Tag Archives: redscale

Lomokino – Music Video for Land of the Lakes – I Will Turn

I bought the Lomokino around four years ago with the explicit intention of using it to make a music video one day. Four years later, I’m happy to say I finally got around to it. Thirteen rolls of film, several days of shooting, hours of scanning, cropping, colour correcting, and assembling into Adobe Premiere, and it’s finally finished.

THE CAMERA

To explain the Lomokino 35mm Movie Camera quickly, it is a crank-operated camera that takes 144 frames on a 36-exposure roll of film. It captures images at the speed at which you turn the crank, up to 3-5 frames per second. There is no view-finder, per se. It has one of those pop-out viewfinders but it is cumbersome to use since it is placed so awkwardly close to the front of the camera. I have never found it useful nor trusted it to represent what was truly in frame and just pointed the camera in the vague direction at what I was shooting. It has three aperture settings (f/5.6, f/8, f/11) that you can change with a little dial on the front. I often forgot to change it whenever shooting conditions changed. It has a 1m-infinity focus with a close-up button you can push and hold for 0.6-1m. I never made use of it. You are also supposed to be able to use a hot-shoe flash if it supports continuous firing. I never tried it.

THE FILM

When it came to deciding what type of film to use in bulk for this, it was an easy answer for me. My favourite film over the years has been Lucky Charm 200, redscaled by hand. If pushed to be slightly over-exposured, it has all the features of cross-processed film (blues and greens) and if under-exposed, it has the classic redscale look (orange and red). If you look at previous blog posts, it must easily make up 1/3 of my posts. I’ve gotten it really cheap on eBay straight from China. I already had about 20 rolls of it on hand. Done. I redscaled the film myself using an empty film cartridge, tape, scissors, and a dark room to respool each roll of film backwards so that I was exposing the “wrong” side of the film. You can read more about how to do that here.

THE PROCESS

One thing that was hard to wrap my head around was what the tone and the pace of the video were going to look like in the end. It’s not like I could take a few test shots and play it back immediately. How many frames should I aim to shoot per second? How many frames did I want each scene to be to set a good pace for the video? How much motion did I want to try to introduce to an already shaky method of taking video footage? I decided on 8-16 frames per scene then move on to another shot. In hindsight, I would have made most of those scenes longer. Eight frames of footage goes by too fast. From watching other videos made with the Lomokino, I decided I liked it best when the camera was mostly stationary but the subjects moved. It was easier to keep your attention and focus on the action that way. So from there, the concept became shots of us standing still as tableaus with the handheld camera movement being the only indicator of motion. After a taking a few rolls of shots like that, unsure of what it was going to look like, I began to worry that the footage was going to look like a series of photographs and not a video at all. So I began shooting turning shots, walking shots, just to introduce some variety of motion. In retrospect, some of those shots moved too fast and are hard to follow… Again, I could not come to most of these conclusions until months later when we finally reached the point where we could assemble the footage digitally. That was the only point in which I could grasp the pace of the video.

Shooting in St. John’s, Newfoundland proved, as usual, to be difficult when the film you are using depends on sunny weather to be properly exposed. I have the most experience shooting with 100 iso film on sunny days. Those are the days when I feel confident that the shots are going to look good. The day we went shooting in Bannerman Park, it was sunny when we left the house, but it immediately clouded over. Our kids were with a babysitter. We shot the roll anyway and hoped for the best. Many of the shots turned out too dark. Even with the lowest aperture, f/5.6. Oh well. The day spent shooting in La Monche Provincial Park was sunny and generally turned out better. At one point that day, I accidentally opened the camera without rewinding the film. The footage of me on the bridge became flooded with red light leaks. Very cool.

My rule of thumb was one roll of film producing around 30 seconds of footage. After 13 rolls, I decided that it was enough shooting to cover 4 minutes of video. I got the film developed and it was scanning time. I used an Epson V500 scanner with the included 35mm scanning mask. It could not find each frame automatically, I had to select each frame manually. 144 frames. 13 rolls. Almost 2,000 images to then be manually cropped to a set, uniform size. I did some colour correction but since much of the footage was so dark and grainy, there wasn’t much I could do. Just staring at the spools of uncut film was daunting.

