My first experience with the glorious Lomography X Tungsten 64 was exciting, thrilling, but full of second thoughts. I'm sincerely glad this film comes in a 3-pack so I can have more opportunities to try it out.
“What!? Tungsten? That’s so cool, I love tungsten film — it will give you great results even if you don’t cross process it.” My friend exclaimed to me when we were talking about our Lomo cameras and film. While shooting my first roll of Lomography X Tungsten 64 , I couldn’t wait to use up all 36 exposures and get it down to the lab asap!
Lomography X Tungsten is rated at 64 ISO, which means that it requires more light for “proper” exposure than any 100 ISO slide film. It works great to counter act any yellow cast, like from incandescent lighting, to create a neutral balance. When cross processed, there tends to be a dominant purple, pink hue.
My love and I had driven up to Tantalus lookout, an amazing site in Honolulu, Hawaii, up in the mountains. From the lookout, we could see the entire cityscape of downtown Hawaii, as well as beautiful Diamond Head, and the ocean horizon. It was the perfect place for a photo-shooting!
After waiting for the slides to be cross processed, my heart dropped when I saw how my results were not as great as I had envisioned them to be. In comparison to some examples put up on the Lomography website, my photos were drastically underexposed and lacking the detail I normally get from my beloved Lomo LC-A+ .
The underexposure was so apparent that I could only salvage about half of all the exposures to showcase online. The rest of the slides were simply too dark to see much of anything. I read online that photographers can use the method of intentionally underexposing tungsten film to create a “day for night” effect — so that the shots appear to have been taken at night. And that’s really how I felt my photos turned out to be.
What had happened? I had two possible ideas — either the day had been much too cloudy than I had estimated, or my camera’s light meter was not working up to par, which meant that my LC-A+’s batteries could be depleted.
See the album here!
I couldn’t help but be sorely disappointed, but I’m still eager to try, try again. Now, with fresh batteries, and a new roll of Tungsten, I’m ready to move on from the underexposure problem and see what else this film can offer me.