It's no secret that New Zealand's landscapes belong to an otherworldly dimension, and photographer Henry O. Head captured and made it even more beautiful. After spending six months in New Zealand with his wife, Henry accumulated rolls and rolls of pictures of those ethereal sights, shot on some LomoChrome Purple for an even more mystical look. Based out of Southwest Missouri, Henry has been taking pictures for the past eight years, as a simple memory keeper tool to show his family and friends what he experienced when traveling. Over the last decade, his passion grew into a lifestyle. He released his experimental project “Malacandra” shot in New Zealand with the LomoChrome Purple, published on his website on January 29, and talked about his experience with creating this series!
Hello Henry! It's great to have you here at Lomography! First of all, can you tell us why you still shoot film?
The feel of film photos has an ephemeral softness and nostalgic quality that’s impossible to emulate with digital. I also like the pace of creating images on film: only having 24 or 36 exposures on a roll force you to pay closer attention and to be more conservative with your shooting.
What does a day of shooting look like to you?
I’m always bouncing back and forth between inspirations. Some days I’ll go for a drive by myself with my Mamiya 645 riding side-saddle, just pulling off on back roads to see what I find. Other time’s I’ll toss some BW film in the 35 mm and go out to skate with friends. Other times it’ll be a point n shoot with color film at a house party (back when those were a thing…) — the transient inspiration often dictates the approach and medium that I take.
What do you like to shoot the most?
Currently skateboarding. Skateboarding is a lot like photography in that the rules of creativity are confined to your medium (in this case a piece of wood with wheels) but how you use it to interact with your environment is totally up to you. That kind of embrace of one’s surroundings translates well into creative photographs.
Can you tell us more about this project you’re releasing?
In 2018 I spent 6 months living with my wife and her family in New Zealand. While there, I travelled all over the north and South Island to find the right scenes for this project. The body of work culminated into a project called “Malacandra”, named after the purple and blue planet in C.S. Lewis’s space trilogy.
Why did you choose to shoot it on LomoChrome Purple?
The color-shifting magic of LomoChrome Purple operated as a visual motif for this body of work. When I first traveled to New Zealand in 2014 I was awe-struck by the massive mountains, the rolling hills peppered with sheep, the infinitely spanning beaches & the cascading waterfalls. However, even the most exciting places slowly lose their excitement with time. For this series, I wanted to introduce a new color to these places to re-animate them with the same sense of novelty that they held before time stole the magic away.
How did you select each picture?
I wanted every picture in this series to be a stand-alone, different in composition and feel than the rest. That was my only criteria: for every image to be a window into an entirely new piece of paradise.
From the pictures you sent us, do you have a favorite one? Can you tell us the story behind it?
I have a few favorites from this series, but at the moment my favorite is the image of Indy, my wife, slipping through the gate to check out the huge cluster of coastal wind-swept trees.
Can you give some advice to our readers on how to build a project?
Picking a theme to build your body of work around is crucial. Whatever that initial theme or goal is will end up being the tool you use to cull through the images you produce during the curating process. Also, ask someone who your respect as a storyteller to review the work you’ve put together to answer the hard question: “does this body of work make sense together? Do any photos stand out to you as outsiders that take away from the story I’m trying to tell?”