Well-known Graphic Designer Charlie Wagers takes on analogue photography with the Diana F+! Check out his gallery and his interview after the jump!
Name: Charlie Wagers
City: Akron, OH
How long have you been a Lomographer?
I took the plunge in 2008, just before graduating with my BFA. I got a Diana F+ & a Green Holga at the same time. I’ve since picked up some vintage cameras, and plenty of little accessories to add to the experience.
What do you love most about the Diana F+?
When I first took the camera out of its box, I could not believe how small it was! Without the flash, the camera has hardly any weight to it at all. I love how effortless it is to take with me. The main thing that sets it apart from similar cameras is the interchangeable lenses (I have quite a few) and the array of add-ons that allow for additional experimentation. I also use the Instant-Back for some polaroid’esque goodness.
Describe the Diana F+ in 5 words.
Tiny little dream world capturer.
What inspires you the most when taking pictures?
My surroundings. Every good photo I have ever taken is because I had a camera when I looked up and saw something worth photographing. Luckily, I find myself in a lot of different places; between traveling and touring, I can find new, interesting settings to take pictures.
How would you describe your style as a photographer?
I’ve never taken a single class in photography, so it feels misleading to call myself a ‘photographer’. But, if I had to define the style of my photographs, I’d like to think that my photos take on one-of-two styles. The first being a simple, candid shot: probably of one of my friends, a document of a moment in life. The other being more conceptual: something that I’ve seen, and framed a composition in the viewfinder (probably using too much thought – or maybe not enough), despite the notorious in-accuracy of a viewfinder. I love to do multiple exposures; as it makes the photo increasingly un-predictable. I also experiment with light leaks by opening the back of the camera, or slightly un-raveling the film spools.
How does Lomography fit in your life as a graphic designer? How does it sneak into your work?
Needless to say, I’m pretty particular about visual aesthetic. And when it comes to documenting my life, I’d rather have something more memorable than plain digital photos.
But my main interest in Lomography started with the desire to utilize this style of photos within my work. At the time, most of my work was illustration-based, and I wanted to expand my palette. I’ve used some of my pictures on album-covers, posters, and just about anything else where they seem fit.
How does it fit into my life? It fits nicely inside my bag, that I carry everywhere. Can’t forget the #1 Golden Rule, “Take your camera everywhere you go.” I must have one of my cameras on me at all times; otherwise I’ll miss a photo opp. So I guess this also applies the third rule; “Lomography is not an interference in your life, but part of it.”
How did Three Bears Design start out? Why’d you name it Three Bears?
Three Bears Design started out as three artistic friends, and it made sense for us all to combine forces. The ‘three’ part seemed obvious, and the rest can be credited to our obsession with animals, especially using illustrative ones, within our work. Bears seemed to uphold the level of awesomeness we hoped to promote. At the time, we all lived in Northeast Ohio, but have since re-located across the country, and also expanded to more than 3.
What’s the best thing about using a film camera?
It’s unpredictable! I can remember before digital cameras were popular, and snapping away with a cheap 35mm camera. There’s great excitement in waiting for see your negatives developed.
If you could take photos anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I’m going to have to say Iceland. I’ve never been, so maybe I’m idealizing it, (or maybe it’s my obsession with Sigur Rós) but I the landscapes are beautiful. I’d love to take some pinhole photos of the wide, dreamy scenery. That being said: there’s no substitute for taking photos in NYC & Brooklyn. It’s hard to take a bad picture at Coney Island.
If your photos shown here could have a soundtrack of three songs, what would they be?
Everything Trying – Damien Jurado
God Bless Our Dead Marines – Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra
Sæglópur – Sigur Rós
What tips can you give Diana F+ users?
Try a high-speed film. I rarely ever use anything less than 400 speed films. I know that eliminates a lot of films to use, but when using the “N” setting, even the slightest overcast can result in under-exposure. I also don’t try much for indoor photos – but we should all spend more time outside, right?
Also, the basics: take your camera everywhere. The Diana F+ is light & compact, so it’s not difficult. You’ll always regret when you don’t have it with you, always.
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.