Then the computer and digital camera came along.
For the last however many years I have viewed photography as a burden. I still have enjoyed documenting the things that I do and see. But more often than not I find myself dreading looking through the disk of hundreds of images and trying to decide what is print worthy.
So I get everything organized and ready to print then lo and behold- I’m outta ink. Ugggh.
This warrants a trip to the local Staples or Office Depot. Here in the city that has "everything" neither of these places are convenient to me. So a special trip has to be planned and an after work run or workout will be missed. Or perhaps I'll ruin a Saturday running around to see who has my ink in stock.
All this is too much like work.
Well I have decided to travel back in time. Back to the 1960s in fact. When people used film!
I headed to the local Lomo Store only a few blocks from my home. I’d been in here many times before but since I was so down on photography I’d just look around with not much interest. This time would be different- I was ready to purchase!
Money in hand I walked in knowing I wanted a Diana F+.
Original Diana F
Me being me- I wanted the most pretty one they had. The Diana was originally a most unusual blue and black. But that just wouldn’t do. Normally I would go for pink and if they would have had a nice creamy pale shade of pink, I probably would have fell victim to it’s charm. The only pink one was a hot pink and black combo.
Mighty cute, but it just wouldn’t go with many of my outfits. There for the solid white won out. For a mere two hundred and some odd dollars I bought the whole kit and kaboodle. I got close-up lenses, zoom lenses, some fancy little thing that does some double exposure thingy (I’ve yet to try this), it has a flash, it has a fish eye lens and it even came with a cute little squirrel carry pack. But what it DID NOT HAVE was a nice strap. SO I hit up ETSY right away. I found the nicest little pink and white strap to deck out my Diana with- from Sassy Straps.
My first shoot with my new set-up was a big one- The Coney Island Mermaid Parade (see previous blog) I must say I was a little nervous. Weird. I only had 12 frames to shoot. What would be worthy? What if I miss the shot? What if I don’t know what I’m doing and all images are ruined?
Finally a few hours into our adventure I pulled out the Diana. At first I was rather hesitant but after my first click I was hooked. I still wanted to look at the back of the camera to see what image I had captured obviously that is not how film works.
I must say when you only have a few frames you tend to actually think about your photo composition and lighting a bit more- just like the good old days.
My twelve shots went by fast but carefully.
The very next weekend held another special occasion- The Governor’s Island 1920s Lawn Party (see earlier blog) It was a beautiful day and the people were beautiful as well. I pointed and CLICKED a few times still being a tad on the cautious side.
Twenty four CLICKS complete and I was headed back to the Lomo store to drop off my film for development. In a world of instant gratification I was actually enjoying the wait... the anticipation... what will my prints look like?!
My Lomo store NYC
Two days later back to Lomo I go, I snatch up my box of prints, disk and negatives and head to Washington Square Park. There is no way I can wait to get them home. Opening the pack I smell the sweet smell of photo prints. Yummmmm. Dreamy image after dreamy image lay out in front of me. Soft. Surreal. Dramatic. Oh joy! This is just what I was hoping for.
Now mind you, not every image is a masterful work of art, in fact several were nightmares altogether. I learned some lessons with these first few rolls. Diana likes the sun, if she is using the flash she better be close to her subject and sometimes what Diana thinks she sees isn’t always what is captured. This is also the beauty of the images.
Mermaid Parade (unedited)
Oh and another thing I like that I kinda forgot about... real photo prints have no dot pattern and that makes them quite lovely.
Bethesda Fountain Central Park (unedited)
1920s Party (unedited)
With Diana as my new friend, I look forward to doing some more shoots and sharing them here.