We talked to Matt Osborrne, also know as MrLeica.Com, a UK-based photographer who mostly shoots with film. He tested out some Lomography 800 CN in 35 mm and medium format and talked to us about his experience and his results.
Hello Matt/ Mr Leica tell us a bit about yourself?
Hello I’m Matt Osborne (aka. MrLeica.Com). I am a UK based self-taught photographer primarily specializing in female portraiture with analogue and Leica cameras. Most of my photography happens around Europe where I organise photo shoots with models. In addition to this I am the founder of the MrLeica.Com blog, predominately a camera review website specialising in Leica camera equipment but also film cameras of all shapes and sizes. I photograph weddings and run photography workshops on request and I now host a YouTube channel too. In the past I have written technical articles for photography magazines so my work is normally portraits backed up with detailed reviews. Photography is my life and I love it!
What makes you want to shoot with film?
When first discovering my passion for photography perhaps 10 years ago (properly) I found my digital Nikon images boring and lifeless. I used Flickr for inspiration in the early days and I discovered that the images I liked were all shot on film. I’ve never looked back and I now shoot any photo that is important to me on film. I use digital Leica cameras also but this is to test and to give models a visual in real time. The majority of the images I share on the various social media platforms are film scans.
How did you get on shooting with the Lomography CN 800 120 and 35 mm film?
I was really impressed with Lomography 800 CN film. I had seen mixed results from this film shot by others on social media so I was not sure what to expect. Some photos were great and that inspired me to test the film.
Other images were less strong but perhaps these photographers were new to photography or new to using their film camera. I shot Lomo 800 in three different countries, with three different cameras and in a variety of conditions. I wanted to really test the film. The results I obtained were very pleasing and above my expectations.
Any nice traits you noticed from this film?
Yes! The film grain was not overpowering in 35 mm film format and for 120 grain is rarely an issue. I love the popping vibrant colours of Lomo 800 film. It is a more creative film that perhaps Kodak Portra and produces stronger than reality colours. In particular yellows, reds and greens are saturated and vibrant (from my testing). Blues tend to render more pastel shades. The overall look of the film is warmer which is flattering for skin tones and my portraits. Lomography CN 800 also has good latitude and can easily be over exposed to create even more pastel tones. Very happy!
What did you choose to shoot?
As a portrait photographer/model photographer my main interest was to photograph people with Lomo 800. This is how I use any film so it was a true test for me and will let me visualise how the film will look when I use it in future. I also shot some non-portrait scenes just to give more variety to my film test.
Any tips for someone wanting to start out shooting with film?
Yes! If you are a digital shooter and want some inspiration as to what film camera you may like to visit www.MrLeica.Com. I list 35 mm cameras (rangefinders and SLRs), medium format cameras (645, 6x6, 6x7, 6x9 formats) and large format cameras. Each camera has a full write up with pros, cons and comparisons together with example images. Many film cameras can be found cheap on eBay so you don’t need to spend a fortune. Yes shooting film costs money but the film cameras are cheaper and don’t go out of date like your digital camera. The money you save from buying a film camera can be spent on buying film instead! Developing film at home is very economical and easy to do, especially for black and white film. If you are shooting film a lot it maybe be worth investing in film developing equipment. (Again there are how to videos on the blog). You can digitize you own film negatives using your digital camera if you don’t have a dedicated film scanner. This lets you share your film photos onto Instagram and social media for others to enjoy.
What's coming up in the future?
The MrLeica.Com YouTube continues to grow and I will be sharing weekly videos, or more if I have time!. I use YouTube to teach some of the photography skills I’ve taught myself over the years and share some of the knowledge I have obtained. The blog will continue to be the main source of detailed information but the videos will help to give some visuals. In addition to that I hope to continue to discover amazing people around the world to photograph. Meeting and collaborating with talented people is one of the biggest enjoyments photography gives me. I look forward to running more photography workshops, both in the UK and overseas and to cover beautiful weddings (especially if shot on film!).