Lomography Meets Irene Cruz with LomoChrome Films

Spanish photographer, cinematographer, and video artist Irene Cruz shared with us her thoughts and photos that were taken with the LomoChrome Metropolis and the LomoChrome Purple. She talks to us about fond childhood memories of film photography, her relationship with nature and her latest project that documents life with scoliosis.

© Irene Cruz - LomoChrome Purple film

Hi Irene, could you make a small presentation to the readers of our Online Magazine?

Hello everyone! I’m Irene Cruz, a Spanish photographer, cinematographer, and video artist based in Berlin. I always develop my work around photography. I exhibit in galleries, fairs, and art centers. I am also a director of photography, currently, I’m shooting my third feature film… And since the pandemic entered our lives, I’ve built a community on Patreon where I teach photography lessons and I share all my knowledge.

Tell us about your photographic background. What is your story? When did you start photographing?

I remember perfectly the first time I felt a passion for photography; it was quite a revelation. One night at home, my father moved a piece of furniture that we had in the living room and projected on the wall the slides he had made on one of our trips. I found it magical to be able to bring home those bits of reality, to have the power to keep them for the future, and to relive them again as a shiny treasure. In my wide-eyed childlike wonder, it looked like an amazing time machine and, of course, I was very eager to learn how to perform such a miracle.

And then my next birthday came, June 21st, and I was five, I don't quite recall, from that first moment I longed to have that power. I wished I could clip those experiences of my life and keep them forever in an album or on a wall. I was always a very introverted child, and that wonderful extension of my arm was the perfect opportunity to connect my inner world with my outside world. And so I received my first camera, a semi-automatic 35 mm Nikon, perfect for tiny beginners. Since then my photographs have evolved, as did my inner universe, in me is a very rich imagination was forged.

© Irene Cruz - LomoChrome Purple film

We can often find Lomography films in your works. These wonderful photos, for example, were taken with the LomoChrome Metropolis and LomoChrome Purple film: what are the features that you like the most of these unique emulsions?

I can say that 90% of my photographs are analogue. I love the experience in between the magic and the waiting in a world of ever-increasing immediacy. I've been experimenting with Lomography films for a long time, I started with the Lomography Color Negative 400.

One day I bought the LomoChrome Purple to experiment a bit, and I fell in love. It’s really special, the greens and blues, the skin turns lilac. As for Metropolis, it also creates a very special atmosphere. The first time I took pictures with this film was with my muse Martin Peñaloza this rainy summer, and I loved the desaturated colors I get with this emulsion. I like the subdued finish to my work.

Which camera did you use for these photos?

I prefer to shoot 120 film as I love big format prints. I shoot my photos with the Fuji GW690 III (also known as the Texas Leica) and Hasselblad 500cm. I also own a Nikon FA (my dad’s old camera, actually).

I also shoot a lot of instant pics with Lomo'Instant, and lately I am experimenting a lot with the Lomo'Instant Square Pigalle Edition.

© Irene Cruz - LomoChrome Metropolis film

How did you choose the location? Did the kind of film influence the choice of the location?

I am a photographer who works from the inside out: I look inside myself and I project my inner world outside. The pictures are taken in lakes and forests in Berlin, for me these places are like my studio. I was very happy to see how different these places look by trying out different film stock.

Nature is almost always present as the background of your photographs: what is your connection with it?

I have always been very attracted to the German philosophy of the romanticism period. Going back to nature to reflect. To feel its grandeur. To lose oneself in the solitude of the forest. To find oneself and the whole.

My work declares the human being as a part of nature and attests to its integration into the landscape... The landscape that can be seen in my images always has an emotional role. I am interested in working away from personalization, close to representing universal emotions and feelings. I have always felt a great attraction for the dim and intimate, subtle, serene lighting that surrounds the stage. I create from the "liminal" (from both sides of a border or threshold); I mean, being between day and night, tranquility and restlessness. I move and explore the place that exists between the different polarities because for me there are no limits. There are roads, bridges...

And in the end: nature always wins, nature is the system we belong to. Nature is everything.

Apart from being a photographer, you are also a videographer, a DOP, and you’re always busy teaching workshops, talks, etc. When did you realize that you wanted to make a living out of your passion? Do you have any suggestions for those who are stuck at jobs they don't like?

I have always been certain that my life is about self-discovery, processing and expressing it, and photography has been my “native” language. The perfect ally for this. I think, knowing this since I was a child, it’s the most beautiful curse in the world. I live without fear of not having jobs in a world so full of possibilities in which we live. Of course, I have encountered many challenges and difficulties. But being so eager to go on, to reinvent myself, to learn and to teach… this has become my lifestyle.

I would tell the people who feel blocked that they write down by hand on a piece of paper what their purpose in life is. What do you enjoy most in life? What can they serve this world with, what is the uniqueness they can bring to others? These are questions I ask myself very often and I think they are the key to always having something interesting to do.

© Irene Cruz - LomoChrome Purple film

Do you have any interesting projects or collaborations planned that you would like to share with our readers?

Firstly, I am currently working on two major projects: one on scoliosis, the condition I suffered from as a teenager. I want to make a documentary film and a photo book that will collect the spiritual experiences of people who have suffered the same condition as me. I'm doing the photography part with 120 film, and I'm going to start trying to do some sessions with Lomography Metropolis emulsion. I think the result is going to be very interesting.

Lastly, I'm also shooting a new feature film as director of photography: "Janine zieht aufs Land" (directed by Jan Eilhardt). Hopefully, you will soon be able to enjoy it at movie theaters and festivals.

A big hug to all of you!

Follow Irene on her Instagram profile and Patreon so see all her amazing projects.

written by melissaperitore on 2021-12-05 #gear

Lomography Lomochrome Purple XR 100-400 (120)

Try the trippiest analogue emulsion out there — this color negative 120 film works with any medium format camera, to shift up the color spectrum and tint your world in psychedelic tones.

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