This summer I decided to record my holiday in a creative, analogue way, through a handwritten notebook illustrated with Diana photos.
The idea started with some excellent-quality notebook, which I came across with in a bookstore. I couldn’t resist, and I bought it – I also made a resolution not to let it rest in my drawer forever, but to do something creative with it. And then it occurred to me that in the last nine months, I shot several hundreds of photos with my Diana, and I only see the scanned versions of the negatives – I did not make any prints so far. The last piece of inspiration was the regular text on the old Diana (clone) boxes: “you can make sixteen color or black and white pictures of this size”. I decided on keeping a handwritten diary during my holiday, and gluing the contact-sized pictures into it.
It was a bit harder then I thought. Filling a notebook with short, well-composed texts seemed easy enough – finding time every now and then to sit down and write was another matter. (And the notebook seemed to get thicker and thicker day by day.) I wanted to fill the notebook. This not only meant writing sufficient amounts of text – I also had to leave space for the photographs. Each time I took pictures, I also constantly had to keep the diary in mind, and when I actually sat down to write, I had to remember what I shot. I also had to count with the fact that not all of my photos will turn out right. Except for some model shooting, I used solely my Diana – with the 120mm and the 35mm back; I also put most of my lenses and my Ringflash into good use.
When I got home, it turned out that I cannot find a shop which develops analogue prints, so I could not get my contact pictures. I had to find a workaround. I created an empty file in GIMP, with the standard 20×30cm size of a photo shop, with a resolution of 600 dpi, and then I went through my scanned pictures, selected the ones that I actually wanted to be in the diary, shrank them to the same resolution, and pasted them on the empty file one after an other. It ensured that on the actual print they will have the size of the negative.
Then I had to cut out the pictures and glued them on the appropriate pages – I have never done anything similar to this for at least 20 years. It also took some time, I also had to pay special attention not to glue the pages together but finally, I was done. I think it’s a pretty nice piece of “analogue blogging” and I guess it would be a nice piece of reading to my children. Provided of course that they will be able to read my handwriting.