The results were certainly unpredictable as the team at Lomography proudly predict! I used transparency film which was developed normally and the colours, particularly blues, are so saturated the frames look cross processed. Unfortunately some shots didn’t come out at all due to a gaping light leak. I’m wondering now whether I may have forgotten to flip from the Diana’s unlimited exposure mode back to normal daytime mode whilst shooting in an elusive period of London sunshine?! There’s quite a lot to remember…
Unlike the Holga, which is available with a glass lens and can produce some very sharp images, the Diana’s lens is plastic and this is evident in many of my photos which made me rub my eyes in an attempt to refocus! The soft 70s blurring effect is a heralded feature of the Diana which many adore but, personally, I find it a little frustrating and regard these photos as failures. However, the small percentage of shots that did come out and are in focus have the depth of field, intense colour and ethereal quality that I have come to love in Holga images.
I think my problem with the Diana is that, unlike the Holga, it doesn’t cater as much to my inner perfectionist.
It is intended to be more of an instrument for photographic impulse rather than carefully composed compositions. The Lomographic society are quite clear about their feelings towards perfectionism:
As we say day in and day out: Be fast. Who’s got the time to consider the implications when close to a million tremendous potential photos are streaming right past your nose? No Diana owner worth their chops would spend one iota of energy on the big picture when there are so many crucial elements to focus on. To hold, point, and shoot a Diana camera implies a conscious decision to relinquish control.
We want you to show us how it’s done! Upload your Diana images to our Flickr group for the chance to win a brand new Diana F+ camera sent to us by the kind people at lomography.com. Runners up will also receive an exclusive back issue of Foto8 magazine.
Also, if you have any tips for me, or any comments about the Diana, register for free and leave your comments below.