My Experience with LomoChrome Purple

In Film, How to, Inspiration, Review

I feel as though I need to put a disclaimer on this post because it does involve purple film.

Yes, purple.

Here it is…

DISCLAIMER: When it comes to my photography, my visual style is to run the gamut. I explore the same themes over and over again, but I experiment with alternative processes, films, cameras, video, and various forms of presentation. This kind of annoys certain people, and some of those people even feel the need to tell me that this annoys them (thank you, peanut gallery of the internet). If things like pinhole photography, purple film, and unicorns annoy you, please keep moving. I’m not changing my tune – I’ve been living in this fantasy world since ’83!

With that said, I have been partying hard with some LomoChrome Purple, and I want to give you the lowdown on where to purchase it, how to shoot it, and some tips on processing.

So, here’s the deal: Lomography had a go at simulating an effect that is similar to color IR film. Kodak produced a color IR (infrared) film years ago that was meant for aerial photography (hence the name Aerochrome).

Unfortunately, color IR film has been discontinued and is exceedingly rare and expensive. It is a beautiful film that creates surreal results, so Lomography has tapped into the market of photographers like me who would like to get similar effects, without going to debtors prison.

While LomoChrome Purple is not true color IR film, I think it still deserves some serious credit!

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I wanted to transform the places I see on a regular basis into something surreal, and this film helped me achieve that. Even those of us who are photographers, constantly looking at the world around us with curious and eager eyes, can still begin to gloss over our surroundings after a while. This film completely transforms my surroundings – I like to  a imagine they are a snapshot of another dimension, where things look similar to what I am accustomed to seeing, but colors and light behave differently.

You can purchase LomoChrome purple in either 35mm or 120 format. I have read where some people have complained that this film is muddy or unpredictable, but if shot and processed properly, it can have very rich color and contrast. Here’s my experience:

My most successful frames were shot in full sun and metered at 160 ISO (the film is 100 – 400 ISO). This film needs a lot of light! My indoor shots were terrible, but outdoors? So fine!

It is C-41 process, but I processed it E-6 to create more contrast. I also push-processed the film.

You will most likely need to do some tweaking in post. My negatives were a cooler purple (leaning more towards cyan than blue) than the purples in my images here. It was a quick fix in Lightroom, though.

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Finally, if you want to shoot a roll of this film, I encourage you to make sure that you photograph plenty of green! The main characteristic of this film is that the emulsion shifts green to purple.

Would I recommend this film? Absolutely! If you are adventurous, not a perfectionist, or just want to see things in a new way, this film is a lot of fun.
~Anna~

8 Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing the specifics of how you used lomo purple. I have some of this film in cold storage and have been wondering when and where I might use it. Your dream-like photos are giving me some good ideas.

    • Thank you, Meghan! I really enjoyed this film! I was trying to be judicious with the frames, and it actually took me about 3 months to finish the roll, which was very new to me, ha!

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