San Francisco-born and New York City-based Brian Cho has an affinity for capturing the world around him. Trained in videography and photography, he produces shots that seem to shine straight out of the movies.
Equipped with a roll of our LomoChrome Color '92 35 mm film, he decided to set out to Mexico City for the first time to shoot the new film.
Hi Brian, welcome to Lomography’s magazine! Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Thanks for having me! My name is Brian Cho and I’m a photographer based in Brooklyn. I’m originally from San Francisco, and I worked in non-profits, beauty, and tech as a videographer before opting to move to New York to meet more creatives!
What went on in your head when you heard Lomography was coming out with a new film?
Since Lomography is a brand known to experiment, I was extremely excited to hear that a new film stock was in production. It was hard to guess exactly what the new film was going to be, especially with the wide range of experimental products that Lomography has. Films like Redscale, Purple, and Metropolis are all incredibly unique so I couldn’t wait to discover what the new film stock was!
Please tell us about this series. Where did you go?
Sooo this was a huge dilemma for me! When Lomography was so gracious enough to lend me a roll of LomoChrome Color ‘92, I had multiple trips already planned. I knew I only had about 36 frames so I had to pick a special location, which ended up being Mexico City!
I shot Lomo '92 in a variety of locations: on a river at Xochimilco, inside the world-famous Biblioteca Vasconcelos, Chapultepec Castle, on the street, and even inside dimly lit bars. I’ve never been to Mexico City before so many of my photos were unplanned and taken quickly at the moment.
How would you describe the look of this film?
The film has several obvious traits such as a cool color temperature, heavy grain, and muted colors. The look of this film matches its namesake as it instantly reminds me of an “vintage” aesthetic. It seems like the film has the ability to take your photo and make it appear like it was shot 20-30 years in the past without degrading the image.
What camera did you decide to use?
I shot all photos with my trusty Contax 159 with the amazing Contax 50 mm 1.4 to shoot in all sorts of conditions.
Do you have a favorite photo out of this collection?
These two photos (below) were my favorite from this trip. The first shot is of the boats at Xochimilco. This canal system is world famous and also recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site. It’s known for all of its colorful boats that parade up and down the rivers with vendors selling trinkets and offering mariachi band performances. This shot was also unique in that it showed just how flexible this film is. I overexposed this film when shooting and managed to reveal the sky in post-processing without breaking the rest of the image.
The second shot is the famous Biblioteca Vasconcelos. This is a library that almost looks like The Tesseract from Interstellar! The film gave this scene a very vintage sci-fi film aesthetic.
What do you think is the perfect situation for shooting this film?
This film shines in moments where you can take advantage of cool color tones such as blue, aqua, or turquoise. I’d also try to use the heavy grain texture of this film to its advantage. These two traits help produce an instant “vintage” aesthetic that reminds me of famous sci-films from the 1990s.
At the same time, this film stock proved itself to be incredibly flexible so you could still retrieve highlights and introduce some saturation into your photos if you’d like. I shot the entire roll of film at ISO 200 since I prefer overexposing color negative film.
What would you like to capture in your next roll of Color ‘92?
Knowing the unique look and flexibility LomoChrome Color ‘92 brings, I definitely want to try photographing some more urban environments such as New York or London. I’m a sucker for texture on my film so I love the idea of heavy grain on a photo of a sprawling metropolis.
Is there anything else you would like to share with our community?
Some of the images on LomoChrome Color ‘92 that other photographers have taken are pretty incredible. I initially wanted to avoid taking photos of people with this film to preserve skin tones but I’ve seen some beautiful portraits others have shot. Ultimately, I think it's important to remember not to restrict yourself as a photographer and always try to experiment and iterate on your craft!
Shop our new LomoChrome Color '92 35 mm film today!