Monday, April 26, 2010

Diana F+

If you were to give me this camera when I was younger, I'm not sure how I would've responded. I was very much into photography, starting with when I was gifted with a little camera that had this small film that went into it... don't remember what size of film that was.... the negs were very small. Then I got a disk camera, which had even SMALLER negatives! Remember those things? I loved mine! I took lots of terrible blurry close-ups of flowers and other natural wonders, and was always dismayed to see the results. I didn't understand yet about focal distances. 

In high school I was determined to improve, and so I took photography, and borrowed my dad's Pentax 35 mm SLR. That was the height of every man's photo technology at that time. There were better formats, of course, with larger negatives, but not many people could afford things like that! Rich people and professional photographers typically had those types of cameras. So I was excited with my "new" camera and went crazy with the photography... choosing form and contrast to composition and content. I was young, what did I know about content and context? Nothing!

Well, after high school, I went to college and took more photography classes. (The only way I could have access to the darkroom, hello!!) And there I learned about composition, context and content.... it was an extremely helpful class that helped me to think in terms of Telling A Story. That became more of my motive when taking photos. 

The Digital Age came around to me, much later than to others, I know. I resisted the ease of "instant gratification" that everyone talked about with the digital medium. I felt like it was cheating, or something! Too easy to take a good picture! That can't be right! But then I gave in... ha ha! I've had several generations of digital point and shoots by now, and had felt like they were quite satisfying, in their way. But here's the thing I realized... you have so few surprises!! You always pretty much know if you got the shot, and how it looks before you're even out of the garden/beach/party, etc. Maybe for some this is a good thing. I don't deny that it's nice to KNOW you got the shot. However, where's the room for Life's little surprises?

Enter the Diana F+. My newest friend/nemesis/challenge, photographically speaking. It's a little blue and black plastic box with a little imperfect lens on it. It weighs a couple ounces, and quite frankly, feels like a toy camera. But to look on it is a joy! It harks back to the 1950's; a simple (seeming) time of high ideals and low finances. The blue makes me happy! However, the challenges started with the loading of the 120 film... and continue with the rather limiting options on depth of field. You have three choices! Close, medium and infinity.... okay. So my first roll of film, which should have given me 12 glorious photos, all showing my skill and expertise as a photographer, instead left me with five, yes five, blurry and fuzzy photos. Now, two of those five photos are mildly interesting. I thought that ALL of my photos would me EXTREMELY interesting! No. SURPRISE!! Ha ha! Yes, in a way, I was excited by this.... there's actually skill involved with using the Diana F+. She doesn't give away her goodies like a common hussy, no. She is, like her name, quite prim and proper, but with a little gleam in her eye that promises that if you take the time... well, she can be quite the fun-time gal! But you MUST put in the time. I hope to regal you with amazing photos that I've coaxed from this little blue and black plastic camera.... just wait and see. I will be sweet to Diana and take my time with her, and she will be my next best friend.... 


BookGirl said...

I've been thinking of getting a Diana for reasons very similar to yours. I love my digital camera, but it doesn't always fulfill my creative interests. I've started to use my photographs in my books, usually by distorting them in some way (using Photoshop Elements), but I suspect the Diana might add a little something to the mix. I look forward to hearing more about your experiences.


shari said...

Clara, check out and see what other people have coaxed from their Dianas. I'm HOPING I get anything even half as cool and interesting. I will definitely post my results here... I'm taking it to Europe with me in a couple weeks, so maybe I'll get lucky!! By the way, I really enjoy using Elements. So much easier to figure out than it's big brother!


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