Until very recently I’ve been only dimly aware of Lomography’s Lomochrome Purple. I think that in my mind, I must have filed it away as one of those gimicky films, like those with pre-exposed stars or lighting bolts that just don’t hold much appeal for me. No offense if you enjoy those films, they just don’t seem to be my thing, although I have yet to try one.
As I began to get into shooting infrared black and white film a little bit, I began to wonder if infrared color film was a thing? The only color infrared film that I could find much info on was Kodak Aerochrome. To my shock and dismay, I found that rolls of Kodak Aerochrome went for absolutely insane prices as the film has been discontinued for quite some time, then I stumbled upon Lomochrome Purple, which if I understand it correctly, was Lomography’s answer to customer requests to bring back Aerochrome. To be clear, Lomochrome Purple is not an infrared film at all, but a conventional film wherein the order of the dye layers have been reshuffled so that greens become purples, yellows become pinks and the sky renders as turquoise.
Now I realize that the above probably wasn’t news to anyone but me, as Lomochrome Purple has been out for several years. Yes, I mostly live under a rock and was surprised and delighted when I first saw images shot with this purple film. I realize it’s not really a substitute for a real infrared color film, but to my easily amused eyes, it seemed delightful. I was even happier to find out that it’s available in 120 format.
I’ve been looking for interesting films to try in my recently acquired Chroma Six:9 with Mamiya Sekor 50mm f/6.3 lens and I have to say, I was pretty excited to order a 3 pack of it. If you’d like to read about my travails with medium format and how I came by the Six:9, you can find an account of that here.
The Chroma has so many things going for it that work perfectly for me, I’ll list a couple here but I hope to someday write a full on review of the Six:9. Besides its compactness, lightness and ability to accept a huge range of lenses (with the appropriate magnetically attached lens cone), it can shoot formats ranging from 6×4.5 to 6×9 including 6×6. While I bought the Chroma primarily to shoot 6×9, I’m also quite enamored of square photographs, so I snapped in the 6×6 film masks, loaded up a roll of Lomochrome Purple, tossed the tripod in my gigantic cargo bike, I’ve been getting a bit of unintended blur with other cameras lately and I knew I wanted to shoot this roll at pretty small apertures, and rode off for a shoot in and around Reno. Below are the results; I shot everything at ISO 200, I think this was all shot at f/22 and this roll was developed by The Darkroom in San Clemente.
Thanks for reading this far!