A Prism of Perfection with Eva Carolan

The wider photography industry has a habit of striving for unrealistic levels of perfection. Sharp lighting, crisp focus, and every minute detail documented. And then, out of the blue, a photographer comes along who defies all those conventions and happily creates their own creative universe away from the predictable trends. This leads us nicely to Eva Carolan, a Dublin-based photographer who has been impressing us with her use of prisms, film soups, and other chemical experiments to create some beautiful images. We talked to Eva about her journey into analogue photography and the thrill of the unpredictable.

Photos 1,2,3,4,& 5 by Eva Carolan

Hello Eva, welcome to the Lomography Magazine, please tell us a bit about yourself?

I'm an Irish-French photographer based in Dublin, Ireland. I have always loved photography and have been taking photos since I was about 12 years old. I kind of gave it up in the last few years, but then I started shooting film for the first time this year and I haven't been able to stop. It made me fall in love with photography all over again and it's become a huge part of my life.

Why film, what's the appeal?

Shooting film enables me to have more patience and helps me to be more grounded and thoughtful about each shot that I take. Getting scans back from the photo lab can be the best feeling in the world, especially when the shots come out better than I expected them to. I have messed up so many rolls through experimentation in the beginning but I think that is just a rite of passage for any film photographer. We make mistakes and we learn from those mistakes so we can go on knowing that next time we will do better.

Photos 6 - 8 by Eva Carolan

Your style is very much lo-fi and experimental, what made you decide to choose this aesthetic? Is it intentional and how did it start?

When I started shooting film at the start of this year, I really had no idea what direction I was going in and didn't intend to be so experimental. I've discovered so many film photographers online that inspired me to experiment more. I discovered film soup and shooting with prisms and lens filters. I started taking photos that were very abstract, combining different experimental tricks. The more I combine techniques like film soup, prisms, and double exposures, the more fun I have in the moment because I often don't know how the shots will turn out. It doesn't always work out but I always learn something, and when it does work out it's such a rewarding feeling. Also, I think it can be difficult to find inspiration sometimes especially during lockdown when there was nowhere to go, so I had to find ways to make my surroundings a little bit more interesting.

Photos 9 - 12 by Eva Carolan

What direction do you see your photos going in the future?

As for what direction I see my photos going in the future, I would love to continue experimenting with different film destruction techniques, like trying to find film soup recipes that people have never tried before or destroying the negatives. I know now that I love abstract photography so in a way I would like to continue in that direction, as well as doing more music photography.

13, 14, 15, 16 & 22 by Eva Carolan

Tell us a bit about these photos, what cameras/techniques do you use to create this fabulously psychedelic look?

1, 2, and 3: This was a roll of film that was already soaked from Hanalogital. Because film soup is so unpredictable, I like that with this batch of soaked film, I already had some idea of how it would turn out. I knew it would have trippy pink colors but I wanted to add to that psychedelic vibe by shooting with these small glass prisms that I borrowed from a chandelier. 4 & 5: This was my first time shooting with LomoChrome Purple, and for some reason, I got really extreme pink and blue colors which I was not expecting at all but I'm very happy with the results. I used a small prism for these ones as well. I just bought cheap festival kaleidoscope sunglasses from Amazon and took out one of the glass lenses as a filter held in front of the camera lens. Image 13, 14, 15, 16 & 22 use some special effects films that I love: Psychedelic Blues Film (13 & 15), Dubblefilm (22 14), and Revolog (16). Before I started shooting with film I had no idea this type of film existed but when I realized there were so many, I wanted to try as many of them as possible! As usual, I love combining special films with prisms to make it more interesting and fun to shoot. It also means that the effect will be stronger and the result less predictable.

Photos 17 - 21 by Eva Carolan

As you can see from the images above, this is where my love for Lomography Color Negative 800 began. Now that gigs are starting up again here in Ireland, I got to shoot a few of them and I find that this is the absolute best film to shoot gigs with. Because it can be quite dark at these events I needed a high ISO film and this worked perfectly, so this is now my go-to film.

To see more of Eva's work do visit her Instagram page as daydreamsbyeva.

2021-11-07 #uk #prism-lens #film-soup #lomochrome-purple #eva-carolan

LomoChrome Purple Film 100-400 35mm

This unique color negative film will astound you by transforming natural tones of your photo into new eye-popping hues. A revival of the psychedelic infrared look from the Kodak Aerochrome film we all love, this film guarantees astounding photographic results.

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