Sunday, November 6, 2011

Random Film - Lomography Redscale 100

First, I would like to apologize for not keeping up with the new features of the blog that I planned on implementing awhile back.  I briefly discussed some photo news in one post, but I've yet to launch the photographer profile section.  I was busy with a few other things in my life at the time and I haven't been able to keep it as updated as I would like.  I still plan on launching that section and providing some additional photo news, I just don't have a timeline for it. 

I recently blogged about my trip to the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum.  In preparation for that trip, I had to finish shooting a number of started rolls in various cameras.  I recently finished all of those rolls and just received them back from processing.  My next few posts will be dedicated to talking about the film used, the cameras they were shot with and the images.  The first film that I'm going to discuss is Lomography Redscale 100.

When I purchased my Hasselblad 500 c/m, the only roll of film I currently had lying around to test it out was the redscale film.  Two items that are on opposite ends of the spectrum; one of the sharpest medium format cameras made and a film that is shot on the opposite side of the emulsion and sold by a company that embraces the flaws, light leaks, the imperfections and the accidents in analog photography. 

According to Lomography, the redscale film is the world's first preloaded and ready to shoot redscale film.  In fact, the redscale effect can actually be achieved by simply loading 35mm in a camera backwards.  The back of the film has a semi-transparent layer to protect the emulsion from extra light hitting it and when the film is flipped, shooting through this layer produces red, orange and yellow tones.  This effect is very similar to shooting through a red or orange filter with unpredictability thrown in.

The key word for this film is unpredictable, because that's exactly what shooting Lomography Redscale film is.  It's rated at a speed of 100 and I took it out on a very sunny day.  I was armed with the Hasselblad and a light meter.  I took my time setting up shots and tried to get the correct exposure.  When I received my processed film, I wasn't that happy with the final results.  They lacked the range of reds, oranges and yellows that i saw in the Lomography gallery.  Some of my shots were dark, bluish and green.  In addition to that, the film was prone to heavy scratches.  One roll wasn't enough to make a solid judgement, so I felt I needed to give the film another chance.  Below are a few examples of the Hasselblad red scale images.

Shot at F5.6 @ 1/60 second

Shot at F5.6 @ 1/250 second

Shot at F5.6 @ 1/125 second

The next time around, I decided to shoot redscale through my Holga.  I felt that I might get better results using a "lo-fi" camera with a "lo-fi" film.  This particular roll of film took awhile for me to finish up; I shot it in a number of different locations, but I tried to use it in as much light as possible.  The results were better this time around, but I still received dark and muddy results in a few of the frames.  In addition to that, there was an odd bluish-green fogging that appeared on the film during processing.  Now, I use a highly professional lab, so I don't chalk that up to the technicians that processed the film.  I think the film is highly unpredictable, which can be expected by basically shooting through its' backside. 

In my opinion, to achieve the best possible results from the film, one should shoot this film on a bright and sunny day and overexpose by about two stops to achieve the best possible tonal range the Lomography Redscale film has to offer.  It's an interesting film; one that I probably won't use too often.  When exposed properly, it produces a distinctive, enjoyable result.  Results that can be quite stunning.  But, if you're not into Lomography and unpredictable flaws, this film is not for you.  Here are a few images from the second roll of redscale that I shot on my Holga:

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