Experimenting with LomoChrome Purple

purple pine needles in Carkeek Park shot with LomoChrome Purple

I’ve made my love for the Infra-red films of old pretty clear around here.  There’s just one problem – you can’t buy them anymore.  Thanks Kodak, and, I suppose economic reality.

There’s another issue though – that film was hard to use.  You had to load it in complete darkness.  It had to be unloaded and processed in complete darkness.  Neither the camera nor the processor could have an infrared detector to read the film codes, which most do.  It was expensive.  You had to process it E-6 – it was slide film.  Don’t get me wrong – if I found some new 35mm stock, I’d immediately buy a ton, but it’s not without issues.

Freight train in Carkeek park, shot with LomoChrome Purple

Enter LomoChrome Purple.  To be clear, this isn’t infrared.  It’s a color-shifting print film.  Ignore the chrome part of the name – it’s print, not slide.  Ignore the implication of infrared – it does some of the same stuff, but it isn’t.  That makes it less cool, but much easier and cheaper to work with.  Although the film isn’t cheap or readily available, you can get it processed the “normal” way at your corner drug store.  And how does it work?

Red tree leaves using pseudo-infrared LomoChrome Purple film

Fiery red leaves on a spring day – color shift courtesy of LomoChrome Purple film

Pretty darn well in the same places that EktaChrome EIR worked best – trees and foliage.  I took it out for a day at the beach in Carkeek Park, and I was happy with the tree shots, fairly happy with the broad panoramas, and a little less happy with people.  Things get a little weird with a green tint on skin, which is too bad – when your jacket turns from purple to green it’s neat.  When your skin turns from tan to green, it’s a little creepy.  The grain is pretty pronounced as well, but the effect is nice.  I’ve left these pictures more or less how they scanned.  You can also shoot and process the film anywhere between 100 and 400 ISO – these I shot at 200.  I’ve got a bunch more so I’ll see what else I can do, now that I know how these came out.





Anatomy of a Snowpocalypse

The entymology of Snowpocalypse is a little hazy but it seems to have started around here back in ’05 or ’06.  I think it’s fair to say that any time a couple of inches of snow falls from the sky on the greater Seattle area and actually stays on the ground, it’s a snowpocalypse.  I’m not going to get into the justifications or explain why in Seattle that’s a big deal where in other places they just deal with it, but these things do have a sort of rhythm to them.

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It starts with a lot of breathless weather reports, of course.  A lot of doubt, and at least one false alarm.  Eventually though, it does happen.  It can snow in Seattle.  At the same time, you usually have to go looking for it, at first.

And then it comes down.  The city goes to sleep.  Everyone looks around and enjoys themselves as their employers try and figure out how to wrest some productivity from the cold disaster.  About this time the local news starts driving around the city in the van they’ve dubbed “Snow King” and crashing into parked cars.

I always forget how quickly a neighborhood of asphalt and dirt and grass and cars can be turned into breathless white.  After it all stops, when everything is calm and before the melting starts, there is one moment before the snow turns brown or yellow or other colors you’d rather not think about, when everything is perfectly clean and white.

Snowpocalypse Seattle, 2012 edition.  A good time to give thanks for the ability to work from home.

Spring Has Sprung

All the jokes about Seattle aside, our weather is fickle.  Especially this year (although it kind of always seems like I’m saying that), Spring is late.  Three or four times we’ve been tempted with a day of glorious weather, only to plunge into another week of rain.  Yesterday spring was back and it looks like we might get a bit more of it.  I took these pictures a few weeks ago, but the sun makes me want to post them now.

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This is my plum tree.  All of those flowers have me pretty excited about the idea of having actual plums too.  We’ll see what happens as I’ve only had it about a year, and it’s in a pot.  Fingers crossed!  One more.

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Wall, Sky, Trees

I posted this a little while ago, and while I do find some of the sculptures in the Seattle Sculpture Park nice to look at and all, I find myself mostly drawn to the things around them rather than the sculptures themselves.  For example, taking a picture of the Eagle is much more interesting to me when done at night with the Space Needle behind it, a train in front, and a plane overhead.

So here I am, back at the Sculpture Park and instead of shooting the sculptures, I’m shooting the wall again.  I really like the lines – what can I say?  I do think the merits of this one are the sky above and the organic shadows of the trees showing you what you can’t see.  Here it is.

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Winter Leaves are Brown and Crunchy

Last year I took a bunch of pictures of fallen leaves while they were red and yellow and gorgeous and such.  I will admit that the short time between summer and pouring rain is pretty beautiful in the Pacific Northwest.

This year I wanted to do something different.  Well… either different or I was asleep at the switch while things were so colorful.  No – it was on purpose.  I swear.  After the colors comes the crunch:

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There is something to be said for these leaves too.  What they lose in beauty they more than make up in character.  You can just hear the crunch, yeah?  One more shot, same style, different background:

Favorites?  #1 or #2?  I go between.  I like the framing of the second but I like the vibrancy of the first.

Palm Trunks of the Rich and Famous

Maybe it’s a personal thing, but I really like these shots I took of the hotels in Waikiki.  They’re geometric and I like the simplicity, but they don’t scream Hawaii.  To make up for it, here’s this:

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That is all.

My Favorite Mistakes

Anyone who has taken enough pictures knows two things.  Some of the shots you assume will be great turn out pretty blah.  On the flip side, some of the shots you didn’t expect much from, or maybe didn’t even take on purpose, will end up being your favorites.  Take lots of pictures, worry about it later.  So it is with this one.

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Taken in a Safeway parking lot.  Taken at night, without any real attempt to stabilize the camera, hand holding my S90, at only ISO400.  I could have set the camera on the wall.  I could have cranked up the ISO (although I didn’t want it any noisier than this).  That isn’t the point.  It took it, I bought some groceries, and looking at it later, I liked it.  Shooting up into the trees means that the cars and other distractions are gone.  The floodlights from the lot wash out all the detail (and me playing with the contrast burns some more) leaving just shapes and sky.  I didn’t intend it to be exactly this shot – I didn’t really intend it to be anything.  I’m just happy with what it is.

Autumn Leaves In Seattle

Seattle has seasons.  Specifically fall.  Some years it happens fast as the leaves turn orange and red and are immediately ripped from the branches and thrust into the storm drains to form lakes by torrential rain.  Some years you get a little time to enjoy things before bad weather takes it all away.  All I know is that I’m from Southern California.  This doesn’t happen there.  Palm fronds are green or dead – they are never orange or yellow.

It’s quite cliche, but it’s hard not to appreciate when you see it in person.  There are plenty of great sites of tree-covered hillsides or trees lining streets, but I think it’s easy to overlook just how amazing each leaf can be up close.

Orange Autumn Leaf Close-up

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They’re all cool, different, etc.  I think all of these are maples, but there’s birch and aspen and all kinds of picturesque-sounding things up here.  I’ve got more – really!  Be sure to hit the jump to see them all.

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