In honor of the Diana World Tour's stop at the Lomography Gallery Store NYC, we're bringing you one of our favorite New York City based Lomographers as this week's LomoAmigo! Meet migueld!
Country : USA!! USA!!! USA!!!!
City : City of Kings: Brooklyn, NY
Have you shot with any Lomography cameras before or are you new to this whole thing?
The Diana was my first serious foray into medium format photography. I also have an LC-A+, a Lubitel+, a Horizon Kompakt, and a slew of Lomography cameras (namely the SuperSampler and the Oktomat). I consider the Diana the one I come crawling back to. She’s the one that made me fall back in love with photography. I used to shoot film in school when I took photography classes but then quickly moved to digital when I got to college. All it ended up being was a collection of party shots through the year — granted, those were all fun, but it wasn’t the kind of photo-taking experience I would have liked to have had. Fast forward a few years, after not taking pictures for a while, and meeting my first Diana: it was love at first sight.
If your gallery had a soundtrack what 3 songs would definitely be on it? (song title & artist please)
The Bleeding Heart Show by The New Pornographers
Acceptable in the ’80s by Calvin Harris
No You Girls by Franz Ferdinand
Honorable mentions include Bulletproof by La Roux, Swing Tree by Discovery, Nantes by Beirut, and Wake Up by Arcade Fire.
Describe the Diana F+ in five words…
She will break your heart.
About a year ago I was walking around Paris taking pictures of landmarks and things with my Diana around my neck. Every other person had a swank and slick DSLR or a digital point-and-shoot, and every time I would take a shot people would ask what camera I was using. Outside the Opera Garnier one of these guys looked at my camera and started laughing, pointing mockingly at the Diana. His girlfriend became very enraged and mad at him and soon enough I overheard an argument that became a break-up. All in French. Just like in a movie. I kept on taking pictures just to not make it seem awkward. She came up to me later and apologized for “her stupid ex-boyfriend’s behavior.” She said that she loved pictures taken with film and that “film people, you should be more.” Very philosophical. I remember it very vividly. It was awesome.
The one person (living or deceased) who you would most like to photograph and why.
This is a toughie, but I think I’d like to take pictures of Conan O’Brien. He’s a hero of mine. Plus the added challenge of lighting his coif and getting it all in frame. I’m pretty sure I’d be his BFF after a drink or two. (If I can’t get Conan, Neil Patrick Harris would do in a jiffy.)
If you had a big bag of film and (one of) your Diana F+ cameras, where would you go and why?
Japan! Big city adventures, small towns full of history and culture, bullet trains, Mount Fuji, a vibrant food culture and lots of interesting people: Japan has my vote. Bright lights and good food, can’t beat it. Also, getting lost in a place like that just seems like otherworldly fun.
What advice can you give other Diana F+ shooters?
Just keep shooting. Shoot shoot shoot. The nice thing about having a Diana is that you have to be more aware of your surroundings, not only to set your apertures and focusing but also to anticipate how your Diana will react to the conditions you have her in. Each of those lenses has a personality; the more you use your Diana the better you’ll get to know her. She’ll pay you back in spades, I promise.
I’m nearly prepared to call you the NYC “King of the Diana F+ Collectors”. What inspired you to start your collection? Which one is your go to Clone?
It was actually a happy accident: I decided to buy a Deluxe Kit for myself last year as a present for myself (don’t we all need those sometimes?) and I ended up getting a Diana+ Dreamer from my brother for Christmas because he thought it would be a good gift. The whole setup of multiple colorways really appealed to me (considering I had previously collected sneakers, go figure), and it became just a bit more — okay, a lot more — obsessive from there. I guess you could say I took a move from Allan Detrich and put my on spin on it.
I have a few “go to” clones: I usually switch between the Tokyo Rising and the Hong Meow for normal use because I really love their color schemes, but I’ve been known to mix it up with accessories. My Snowcat has a SuperWide lens attached to it, and my El Toro looks even more bullish with a Soft Telephoto lens. And for nighttime fun I like the Glow with the Instant Back. The Mini also takes to accessories, but the catch is hacking it a little bit: the Tunnelvision and Fisheye lenses for the LC-A that mount magnetically fit perfectly over the Mini’s lens.
Why do you hate Lomography so much?
If by “hate” you mean “obsess over” then the answer is pretty simple: Lomography is a great creative outlet, one in which I can express myself and my sense of place for what it is, a beautiful mess of people and things. If by “hate” you mean “hate” then I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT.
Besides being one of the most awesome Lomo geeks in the Big Apple, what are some of your other interests? We want to know the man behind Diana mask (no pun intended)!
Let’s make it a list:
- Legos (OH MY GOD I LOVE LEGOS)
- Moleskine notebooks
- Reality TV (Survivor, Top Chef, and Project Runway)
- Long-form improv comedy
- Wine and saké
- Museum memberships (I’m a member at the Met, the Guggenheim, MoMA, the New Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Brooklyn Museum)
- Cookbooks, and by extension, dessert-making (I used to work in a pastry kitchen)
Seriously though I’m awesome.
Take a look at Miguel’s globe spanning gallery!