to change its color to purple."

- Suzy Kassem, 'Rise Up And Salute The Sun'.


Culture Snap Photography features the work of Toronto-based photographer Henry VanderSpek. Henry specializes in documenting the work of local and international non-profit organizations, special events, live music, street and art photography. To hire Henry for an assignment, please click here to get in touch.
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