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13 rolls of film waiting to be scanned.

Next was assembling the footage in Adobe Premiere! My husband and bandmate, Matthew Thomson, took care of editing the footage together. After a few test scenes, we tried 3 frames per second, which we decided was too slow and painful to wait for the action to move. The final magic number was 4 frames per second. It felt like a comfortable pace. Long enough to notice what was going on. Fast enough to keep your attention.

I should note at this point that I do own the Lomokinoscope and the smartphone holder so that you are supposed to be able to screen the footage within the viewer and film it with your smartphone using the Lomokino app as a fast alternative to the process explained above. It was a disaster. The teeth on the Lomokinoscope did not always grab the film to advance the roll. When this happened the frame didn’t line up nicely with the viewer anymore. So you would have to adjust the frame within the viewer and try again. It also ripped some of the film while it was trying to advance it. I will never use it again.

The video is for the band I play in, Land of the Lakes. It is for the song I Will Turn from our 2015 self-titled album. All in all, I am happy with how it turned out. I will definitely try using this camera again with my own improvements in mind for scene length and camera movement. It was well-worth the considerable amount of effort.

Here it is!

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Vivitar IC111 – Lucky 200 redscaled film

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The Vivitar IC111 completes my collection of point and shoot Vivitars. It joins my IC101 panorama (which is one of my favourites), the Vivitar Ultra Wide and Slim (also amazing), and the PN2011 (will probably never use again). The IC111 is identical to the IC101, only it is full frame instead of cropped into a panorama photo. It is also absolutely identical to the build-your-own camera kit that I bought a few years ago  that failed miserably. It is the same color, shape, right down to each mechanism. Only this one works. The camera I built does not advance.

What I like about these Vivitars (IC111, IC101, UWS) is that they occupy a space between sharp and dreamy images with just the right amount of both. They aren’t going to give you amazingly professional images, obviously, but that’s not what I’m looking for.

This roll has actually become one of my all time favourites. I have a few of them in frames around my apartment. I LOVE Lucky Charm 200 film redscaled! So cheap, so good.

Also, on a sad side note, I believe this is my last roll of film taken while living in Montreal. Next up, my summer adventures in 2011 (I’m so behind in these posts).

Camera: Vivitar IC111
Film: Lucky Charm 200 redscaled 35mm
Location: Montreal in May 2011

Vivitar IC101 – Klick Max 200 Redscale

After using the Klick Max 200 redscaled in the Smena (see part 1 and part 2), I needed to do more tests of how this film acted when redscaled. It was way too dark and underexposed in the Smena, so I wanted to try it in the IC101 since I have had such great luck with it in the past with other redscaled film.

The result, as you can see, is very dark and very red. The conclusion as found in my last two posts is reinforced: this film needs 4x deliberate overexposure when redscaled. It acts like 50 ISO film.

With the IC101’s 1/125 shutter speed and F/8 aperture, these photos would only only expose well with reflective snow as a background. Which explains why I like the snow shots best!

Camera: Vivitar IC101 Panorama
Film: Klick Max 200 homemade redscaled 35mm

Redscale Klick Max 200 in Smena 8m: Part 2

This is part 2 of my previous post on using Klick Max 200 film redscaled in the Smena 8m. After deciding the film needed to be exposed more, I immediately followed up the roll in part 1 with a second roll and treated it as 50 ISO film instead of 100 ISO.

I will definitely be treating this as 50 ISO in the future because I love the white-to-yellow gradient it can produce the skies and I don’t like the dramatic ultra red look seen in part 1. Even so, as 50 ISO film, it certainly limits the cameras I will be able to use it with. None of the fixed shutter/aperture cameras will be able to accommodate it. I will have to use it with cameras like the Smena, or the Argus C3 where I can control more of the exposure settings. These limits make the Klick Max kind of bothersome, especially since I have about 16 rolls of it left. It makes me want to buy more Lucky 200 filmIt redscaled so beautifully!

