The term “lomography” refers both to the artistic movement and to the organization that promotes it, Austrian company Lomographische AG, sells updated versions of vintage cameras and promotes the culture of lo-fi photography with its Lomographic Society. Lomography started in Austria in 1991 as an art movement, when a group of art students found they liked the imperfect images created by the Lomo Kompakt Automat camera made by the Lomo company of St Petersburg in the then Soviet Union.
In a world where almost everyone carries a professional-quality digital camera in their smartphone, the idea of imperfect, uncontrollable photography appeals to many. If you are ready to embrace Lomography that means you are ready to accept its deficiencies. You know that this plastic toy camera makes no apologies for it shortcomings. If you want to become the photographer that goes against the grain and really gets it grab a Diana Mini or Diana F+.
The Diana camera is really basic so if you are going back to film this is the camera for you. You have to be aware of the camera’s quirks. Here are a few that you may encounter.
- It’s entirely plastic which contributes to its deficiencies.
- The camer’s housing doesn’t fit properly and has to be taped to prevent major light leaks.
- The viewfinder is not an accurate representation or the contents of the photo.
- The film has to be manually wound and it’s a toss up on how far you have to wind it.
- If you forget to wind your film you will have a double exposure.
- Film doesn’t fit very well and jams from time to time.
I own five Dians’s and plan to buy more because I believe that all of these quirks contribute to the Diana unique appeal. The images are soft-focus, unpredictably blurry and full of unexpected light effects, with a dreamy, colour-saturated quality. No two images are the same; in fact, no two cameras are the same – no two Dianas will record the same scene in the same way.
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