LA Walks • Van Gogh on Lomo

Is it cliche to say I love Van Gogh? I love his impasto art style of bold, dramatic brush strokes because I can feel the movement in his artwork. When I saw that Immersive Van Gogh had an exhibit opening up in Los Angeles, I immediately bought tickets to take my sister. The shot below is my favorite from the whole roll, two strangers who I assume were on their first date. I've posted it on other platforms and I got a comment noting that the people in the shot look like they are a part of the painting. Loved that description, it sums up exactly what I loved about the experience.

The exhibit was breathtaking and inspiring. We sat through two sequences of the exhibit. Once to experience its entirety uninterrupted, second for the moments we wanted to capture. Shooting film with alternating bright scenes and complete darkness was a challenge. I was relieved I brought my digital camera because I was overwhelmed. I literally felt like I was shooting blindly at the wall. The scenes flashed quickly that I did not have time to meter and compose properly. Definitely recommend it if you like learning in a sink or swim environment because there is a huge risk of wasting money to scan and develop a bad roll.


When I started shopping for high-speed colored film to use, Kodak Portra 800 was either sold out or sold at a crazy price point. Lomography was an alternative, but I was really hesitant because I had never shot it before. From what I scoped out online, outdoor results varied, and I found few indoor low-light examples. I was super skeptical that any shots would turn out well, but I was pleasantly surprised when I got the scans back. Legit held my breath when I saw the email and didn't breathe until I saw the scans.


Seeing the results now, I think I would have chosen Lomo over Kodak for this specific exhibit - even if in some weird alternative universe Kodak was cheaper. I have to say that Lomo 800 carried the colors well, with amazing saturation and contrast. I loved how well the silhouettes came out against the vibrant imagery. Very true to the colors I saw in person.

^ this was my second favorite shot of the whole roll. I remember rushing to take it because it was one of my favorite scenes during the exhibit. Van Gogh's tragic life always reminds me to check in on myself. May is Mental Health Awareness Month, so I hope you're checking in on yourself too.

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© A. del Castillo