I have to say, redscaled film certainly does make for a wild variety in colour. More variation than you can get from cross processed film. I think I like it more than cross processed film. I haven’t decided yet, but I think I do.

Camera: Smena 8m
Film: Klick Max 200 homemade redscaled 35mm (treated as 50 ISO)
Scanned with Epson V500

Redscale Klick Max 200 in Smena 8m: Part 1

It’s been a while since my last blog post. I have been busy with a large scale sewing project. Now that I need a break from said project, I’m going to try to do a few more posts! I’ve still been taking pictures, however, so now I have a backlog of rolls to post.

For Christmas I got 20 rolls of Klick Max 200 film from Lomography since they were only $1.50 a pop. This post is my first attempt at using it redscaled. I chose the Smena 8m to shoot with so I could have versatility on cloudy days. Taking into account that redscale SHOULD multiply exposure time by two, I set my light meter to 100 ISO and for the most part, I faithfully exposed the shots accordingly.

All of these shots were taken in January, so I am trying to recall the lighting conditions. Somehow, cloudy days yielded both underexposed uber-red shots and well-exposed less-red shots (my favourite kind!). Sunny days also gave super red photos. Either way, I was not happy with the overall redness of the many underexposed shots. The best shots were the few where I intentionally used a slower shutter speed or bigger aperture than what my light meter suggested.

Conclusion: Klick Max 200 when redscaled needs more than a simple doubling of exposure time. It appears to need quadrupling! This is different than the Lucky 200 redscaled that I had used before, where a simple doubling formula was sufficient.

See my next blog post “Redscale Klick Max 200 in Smena 8m: Part 2” where I put another roll in the Smena and treat it like it is ISO 50!

Camera: Smena 8m
Film: Klick Max 200 redscaled 35mm (treated as 100 ISO)
Scanned with Epson V500

Vivitar UWS – Redscale film

Here’s my attempt to use redscaled film with the Vivitar Ultra Wide & Slim. Most of them were taken in low light and did not come out. I had taken the camera out around 3PM, about an hour and a half  before sunset. It looked like there was enough light, but alas, not enough for the F/8 and 1/125th shutter. When will I learn to resist taking out the camera when cloudy? The ones below came out great, though! I took them in the bright early morning light on another day.

Camera: Vivitar Ultra Wide & Slim
Film: Lucky 200 35mm redscaled film

Vivitar IC101 Panorama & 35mm redscale film

This unassuming 35mm camera has quickly become one of my favourites!! It is a fake panorama, which means that it uses a mask to cut off the top and bottom from a standard sized picture. But the result is quite striking! The selective view really changes the feel of the photos. Unlike the Vivitar Ultra Wide and Slim which encompasses many details into one photo, this panorama camera concentrates on a single detail or two and forces it to be interesting. It just frames things so perfectly. It feels so much easier to be creative with it.

This camera was an awesome find at a second hand store for $4. I didn’t expect to be so impressed with it. I like it more than the UWS! It is responsible for taking my favourite pictures to date! It is also  just as light and easy to carry as the UWS. It has the same fixed focus, fixed aperture (F/8) and fixed shutter speed (1/125). As with the UWS, double exposures are not possible (although I somehow got one on my roll??). But you can close the shutter so it doesn’t accidentally take a picture in your purse, making it even more convenient to carry with you everyday.

This roll marked my first time making and using redscale 35mm film. I followed these instructions and it worked like a charm. It requires you to completely destroy one roll by ripping out all of its film. But from then on, whenever you re-spool, you will always have a new empty cartridge to make all subsequent redscale 35mm film. It is much easier than making redscale 120 film, but it still requires a darkroom.

I expected the IC101’s shutter speed of 1/125th to be way too fast for redscaled 200 iso film. But it worked out way better than expected! The tone of the film varied quite a bit based on the lighting conditions. Some hardly have a hint of red in it at all. Like I said earlier, some of these shots are my new favourites!

Camera: Vivitar IC101 Panorama
Film: Lucky 200 homemade redscale 35mm
Scanned with Epson V500