Hong Kong film lover Francis Lee is an active member of our Lomography Community. He started to get in touch with photography when he was a child and he fell in love with this hobby. With the experience of learning how to use different kinds of photographic equipment, he hopes to take photos in different aspects. In this interview, Francis will share his photos taken by LomoChrome Purple film , and explain why he loves this film. Check out his interview below!
Hello Francis! Could you introduce yourself to the readers of our Online Magazine?
Thank you, Lomography for giving me a chance to share my films, and my story about photography. I am working in the Information Technology industry, which has lots of opportunities to work outside. I will take my camera wherever I go! When I was in the University, I studied Graphic Design Course, which helps me a lot for the photo composition.
Photography has always been my favorite way of expressing myself and documenting my life.
How did you start your film photography journey?
My film photography journey started when I was a child. Maybe the first time I pressed the shutter was about 6-to-7 years old. Of course, I didn't know what a camera was at that time. I only knew that it was a mysterious little box that couldn't be opened casually, but it could produce a lot of interesting photos... Hahaha! My father is such a photography enthusiast that he became my mentor. Most of the photography skills were learned from my father. I still remember him using a Minolta SLR camera to explain The Sunny 6 Rule to me. That Minolta camera was a fully manual camera and didn’t even have any metering system. When I grew up, I had the chance to learn from an architectural photographer, who taught me to use different photographic systems and equipment.
What is your most commonly used photographic equipment? Can you share your shooting inspiration with us?
Although I am not a camera collector, I have tried different camera systems over the years, probably more than ten or twenty cameras. In recent years, the most commonly used camera is 35mm rangefinder cameras, especially the two Rollei 35 series—a traditional Rollei 35 and the other 35S. Rollei 35 is equipped with a Tessar lens, and the image will be strong and sharp. It is suitable for taking black and white photos. 35S is very light and fully mechanical, making it a very reliable machine. Most of the subjects I shoot are documentary-style street photography. To make ordinary photos interesting, ideas and imagination are very important. Good work is a combination of skill, practice, observation, and luck. I don't like to use convertible lenses. I prefer to walk back and forth to find different shooting angles. I will also look through the photo collections of some photographic masters to learn about the technique they used. Reading is actually part of the practice.
How was your first impression of the LomoChrome Purple film?
Knowing that LomoChrome Purple film is based on Kodak's infrared negative technology. It used pseudo-color technology to redistribute the primary colors into the infrared spectrum, green will become violet-blue, and red will become pink tones.
After the color tone is reconfigured, the picture becomes very fresh, which is completely different from the environmental color seen by the human eye. I look forward to the unexpected appearance after development, and how different is it from the picture I imagined.
Any special experience you have encountered during your shooting?
Although I have a basic understanding of the color mechanism of LomoChrome Purple films, I am always surprised by the results. In the past, I went to Lan Kwai Fong to shoot a Halloween celebration with LomoChrome Purple. I was expected to shoot some unusual tones, and I didn’t expect it to perform well in low-light environments. So I believe that this film can be pushed to +1 EV and kept at ISO 800, the result should be perfect too!
Why do you like LomoChrome Purple film?
The attractive colors catch the eye of the viewer. The color can make the picture become special, which tells the story from another angle.
Why do you like film photography?
Everything changed a lot nowadays. I am glad that I still have a passion for photography. In this digital world, I still shoot film because:
- Firstly, from shooting to film development, it is a physical process that requires humanization in it.
- Secondly, each film has different characteristics. Photographers can choose their films according to their preferences.
In the commercial world, there is no doubt that the digital system has the advantages of time and convenience, but if you want to enjoy photography and understand the culture, I still recommend my friends to shoot with films.
Any other photographic projects you will do in the future?
There is a photographic theme called "Liminal Photography". It is about the connection of public places, such as narrow alleys, pedestrian bridges, corridors, parking lots, and even pedestrian crossings and traffic lights. These places where it is crowded and are extremely busy are recorded through by camera, to capture like an uninhabited, claustrophobic, and seems to be paused in time. I am planning to use the simplest pinhole camera to shoot with film with different effects. I hope to express people's feelings about the future, which is confused about their identity, role, consciousness. I was first inspired by a Japanese manga called "Erased" (僕だけがいない街). And this plan is the goal I gave myself for 2022.
Finally, please share with us one of your favorite photos taken with LomoChrome Purple!
Among those photos I took with LomoChrome Purple, I like the one I shot in the stadium. Due to the pandemic, the number of people in the venue is limited, and the environment is extremely deserted. The staff was irrigating. What a simple and peaceful picture. The grass turned to a purple hue, like being in a lavender garden.