NYC and LA-based photographer Eli Edwards, a former student of The Bridge program is no stranger to pushing his work to the limits, even out of his comfort zone. We recently sent him a roll of our new LomoChrome Color '92 film and he did just that, taking it on a melancholic and nostalgia-inducing trip with his family to explore his roots and find happiness in those around him.
Hi Eli, welcome back to Lomography Magazine! What have you been up to since your last feature?
Thank you guys for having me back, a lot has happened to me since we last spoke! Well first off, I have continued my pursuit of photography to the best of my ability and my love and passion for this space has grown even more. I was a part of The Bridge program based in New York City where I refined my voice as an artist and met some incredible people along the way. At the end of this program last November, I had my first show centered around the people who frequent the West 4th Street basketball court at the IW Gallery which was an incredible experience. Seeing your work printed hits different!
Recently, I have attached myself to some longer term projects I will be sharing at a later date as I continue to work on them. Most importantly I have met some incredible people, mentors and coworkers which I can say have made my life so much more full. (Shoutout Kyle Lui, Jeff Wilday, Mya Bradley, Rod Goodman, Justin Lin and Liam Alexander and many more who continue to inspire me.)
Can you tell us about what you decided to shoot with LomoChrome Color '92 ?
Absolutely. I decided to take my roll of LomoChrome Color ‘92 to Crane, Missouri. Why Crane, Missouri some people may be wondering? Well, it is a town with a population hovering around 1,500 people where my grandparents grew up and eventually got married! After getting a description and seeing some amazing photos from other photographers, LomoChrome Color ‘92 gave me an immediate sense of nostalgia.
Nostalgia is a funny feeling to me because it is the inflection point of happiness and melancholy. I went to Crane for the week for my Grandmother’s funeral. At first, I wanted to pause my life as a photographer as I grieved with my family, however the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to take the opportunity I got to spend with my parents, sister, cousins, aunt and grandfather and take pictures we could all share about this moment in our lives. These photographs are an encapsulation of the week I got to spend with my family and the surrounding area of Crane, Missouri where my grandma and grandpa grew up which I will cherish for the rest of my life.
How would you describe the look of this film?
The look of ‘92 is, well, nostalgic, but what gives it that emotion is the combination of its powerful grain, strong midtones and sharp, flat colors. It really is such a unique film stock I have not shot with before and can’t wait to shoot more of it!
Do you have a favorite photo taken with this film?
The image of my cousin, Tessa, and sister, Gaby, on the back of a little ATV has a special place in my heart because it was when we first got to my grandpa’s sister’s house in Crane. One of our distant cousins saw how glum we all were before the funeral and immediately asked if we wanted to ride through their cow fields in this 4-wheeled Jon Deere contraption. I for one raised my hand immediately. I have lived in Los Angeles and New York my whole life and had never been that close to cows in my life, I needed to seize my moment! Gaby and Tessa also seemed up for it. This photograph was taken midway through our Jurassic Park-like excursion seeing these cows up and around their fields. Yes, there was more manure than I have seen in my entire existence if you were wondering, and I did not take any pictures of it.
What do you like most about this film?
Shooting at Sunny-16 made the colors of the film stock POP! If you see in a couple of these photos, the bright, blue sky almost looks like a painting from how deep the color is. If you hit your exposure correctly, 92’s colors will be hitting. I adore shooting this stock during the day.
How do you feel about a new color negative film being on the market?
I love it! It’s always great when a new, unique film comes out and has a special niche color and range set other films don’t have. I think Lomography does an excellent job of having such fun, vibrant stocks that adding LomoChrome Color 92’ to the arsenal is a major win.
What do you think is the perfect situation for shooting this film?
I shot this film in the morning, afternoon and at night. My best results came when the sun was shining and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. That doesn’t mean it is the ‘perfect’ situation for anybody else, but I really enjoyed shooting this film at Sunny-16.
Which camera did you use with this film?
I shot this on my Contax 167mt with a 2.8 Carl Zeiss 28 mm lens. Undefeated combination especially when you add the LomoChrome Color ‘92… the trifecta!
What are your hopes for the future of film photography?
To keep trying new things and pushing the boundaries of how film photography can be used. Not just professionally, but hobbyists as well. Photography was rooted in film which I think is important to keep in mind. Photography is an art and film is a tool with this medium. I hope we as photographers keep using this tool and not solely rely on the digital realm to guide us. Just shoot (film)! … put that on a t-shirt.
Anything else you'd like to share?
I will be spending the rest of this year bi-coastally in Los Angeles and New York continuing my career as a photographer and videographer. I am honored to work in a space where my creative mind is fulfilled and I am connected to so many other talented individuals that inspire me. Thank you Lomography for letting me share some of my work. You guys are the best!