When Lomography announced their new Metropolis film, I jumped on it. But when it arrived, I wasn’t feeling too into shooting much, so I stuck it all in the refrigerator.
Then, when I finally built
the piece of garbage known as the LomoMod no.1 and loaded some 120 Metropolis into it, I decided I should shoot some 135 too, so I threw a roll into the LC-A and got going.
It was just before Ramadan, and I took my time shooting through it. It took more than a month to get through the roll. I started with some selfies (and will share a bunch in a later post), and shot the vast majority while exploring the Old Alton Bridge in Argyle, TX. It’s mostly those pictures I’m sharing here.
Of course, this being 2020, the COVID-19 quarantine was in full effect, so I selfies-at-home seemed the most appropriate. I did go out once with Samie to pick some stuff up from his apartment (he moved in with us for the quarantine time). I thought the stairs looked a bit MC Escher-ish and wondered what they would look like on Metropolis, so I shot them quickly, and later cropped off a huge section of floor.
Honestly, I’m not sure if I got the color right. I think it’s close: Metropolis at EI 200 (I shot almost the whole roll at 200) is a bit desaturated, with some pop to the reds and rather high contrast. Given that I rephotograph negatives with an older digital camera (a Nikon D7000) and convert to positive in Capture One Pro, I can do pretty much whatever I like with the color. I was able to fairly easily get largely ordinary-looking color from the Metropolis, but when I compared my original conversions to examples from the Darkroom, I backed saturation off by quite a bit and upped the contrast slightly.
Anyway, I think it’s close, and I like the look.
As mentioned above, I shot most of the roll in Argyle, TX, on a walk around the Old Alton Bridge. It was a rainy day, and I can’t resist taking photographs of tree-covered roads on rainy days…
The Old Alton Bridge used to actually connect the former Denton County seat, Alton (now long gone), with Copper Canyon, and was the main method of crossing Hickory Creek for 104 years, from 1884 through 1988, when the road was straightened and widened.
These days, it’s part of an equestrian and hiking trail and was rather overgrown and unkempt when I visited. Check it.
It was quiet there, with a couple of cars in the mud lot just off the road, one with a person sleeping in it, the other empty. I was pleasantly surprised by all the graffiti everywhere, and wonder what entity is responsible for upkeep of the historic bridge and trails around, as they don’t seem to interested in, for example, tree trimming or trash cleanup or graffiti abatement. Sorta makes it nice and people-friendly, obviously not corporate or heavily monitored, but also—and here’s some cognitive dissonance for you—abandoned.
Still, if you find yourself in Denton County, TX, it’s worth a visit.
The following weekend marked the end of Ramadan, with a beautiful sunset (that I had a really hard time color-correcting, and just gave up on in the end, leading to a too-green bottom quarter).
And a pleasant, very quiet Eid al Fitr the next day. We went to my mother- and father-in-law’s house for breakfast and gifts for the kids, then to my sister-in-law’s for lunch, and then to my brother-in-law’s for dinner. It was really lovely just spending the whole day with family, and a marked change from non-Covid Eid celebrations, where my wife and I, to a somewhat limited extent, go house to house, feasting and fellowship with the neighbors and brothers and sisters in Islam.
I took a bunch of photographs with the Nikon Lite Touch and will share those later, but only managed one non-selfy shot with the LC-A and Lomography Metropolis.
When I get the color close to right, when the scene lends itself to easy color correction, I really like this film. There’s something very 1980s television about it, like A-Team reruns or something, or bad 8th generation prints of early color films. I really get that in the bridge photographs and I can totally see Col. Decker’s jeep* speeding across it… It’s not a general purpose film, by any stretch, but it’s good enough for an old bridge or staircase or a sunset or a view out the window, and Lomography seem to be making enough (having enough made) to keep up with demand, so win!
You can find LomoChrome Metropolis in 110, 120, and 135. I have a few rolls of 120 and 135 left, and look forward to shooting them, for sure.
Stay tuned for a bunch of selfies on Lomo Metropolis, coming soon!
*Colonel Decker was, as far as I can tell, most often seen in a sedan, with a driver even, but you know what I mean.