A couple of months ago members of creative agency monopo tested out our diverse range of LomoChrome films during a day spent shooting at the Barbican in London. We previously featured monopo creative director Mélanie (@MELANIE_HC), for her dreamy LomoChrome Purple shots of Miami, so we were excited to see what she and her friends would come up with away from the sunshine state, and instead under the moody skies of England.
The iconic brutalist architecture of the Barbican Estate served as the perfect backdrop for some creative portraits, and allowed the team to showcase the diversity and unique effects of each film – LomoChrome Purple, Turquoise, Metropolis, and our newest addition to the family, LomoChrome Color ‘92.
Mélanie told us "It’s fascinating to see how different people will see things differently so it was a bit of an experiment. We were all in the same location but what did we see? How would the architecture influence the portraits that we take? How would the same buildings look shot from different cameras and with different films?
We talked to the monopo team about the day and their experience with Lomography film. Check out their wonderful photos and their thoughts below!
I’m Mélanie, creative director at monopo london. As my background is in graphic design, I see photography as a way to not only capture memories but a way to create images and visuals. I love the experimental aspect and randomness that film photography can bring. I particularly love to do double exposures and experimenting with effects or surprising films.
I wanted to bring the design team for a day away from our everyday work to do something different and explore our creativity differently through a medium we all love: analogue photography. The goal was to give ourselves an opportunity to experiment with photography: creative portraits, architecture and compositions!
The core idea was to capture different photographs of the same location through different lenses: different cameras, different films and different pairs of eyes. The intention was also to add an element of surprise by giving everyone a film that they never shot with. It adds an element of randomness to the process. I thought the LomoChrome films would be perfect for this as they all have unexpected results by nature and this would add even more diversity in the shots.
I think the Barbican is the most photogenic place in London, it is a photographer’s paradise. It’s a beautiful Brutalist estate (although some architects would disagree to say it’s Brutalist) that was built in the 70s for the upper/middle class. It is made of multiple concrete buildings surrounded by a lot of plants, trees and water so it’s a perfect blend of architecture and nature.
When you enter the Barbican estate, it suddenly feels so calm, it’s like another world. It’s all pedestrian, you can spend a whole day there walking around and getting lost, it feels
so peaceful. The straight lines of the buildings make it an incredible playground for compositions and all the greenery a perfect attribute to test the different LomoChrome films. Every corner is beautiful there.
LomoChrome Purple is one of my favourite films, I shoot with it often as it creates such dreamy and surreal pictures. I love the element of surprise of this film, you never know exactly how it’s going to react, especially with different lighting and ISO conditions.
I was very pleased with the results! I was worried that the LomoChrome Purple would not be at his best in such a grey environment but actually the concrete walls all turned out pink and purple with the film, making the Brutalist architecture look a lot softer! As there are a lot of trees and plants in the estate, they all turned beautifully purple and created surreal scenes which offer a new way of seeing the Barbican.
Luna – LomoChrome Color '92
I’m Luna, Creative at monopo london! I love finding ways to tell a visual story out of the most simple briefs. I’m from Brussels, Belgium with a Belgian and Mauritian background and I love bringing different cultures and inspirations together in my work!
I picked LomoChrome Color 92’ because I wanted to bring in the feel of another decade into my photography. I don’t shoot on film often, so I was really keen on creating images with that distinct soft and nostalgic aura.
I was surprised by the ‘strong’ green hues in the shadows - it’s a colour that I sometimes add digitally so I loved having it naturally with this film roll. I was also pleasantly surprised by the overall softness of the colours!
I looove shooting a ‘frame within a frame’ – and Barbican is a dream come true for that! I tried capturing the contrast between the orange hue in the foreground and the green hues in the background. This picture (above) feels so innocent yet enigmatic. The texture of the concrete (did you know this texture was drilled manually?!) around the window and the big retro lights also add to the surreal ambience.
Jorie – LomoChrome Turquoise
Hello I’m Jorie! Graphic designer and illustrator at monopo London. Many of us are analogue film enthusiasts so this excursion to the Barbican was such a nice way for us all to connect more on our shared love for film – we’ll definitely do more of this in the future! I got my first film camera, a Pentax MX during lockdown in 2020 and the interest for shooting film has only grown since then. My favourite motif is dogs – sadly they’re not allowed on the Barbican estate. I’m far from professional and am still just having fun with it for now, but learning loads along the way!
I had never shot with any film that alter colours like this and thought the turquoise one would be fun to test out. I quickly forgot to think about the fact I wasn’t using a normal colour roll as I was taking the photos – which in a way I think was nice and made the end results feel more surprising.
The results were definitely unexpected. I never thought the people in the photos would come out as smurf-toned as they did – that gave me a good laugh. I wish I had taken photos with more sky in the background, to get more of those orange tones, next time!
Although it’s very blurry, my favourite is the ‘selfie’ of me and Stella in the bathroom. It makes me think of a movie shot. My second favourite would be of Jack holding up the two mirrors in his face, reflecting Luna and me - it’s a funny one.
Very intrigued to try this roll again, and the other colour ranges from Lomography, but with my Pentax MX for more control, and dogs of course.
Stella – LomoChrome Color '92
I’m Stella and I work at monopo as Interactive Art Director. My job is all about digital experiences and motion, so analogue photography is a way for me to go back to the ‘offline’ experience and experiment with different techniques.
I’m obsessed with brutalist architecture, so the Barbican is obviously the dream location to take photos. When I’ve been there in the past, I’ve always shot with the classic black & white roll, which is always really good for brutalism. This time I wanted to try something different and it was interesting to see the Barbican with this ‘retro’ touch like in a Nouvelle Vague movie.
I really love the results, seeing the rigid concrete Barbican architecture with dreamy and soft colours was a very beautiful contrast. I think that I discovered details of the architecture that I’ve never noticed before. When I’m at the Barbican I always have this feeling that the time has stopped in the 80s, so it was very interesting to see this feeling coming to life in the pictures.
This is one of my favourite shots. I like the geometric composition of the photo and the empty benches give me a sense of calm and peace.
I was pleasantly surprised by the results of the purple and blue rolls that my colleagues used, so I definitely want to try those as well the next time!
Jack – LomoChrome Purple
My name is Jack and I am a Graphic Designer at monopo London. Originally from Melbourne, Australia, I love exploring new places, meeting new people and always enjoy documenting these experiences through photography. I love capturing unique forms, textures and colours; and love letting the natural world seep into my work.
I wanted to create a sense of surrealism through my photos using colour. The barbican architecture is harsh; so capturing more distinct colours could create a really striking contrast. I thought the LomoChrome Purple would be the perfect film to achieve this!
I was really stoked with the results! Equally surprised and satisfied with how the colour came through the shots. In capturing the purple tones it was really amazing to see how much flora and vegetation is present across the barbican estate.
Thank you to monopo for sharing their fun film-filled day out with us! To find out more about what they do visit their website. And to see all the incredible photos from their Barbican shoot check out their LomoHome.
Where is your favorite location to shoot LomoChrome films? Let us know below!