Denver-based photographer Justin Rose, who works for the popular street photography Instagram account, Street Honey, shot some Lomography film on a recent road trip along the West Coast. Documenting cities, deserts, and everything in between, Justin showed us just how many great things you can capture with film photography! Check out the results here.
Welcome to the Lomography Magazine, Justin! Please introduce yourself real quick to our community.
Thank you! I appreciate you having me! My name is Justin Rose. I was born in a small town outside of Cleveland, Ohio. I grew up in various Louisiana cities and I've lived all over the country including... Cleveland, San Diego, San Francisco, and NYC. I currently live in Denver, Colorado. I spend a great deal of my time staying involved with the film photography community, trying new food, going to shows, hiking, reading, basketball, and kickin' it with my cat, Bastet.
What's your role at Street Honey and how did you get involved with them?
I joined the Street Honey family last year as Business Development. I moved to Denver from Cleveland around the same time Mickkail (founder/curator of Street Honey) moved to Denver from San Francisco. We met up a few times and threw around ideas that seemed to line up with one another. I love working alongside this team and pushing for the common goal of bringing the film community together.
How did you get into film photography?
I started practicing film photography about two and a half years ago. I found a bodega in Cleveland, Ohio with racks of expired (1999) disposable cameras. I purchased a few and spent a good three weeks going on adventures around Northeast Ohio and documenting it with these disposables. Later, I found out the bodega had boxes full of expired film in the back that they were willing to part with for close to nothing. I purchased a Nikon FM, a set of lenses, a speedlight, filters, and immediately started experimenting with the expired film.
How important is social media to you for your film photographs? Are you using any other outlets for your photography?
Social media, more specifically, Instagram, is very important to my photography. Not only do I get to share images I've created with people all over the world, but I get to see the work of photographers and artists from all over the world. I've met and connected with so many amazingly talented photographers and models that probably wouldn't be in my life if it wasn't for Instagram and film photography. Currently, I'm in the process of putting together a couple of zines and showcasing my work in galleries.
Tell us about your road trip! :-)
The road trip was from July 12th through the 19th. My friend, Jessica Galvanek, and I took her '89 Cadillac ElDorado (no A/C) out to Los Angeles and back to Denver. The first day we drove to a small town in Southern Utah called Monroe, where we stayed the night in a renovated 60's school bus at the Mystic Hot Springs. We couldn't have picked a better spot to start the trip off. The area was full of vintage school buses, soda machines, and an old run-down pioneer village. I got a shot of Maria and Der leaving the hot springs on their motorcycle the same time we were leaving. Shouted my Instagram handle out to them and they actually heard me. Much love to them!
Our next stop was Joshua Tree, California. Along the way, we stopped at some small towns while the temperature stayed around 112-115 degrees. I had a lot of fun photographing the alien dudes and UFOs outside of Alien Fresh Jerky in Baker, California. We decided to skip Vegas on this trip. Maybe next time! We got to our camper in Joshua Tree just in time for me to get some sunset shots. I planned to wake up early and get a few of my cameras ready for some sunrise shots. I made sure I knew exactly what time the sunrise would be. I set my alarm, woke up, and realized my phone didn't automatically change time zones. I woke up at 4 am instead of 5 am and was so confused as to why the sun wasn't rising. Needless to say, I was prepared for that sunrise.
After running around the desert we headed to LA. I was hanging out the window all along this trip with my Olympus XA and Canon Sure Shot Classic 120 getting roadside shots, on the move. We made it to LA, where we stayed for three days. I was all over the city meeting up with photographers and friends I haven't seen in awhile. Roaming around downtown with Steven Lavery and hooking him up with a couple of rolls of Lomography film was one of the highlights of Los Angeles for me. Big shout out to my brother, Bradley Soileau, and his Blackfist brand. We went to high school together and used to go to shows together in Louisiana. Spending time with him was another highlight of this trip. I found countless subjects to photograph in Long Beach, Venice Beach and the Venice Canals.
After Los Angeles, we headed for a small town outside of Flagstaff, Arizona called Kachina Village. We stayed in a beautiful A-frame cabin surrounded by pines with temperatures in the 70s. Jean Louis was our host at the particular Airbnb and he is a magnificent soul. We had a peaceful and relaxing setting to create and rest in. Our last stop before heading back to Denver was this incredible Airbnb called, Our Crooked House, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. We were away from downtown, off of a dirt road. Jessica and I got some great shots at that place, both during the day and night. Our host, Dennis, was amazing and explained to us how he built the house. It was the perfect place to end the trip! I loved the experiences and things I got to witness on this trip. I appreciate Lomography for helping me document it.
What gear did you take with you and why?
Camera/Lens-wise... Nikon FM, Nikon One-Touch Zoom 90S, Canon Sure Shot Classic 120, Olympus XA, Minolta SR-T 202, Yashica TL Electro-X, Mamiya/Sekor 500TL, Voigtlander Perkeo I, Pentax Zoom 90WR. IKAN Onyx 120. I also had my usual supplies... tripod, reflectors, and filters. I tend to carry a lot of different types of film and cameras, I like to have options and switch things up from time to time.
Do you have a favorite photo from this series? If so which one and why? (If it has a story behind it, we'd love to hear it).
That's a tough one but my favorite photo from this trip is probably the shot I got of Steven Lavery doing a 360 flip off of the small staircase in downtown LA. We were roaming around and saw this guy skating and Steven asked if he could do a trick with the guy's board real quick. That was the first and only trick he did so I'm glad I was able to capture that moment.
What's important to you in your photographs?
Besides the composition, lighting, shadows, tones, etc... The most important thing to me with my photographs is the freezing of time. Always in the back of my mind, I wish I had found photography sooner. There's so much from my life that isn't captured within a photograph and that sticks with me. I like to capture the moments, a person or place's true essence at that moment in time. The nostalgia, the risk, the grain, the inconsistency, the process, the nature of film as a whole brings a calm, a practice of patience and peace to my soul.
You took a variety of Lomography film with you on this trip. Which was your favorite and why?
My favorite Lomography film will always be CN800 but this trip introduced me to Lady Grey 400. Absolutely, without a doubt, my new favorite black and white film. I shot this both at box speed and pushed. Both ways produced results that I was beyond happy with. I'm excited to work on more projects with the Lady Grey 400. I'd like to add, this trip was also my first time using Lomography's 120 film. Highly recommended as well! I was shooting with the Lomography CN100 in my Voigtlander Perkeo I.
Any last words to the Lomography community?
I would like to thank you and the Lomography family for being so amazing and always providing top-notch hospitality. I greatly appreciate all of y'all! If you have the time, follow me at @grizzk_ and our team at @streethoney on Instagram.