Rajat Srivastava runs the London Film Photography meetup group, which has over 3 thousand members. We teamed up with him for one of the first photowalks in 2021 where participants were given a choice of Lomography film to shoot with around the streets of East London. We talked to Rajat about running a film photography group and he shared some of his shots from the walk using the LomoChrome Metropolis film. Participants from the walk also shared some of their favorite shots from the day.
Hi Rajat, tell us a bit about yourself?
I am a doctor Monday to Friday and a photography enthusiast Monday to Sunday. I moved from digital to analogue in 2016 and I think it has improved my photography immensely. I shoot mainly black and white, since I can easily develop these at home. I have recently converted my closet into a darkroom for making prints and I am really enjoying this part of analogue photography My film cameras are my beloved Leica M3 and a Contax T1 ( the inexpensive Contax T).
What made you want to set up a film photography photowalk group?
Film photography is making a revival big time and people who have grown up on digital photography are now discovering the joy of film. London is a great place for any genre of photography... street, architectural, portraits, landscape, documentary, etc.
The photowalks are a great way to socialize with film enthusiasts, learn from each other and discover new cameras that we might otherwise only see online. The group was not originally set up by me, but I have been a member from the first year and took over about 18 months ago as the organizer stood down and I did not want this to close. We have over 3000 members and I have made some good friends through here.
How did you get on shooting with the LomoChrome Metropolis film?
Metropolis is a very unusual color film in that the ISO ranges from 100-400. It is the perfect film for any light condition. The tones, the contrast, and the colors in this film are mind-blowing. The film has a distinct look that can not be replicated on digital photographs with software tweaks. The look is very distinct from the Fuji and Kodak stock films. I shot the roll at 200 iso on a sunny day on my Leica M3 with a 90mm Minolta lens and the exposure was perfect on all 36 shots. This is my new favorite film and I have just ordered more. These are difficult to get though
Where do you see the film photography world going in the future?
I believe film photography is here to stay. There are photographers who are looking beyond the sterility of digital photographs and the joy of developing film and waiting for a few days to see the results is something else altogether. It is a bit like Vinyl. One needs to invest time in it, as there is no instant gratification. However, the results make you long to load a new roll and get shooting again! I do not believe film is better than digital or vice versa. Film is expensive and not everybody can afford to shoot film exclusively. I hope there comes a time when a roll of film costs £3 and I hope that more demand would lead to prices coming down . If this does not happen then film photography might remain a niche and that would be a shame.