As you may have noticed, film is growing in popularity. There are more and more professional photographers popping up who don't even blink at the thought of using a film camera for a trendy fashion shoot or editorial. But there are also the quiet shooters, the hobbyists who like to experiment and shoot in their own free time for their own personal joy. Hannah Joseph is one of those photographers and we asked her to share some experiments using the Redscale XR 35 mm and LomoChrome Purple 35 mm film on a recent, leisurely walk around the countryside in the North East of England.
Hi Hannah, please tell us a bit about yourself.
Hello! I’m Hannah, I’m a 30 year old photography graduate and retail manager of a high street photo shop and I’m based in South Shields, North East England
What inspired you to start shooting film?
I began shooting film when I started studying photography in college back in 2008, using a Pentax k1000 with Ilford hp5 (still a pretty solid combo, in my opinion!), and processing and printing the images myself in the darkroom. Throughout my time studying at college and university I always shot film, however a lot of the course content was heavily steered towards digital image making, so film photos really took a backseat unfortunately.
After finishing my degree I struggled to find joy in photography as much as I used to, and any photography work I did was digital. But during lockdown in the pandemic I rediscovered some of my film cameras and a stash of expired film and decided to play around with it. It really reignited my love for, not just analogue photography, but photography in general! I find it more fun and experimental compared to digital photography, with all the different emulsions and processes to play around with. I find it encourages a more thoughtful and patient practice than digital photography as well. I feel as though I’m more considerate of each frame and it’s composition, in a conscious effort to make the most of each roll! It’s really helped me rediscover myself as a creative and I still feel like I have so much more to learn and explore!
Tell us about these photos. What did you choose to shoot and what gear did you use?
Often the subject matter I choose to shoot isn’t particularly deep and meaningful. I always find long walks are good for my mental health, which is really important to me. So, my photos are usually whatever I stumble across on my regular walks, which is usually snapshots of some of the beautiful scenery I fortunately happen to have right on my doorstep here in the North East of England. I always find myself drawn to scenic views and flora and fauna!
For the photos here I’ve used Lomography Redscale XR and LomoChrome Purple, both shot at 200 ISO, using a Canon EOS 500N 35 mm SLR camera with a 50 mm lens. The Redscale images were taken at South Shields beach and the river Tyne, and the LomoChrome Purple images with the lovely bridges and waterfalls were taken at Jesmond Dene in Newcastle.
Were you pleased with the results?
I’m really pleased with the results! I think the colour schemes work well with the subject matter and I love the ethereal, painterly vibes both films give to the images. The photos from the rolls featured here were my first experiences with LomoChrome Purple and Redscale XR, so they were kind of exploratory for me, sussing out what each film is capable of and how it works best. I’m looking forward to experimenting further with each of these emulsions and pushing the boundaries a bit more in future and exploring how they’d look with different lighting, locations, ISO etc.
If you were to invent a film camera or film type what would it do?
I’d love to invent a film type along the lines of Redscale or LomoChrome purple/turquoise or a pre exposed/souped film, something unusual to have fun and experiment with and to encourage photographers out of their comfort zone because, to me, that’s what analogue photography should be all about!
Having said that, in an ideal world I’d also love to see a more sustainable and environmentally friendly 35 mm film type, maybe using a plastic free/alternative base, gelatin free emulsion and recycled/recyclable canister and packaging. Whether that would ever even be possible is an entirely different matter, but a girl can dream.
You can see more of Hannah's work by visiting her Instagram page.