Photographer Matthieu Quatravaux shares with us the pictures he captured on our newest nostalgia-inducing film, the LomoChrome Color '92, during three different photoshoots with three different models. The results are a series of portraits imbued with a hint of melancholy, characterized by soft skin tons and purple skies. In this interview, Matthieu tells us what he liked more about this new film and reveals his hopes for the future of film photography.
Hi Matthieu, happy to have you back on the Magazine! What have you been up to lately?
Hello! I'm glad to be back. Well, I carried out a few cool projects - like breaking three ligaments in my right leg, which was a very rewarding experience. And otherwise, I took lots of pictures! I'm shooting more and more 35 mm films, which is a very different format from the 6/6 and 6/7 I'm used to. In general, I keep taking photos in my style, sometimes with funny concepts, sometimes without a concept. I just try to capture interesting-looking models in places that inspire me.
Why did you choose to shoot portraits for your test of the LomoChrome Color '92 film ?
For a few years now, I have specialized in portraits. I used to be more into street photography, and then I gradually started adding models into the frame, and it looked good. So I kept doing this sort of thing, and that's what I chose to do for this series as well. Also, I was very excited to see a new, more classic LomoChrome film, and I wanted to see what the skin tones would look like. I started with a first photoshoot where I dressed my model, and I did the same with the next two models in order to keep consistency in the overall look of all the images. Being used to taking twelve photos per photoshoot, I was able to fit three photoshoots in one single 36 exposures roll!
In what lighting conditions did you realize these photoshoots? Did you use a flash?
Everything was shot in daylight, but I chose to use a flash, as I usually do, in order to keep the intensity of the light constant, and to add a "raw" look to the images. So, I took advantage of the good weather and shot with a very strong flash, using a small diffuser, however, so that the shadows were not too dark.
What did you think of the results? Are you happy with them?
I loved it! I had been expecting a more classic LomoChrome film for a long time, hoping for more natural colors, and that's what I got here! I found the rendering warm and natural, with a lot of character still, and that's what makes the images unique. I really liked it and I plan to use the film again, I can't wait for it to be available in 120!
How would you describe the look of this film?
I would say that the film produces images with fairly natural colors, with a wide dynamic range and rather warm tones. I also note a quite visible grain, and I love it!
How do you feel about a new color negative film being on the market?
I must admit I was expecting it. I had hoped for the release of a new film with more natural colors in the LomoChrome range for a long time, and I was glad to see my dream come true! I find the release of this new film to be very encouraging news for the film community. Seeing new homemade films like this gives me hope for this medium. Now, all we have to do is wait for the LomoChrome ISO 800? Or maybe a return of ISO 1600 negative films? My secret dream - not so secret anymore - would be the return of APS films!
What sort of photography do you think this film is best suited for?
Difficult question, because I found the film very versatile, due to its rather natural colors. I think it would give great results whether shot for street photography or portraiture work. I would like to try it for landscape photography when it is available in 120, because I think its contrasts and its fairly high saturation will be able to enhance mountain walks. I still have to test it a few times before making up my mind, especially in 120, but I liked its warm tones so much I could decide to make it my new go-to film, regardless of the chosen subject!
And finally, what are your hopes for the future of film photography?
I hope that the pioneering film companies will increase their production to bring prices down to where they were 5 years ago - hope springs eternal. As for brands though, I put high hopes in Lomography and Cinestill, that both release quality products and take care of their customers. To make film more accessible, I also hope that labs will find a way to develop ECN-2 films at a lower cost, so that all that boxed cinema films can be used without them being too expensive to develop. I love the film community, where we can find many innovators who create products designed for old cameras - notably instant backs for Mamiya and Hasselblad cameras, my dream! There are also many interesting artists. I hope that film will manage to survive and flourish, that prices will come down and that the devices for developing and scanning at home will evolve.
You can find the rest of Matthieu's work on his Instagram page and his Website. And don't forget to check out the Instagram pages of the models Yoonie, Matisse and Minsoo to see more of their photos !