If you’re familiar with my reviews, you know they’re not going to involve charts, scientific calculations, or anything techy. They are just pure creative research combined with my gut feelings towards the product. This creative research with the Lomography Redscale XR color negative film was performed while on #Expedition51 in the vast deserts of Utah and Nevada. #Expedition51 (addition research) was led by MUFON certified researcher, Nate Cowlishaw of the UtahUfoFest.org organization. The expedition took the team to through various ghost towns and eventually ended at the secured gates of Area 51.
If you aren’t already familiar with our research, during each of our Photo Expeditions we identify a new creative research project that we will conduct during while in the field. This report is a visual record of my creative findings on #Expedition51 while exploring ghost towns using Lomography’s Redscale XR film. The film used was 120 medium format, loaded into a Rolleiflex 2.8F, using a handheld Minolta IV F light meter with a 5° viewfinder. There’s actually two versions of the Redscale film used in this research. The first is the Redcsale XR ISO 50-200 version you can currently buy at Lomography.
The second is an expired older version, I picked up at a marked down table in a camera store, Redscale ISO 100 with an expiration date of 10/2015. Judging by the results of the expired film being used 5 months after its expiration date, I wouldn’t expect it to go very far past its end date. Of course storage and other factors can impact the film as well.
One noticeable characteristic of my photographs is the blue hue in the shadows, as well as its overall golden tone. After consulting with the technical staff at Lomography, the images had the blue cast because I underexposed the photos. Properly exposed images should have an overall gold tone with no blues at all. We were both surprised at the results. Personally, I like the blues in the shadow but I do like the fact I can alter the look a bit by upping the contrast which brings it to the traditional look of the Redscae film.
The expired roll of film had an interesting quality that I think fit the landscapes and subjects I photographed. I had no idea what it was going to look like, as this was my first roll with the expired film so I was shooting blind. This was pure research into the unknown. The faded patchy spots on the film added a vintage look to the photos as if they were as old as the buildings themselves. I like the results, however it does seem to need to be paired with the right subjects to enhance the mood and look of the images you create.
After speaking with Lomography, I could have overexposed the film more than the standard exposure I was using to get it more in the golden tones. Of course this is a creative decision that can be made when calculating your exposure. Unlike digital, there’s a lot to pre-visualize and think about before taking your picture. Film choice and exposure make a big difference on how your negatives or slides turn out. Most of your creative decisions have been made well before you push the shutter button. Using film also brings a mysterious element to the creative process. Making these decisions ahead time, then waiting days before you get to see the results adds excitement and sometimes disappointment. It’s a fun and creative process no matter what the results are.
After my experience with the Lomography Redscale XR film I have to say I was pleased with the results. It added another level of creative expression to my photos and the expired film gave me another level of texture to my images. I have to hand it to Lomography, as a photographic company, they keep producing interesting tools to give us more creative ways to make photographs. Between their creative film choices, innovative lenses and fun cameras, they continue to bring a fresh way for us to be creative with our photographic art. I for one am happy to see more creative ways for us to make some magic!