It only took one photo posted by an online acquaintance for me to fall in love: the square format, the dramatic vignetting, the saturated colours. I couldn’t believe that it wasn’t some kind of clever digital manipulation, but a bit of internet-sleuthing led me to the truth: the Diana F+.
I was 21, and I was a bit sick of glossy digital perfection, the drive for maximum megapixels. I wanted something tangible, real, unpredictable. Once I started seeing more of what the Diana F+ could do, I knew I’d found my partner in crime.
However, I was also a student on a tight budget. Could I really justify the cost of a new camera, especially one so frequently described as a “toy”? What about the price of film, the developing? I agonized over it for a few months, but I couldn’t hold out for long. And on the day she arrived, I knew I’d done absolutely the right thing – I popped a roll of film in, and gleefully started snapping away.
This first roll from my Diana F+ was… well, it was an unmitigated disaster. Most of my shots were wildly underexposed or overexposed, full of unintentional double-exposures, poorly framed, dull and uninteresting. But this roll of 16 truly terrible photos surprisingly didn’t upset me or scare me away; it just made me feel excited. I felt like I’d just embarked on something really, really big.
I started reading everything I could about my Diana; any article or tip available, reviews of films and lenses, and I spent a lot of time looking at other people’s photos, figuring out what style inspired me. I did what I could to learn from other people’s successes and failures – but more importantly, I just kept shooting. Slowly, but surely, I started getting more shots I liked, and more shots I wanted (and some surprises along the way!)
My lovely Diana has been everywhere with me since. She’s the first thing I pack on any holiday, and she makes the perfect travel companion – she’s light and portable, stylish, and a unique conversation starter. She’s kept me company in outback Australia, the beaches of Bali, the snows of New Zealand, the temples of Japan; but she keeps me company in my average, everyday old life as well.
The photos I take with my Diana F+ still aren’t perfect; I’d say that most of them aren’t even good. But it’s been a few years now – and more than a few rolls of film! – and I’ve never lost that love, that thrill, every time I press her shutter.
The Diana F+ is a new twist on the ‘60s classic cult camera. Famous for its dreamy and soft-focused images, the Diana F+ is now packed with extra features such as panorama and pinhole capabilities. Available in our Online Shop.