Lomography has just announced LOMOCHROME PURPLE, a new color negative film. That alone should make me happy. Every new film that comes to the market in these days is good news. But still, for some reason I am not as excited as I should be.
The new “Purple” is supposed to create effects similar to the iconic Kodak Aerochrome, a color infrared film that was originally designed for military purposes.
Lomography’s new film is not a true infrared film but emulates the look (with notable differences) by using a color shift.
One of the reasons for that was that the Lomography community wanted an easy to use film that did not require the use of filters and would be more predictable and easier to develop than Aerochrome.
In a way that is my problem. I’ve got five rolls of Aerochrome in the freezer waiting for the right time, the right camera, the right level of skill on my part. I know that I need to be more careful with this film, I know that I need to prepare, and quite frankly that adds to the appeal.
The IR look of Aerochrome is quite unique – which is what makes it so great. However, it is also so unique that it could easily become too much if overused. Such it is with many special effects and techniques: cross-processing slide film is a notable example of this. I like it, I did myself but is become so overused for my taste that I started to find it boring and wanted to not do it for a while just be able to become excited about it again.
Now I can imaging everyone getting that new Purple film – no wonder because it is cool. It is similarly cool and unique in looks as was Aerochrome. But it will be so easily accessible that its uniqueness will vanish. It will become commonplace, and boring, and shallow.
Come July, Lomography.com will turn purple – which is okay. People should do what the gives them joy. Whether it truly is an expression of creativity or simply the analogue equivalent of popular Instagram filters is another matter.