End of the World: Montauk on LomoChrome Turquoise 120 Film by James Katsipis


Situated at the easternmost point of Long Island, Montauk is often referred to as the "End of the World". Fine-art photographer James Katsipis uses medium format LomoChorome Turquoise to bring a new whole meaning to this, depicting an alien-like parallel universe of the popular New York spot.

Locals like James can attest to the stark difference between the winter and summer seasons in Montauk – After the heat dies down, it becomes an eerie ghost-land, perfect for any LomoChrome film, but especially Turquoise.

Let's get to know James and check out these photos!

Photos by James Katsipis taken on LomoChrome Turquoise 120 film.

Hi James, welcome to Lomography Magazine! Can you please start off by telling us a bit about yourself and your work?

Hello Lomo! Honored to be interrogated by you. I absolutely love Lomography. So I guess it all started when I was young, exploring my hometown of Montauk, New York. We were the real life Goonies – nothing out here but nature and tons of ways to get into trouble. Every day was a new adventure; some days we would sneak into the old air force base Camp Hero (later to inspire the show Stranger Things), or we would just be surfing in the snow or casting our lines out trying to catch some bass. Pretty simple but fun.

I got into photography at a pretty young age, tinkering around with my sister's Polaroids and father's camera. But in high school, with my teacher Mr. Cohen, is where I learned all about the darkroom and developing. He taught me the fundamentals. Honestly, once I picked up a camera and held it in my hands, it just felt right and I knew this is what I was supposed to be doing.

How long have you been documenting Montauk?

I would say my whole life really. I spent my entire childhood unknowingly scouting locations which I would later use on photo shoots for clients. I have a plethora of secret spots stashed away in my brain around town. Everyone says Montauk is so crowded now, but you just need to know how to escape. That’s the key.

Photos by James Katsipis taken on LomoChrome Turquoise 120 film.

How do you find new ways to shoot the same landscapes over time?

Ha! That’s such a funny question because I joke that I've probably photographed our lighthouse more than any other photographer in the history of Montauk. I've shot Montauk digitally, on film, all formats, by drone, swimming with my camera looking back at landmarks, from planes... now I'm working on shooting it on Lomography Turquoise. I recently picked up a Horseman 45fa, and also thanks to Lomography I've been shooting with the Lomograflok Instant Back on it (that’s still a work on progress).

What drew you to shoot with LomoChrome Turquoise, and what effect has it had on your work?

I honestly was looking to find something a little similar to Infrared film that wouldn’t put me on welfare after buying a few rolls. I snagged three rolls of medium format and said a Hail Mary. I was blown away after the first roll was developed. The film is amazing. I love how temperamental it is to different light changes too. I could shoot the same subject minutes apart, and if the sun moved a few degrees, the sky could be a tidal wave of peach or washed out. Which works really well for some subjects too. The ocean changes color as well. I love the turquoise Listerine-stained waves. It’s wild!

Photos by James Katsipis taken on LomoChrome Turquoise 120 film.

How is the experience of shooting landscapes different on film vs. digital?

Digital is mostly me putting my own spin on a landscape and taking some artistic liberties. I definitely indulge in some colors, but it’s my art and imagination. Film is more documentary style: what you see is what you get. Yes, you can do some light adjustments in post-production, but nothing crazy like digital. But that’s also why I love LomoChome Turquoise. It gives it such a vintage “Roswel aliens are landing” vibe.

What do you love about medium format?

I like how much I slow down and really observe my subject before clicking that shutter. I get eight shots with my Texas Leica so I better make them count. I really just take in the scene and that benefits the whole process. And I think the photos I shoot really convey that feeling. They were thought out and planned. Not just some snapshot.

Photo by James Katsipis taken on LomoChrome Turquoise 120 film.

Do you have a favorite shot taken with LomoChrome Turquoise?

I have a few favorites right now. But I think the Hoo Doos at Ditch Plains with the Seagulls flying. I love how the ocean turned orange peach and the cliffs turquoise. I've seen that place thousands of times, but I have never seen it like that until LomoChrome Turquoise came along.

Do you have advice for anyone wanting to get into the fine art scene of photography?

Don't be shy about your work. Knock on doors. All the doors! One will open eventually. And just keep going. If you’re really excited about what you're shooting, you are probably onto something, and if someone tells you you can’t do something, you march right over that person and go do it. I've had a lot of naysayers around me my whole life, and if I ever listened to any of them in this small town, I would not be doing what I love.

Photos by James Katsipis taken on LomoChrome Turquoise 120 film.

Do you have any upcoming projects that you'd like to share with our community?

I've just scratched the surface of a new large format project and I’m still figuring out where I want to take it. But that’s kind of my process. I just start shooting and something will set off a lightbulb and I’ll run with it. And stay tuned for James Katsipis Gallery coming this Summer 2024 to Montauk, NY!

Anything else you'd like to share?

I just hope everyone is having a good life and enjoying whatever they are doing to the fullest. We got one go at this thing and we better not waste it.

Thanks for sharing, James! If you'd like to stay in touch with his work, you can check out his website, or his Instagram accounts: main and film-only.

written by alexa_alexiades on 2024-04-25 #gear #people #places #landscape #color-shift #first-impressions #lomochrome-turquoise

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