Dan Rubin may be a newcomer on the Lomography Magazine, but he is definitely not one among the photographic scene! Originally a designer and creative director before picking up an interest in cameras – this professional background lets him explore photography through impressive attention to details and storytelling skills.
After he visited us at the Lomography HQ in Vienna, Dan took a roll of our new LomoChrome Metropolis Film in 35 mm format for a spin.
Dan tested the LomoChrome Metropolis with his Pentax ESII and a 55/1.8 lens, metered at 200 ISO and developed as 400 ISO by his regular lab Bayeux, in London. When it comes to developing and scanning, it's important to simply talk with your lab, Dan reminds. Take some time to know each other, understand the look and feel you want to achieve and implement a routine that works for both sides. With Bayeux, Dan asks to receive all his scans flat:
And sometimes, the flat scan is pretty much the look he has in mind – as it was with the LomoChrome Metropolis due to the desaturated tones of the film matching perfectly with lower contrasts.
As someone who is constantly on the road, we were not sure which scenery would our film capture this time, but it turns out that Dan was able to shoot this canister in NYC, with the lovely Kristina Ross, a writer, director and producer he had met in Edinburgh and whom we previously introduced on our Magazine. For this particular shooting, they decided to capture Kristina's state of mind when she's in the city: seemingly the poetry of one truly being home. It's true what they say – home is a feeling, not a place.
As it was the first roll of LomoChrome Metropolis that Dan was testing, the duo also wanted to explore how different colors would render so Kristina put together different styles from her wardrobe and they experimented with different surroundings and lighting conditions. In order to really identify and appreciate the film's own characteristics Dan chose to work with this film as he would normally deal with any other Color Negative film: metering for the mid-tones or shadows and overexposing slightly to get the most out of the images. Most of the roll was shot under natural light – one of Dan's signature.
When asked about the results, Dan says:
I love it! It has such a unique palette compared to any other color film I’ve seen or tried, and I’m excited to shoot more tests with bold colors and various skin tones and lighting situations to see what other looks I can create with it. I already want to use it for a fashion editorial, something with a 60s/70s/80s vibe especially, a little more timeless than vintage. I think the desaturated palette and fairly neutral skin tones will work well for portraits, and I’d also love to shoot it in bright, saturated locations like the tropics, as well as using gels in the studio, to see how the film’s palette translates a wide range of bright, punchy tones.
It’s a great film to use when you want something a little out of the ordinary, without reaching for expired film or some of the more common, cheaper film stocks that tend to be popular with art directors. It could also put a new spin on landscapes and documentary-style work, though for me its strength lies in establishing a unique editorial look. Excited to see a new color negative film on the market — can’t wait to try it in 120, too!
A big thanks to Dan Rubin for his time and insights on this film and we're very much looking forward to his next experimentations with our film stock. Make sure to follow him on Instagram and Twitter for regular updates! Kudos to Kristina Ross for being a wonderful model and stylist, you may find her on Instagram and Twitter as well.
If you're interested in combining film photography and travel, we highly recommend you have a look at Dan's next workshops: a mindful photography tour in Siberia with Kristina Kulakova and a large-format workshop in Sardinia with Jahan Saber.