After journeying down the Lomographic path for the past year, my heart was torn between the mediums of photos. As a lover of warm and nostalgic colors, my heart yearns for natural color negative photos. But as a experimenter and member of this community, cross processed slide film is always a big winner. Which is your favorite? I highlight the pros and cons of both methods after the jump!
As a disclaimer, I would like to point out that I am no expert at Lomography, but rather a passionate lover of what this amazing community stands for — the joy of analogue, the desire to stretch one’s comfort zone, and the production of beautiful photos spanning the globe. And I believe that a crucial part of why this community is so successful is because of our interactions, albeit through technology and not face to face, that are indeed sincere and stimulating.
An internal dialogue within my soul has been itching to burst forth into the realms of the interwebs for you all, my beloved friends and online family, to read. The discourse that churns our fingers to press “click, click, click” is also intermingled with much deeper contrivances of consumerism, which reveal a vast range of results. Just take a look at the Photos section of our website and glance at the different tags that appear.
However, one tag or category does bring some sorrow to my heart, the Most Popular section of Lomography. Here, we see a “dog eat dog” sort of environment, reminiscent of the “popular” hierarchy in high school. This section is studded with famous usernames that I will not take the time to divulge, since that isn’t the heart of my article, bringing focus to what I’ve noticed seems to bring forth a common theme within the photos in this elite class….cross processing.
Now, please, my dear reader, do not take my words with bitterness or wrongful distain. I absolutely love the photos that show up on this category; they are simply stunning, breathtaking, and otherworldly peeks into the brilliant viewfinders (or stances from the hip) of beautiful imaginations. I myself, spend most of my analogue endeavors with cross processed film, and my personal favorite film to shoot is Kodak Ektachrome E100VS.
However, I’ve also noticed that through deductive reasoning…
1. Most of the photos in the “Most Popular” subsection under “Photos” are of cross processed (x-pro) results.
2. Who doesn’t want their photos to end up in the popular section?
3. We must shoot photos in “color slide films”: http://shop.lomography.com/films/color-slide-film and cross process them in color negative chemicals to get the results that will give us attention and “likes” to possibly end up on the “Most Popular” section.
Once again, I pray that my thoughts will not be taken to the extreme and bashed, because like I’ve mentioned countless times, I adore cross processing, not just for the attention and wow-factor it produces, but just because it’s plain beautiful. And I hoard no discontent for those photos in the popular section, because in all sincerity and honesty, my main audience that I shoot for is my love, Alex. His opinions alone drive me to better myself as a photographer. This community is simply a great and fantastic support in subsequent means.
Now onto my main point…
I also love simple, natural color negative photos.
No funky experimenting, no x-pro, no digital casts or extra contrast. The warm C-41 photos that come out of my Canon AE-1 Program or Lomo LC-A+ do not require much tweaking other than a simple crop or two, and the glow of my subjects and their faces simply ooze into the lens, projecting a gorgeous, organic, and pure specimen as my negatives are developed.
With color negative, I am pushed to pay more attention to everything. There is no lenient movement allowed that can be covered by extreme saturation and color shifting like x-pro brings to the table. My camera and I must be all the more attentive to the lighting, the shadows, the mood, and the way my subject’s spirit soars in the minute details of a wrinkle in their chin or a crease in their forehead.
Perhaps its the way that color negative stays true to the human eye’s vision that makes objects so difficult to “fantasize” or “dress up.” It’s real, straight up, but yet can be the most stunning medium to produce crafty art. In my opinion, the warm, fresh and orange glow of the sunset is much more satisfying and refreshing in simple color negative than in x-pro.
In an interesting twist, I’d like to bring up another facet to this discussion. And that is… Instagram, the iPhone/iPad app that allows users to digitally manipulate their photos and instantly share them on the app with other users. Now, you may be thinking, why speak of such digital blasphemy?! Well, the digital filters that Instagram offers (also including other apps, but this one is extremely popular) are inspired by classic Lomography x-pro examples. The names of the popular filters include “cross processed” and “lo-fi” and “lomography.” And in that online world, the popular photos that tend to bring in the most likes (hey, doesn’t that sound familiar?) are the photos that are digitally manipulated to look like x-pro analogue photos! I think these users (which include my beloved Alex, sadly) should just take the time to switch to the real deal. Who’s with me?
Going back to my point, is x-pro the only way to shoot famously? Why does simple color negative tend to get a “boring” rep?
So, which mode do you prefer? To x-pro or to not? They are both #1 in my heart, weighing heavily and strong in my favorites. Both produce unforgettable shots, both deserve their share of fair attention and recognition.
I close this article in hopes that you, my awesome friends, will post up interesting, quirky, thought-provoking thoughts in these comments, free from hate or distain, and rich in the motivation of making this world a more exquisite place. And as always, LOMO ON!
written by dearjme on 2012-01-26 #gear #review #question-debate-color-negative-or-color-slide-x-pro-e-6-c-41-better