Multimedia Journalist Richard Koci Hernandez takes on his new adventure: The Diana F+. This talented photography and multimedia producer has garnished him with national accolades and 2 Emmy nominations! Check out his interview after the jump!
REAL NAME: Richard Koci Hernandez
CITY/COUNTRY: Oakland, California USA
CAMERA: Diana F+
How long have you been a Lomographer? How did you start?
I started in about 1996 when I read a story about the Russian manufacturers deciding to stop the production of the Lomo, a camera which I’d never heard of, so I decided I buy one. It opened a whole new world to me, not only was I shooting on the Lomo, but also the Holga. The door to the world of Lomography was wide open and I haven’t closed it since!
How do you incorporate Lomography in your daily life and your work?
It’s a ritual for me to have at least one Lomo, Holga or Diana in my camera bag at all times no matter the shoot. It’s both a comfort and often ends up being the best tool for the job, so I make sure one is around if needed.
What was your Diana F+ shooting experience like? What’s the inspiration behind your photographs?
I have to say that my Diana shooting experience was one of the more memorable shooting experiences in recent memory because it forced me to slow down. I decided to only shoot with the Diana and move away from all of my digital devices for about two weeks. It made me contemplate more about what I was shooting. The irony is not lost on me that Lomo’s motto is “Don’t Think, Just Shoot” and yet I found myself doing the opposite and it was good for me. Additionally, the inspiration behind my photographs is my everyday life. I am inspired by what ever happens to be in front of me at any given moment. I don’t often go out of my way to make photographs, I allow photographs to come and find me and take hold of me, and create in me that impulse to want to take a photograph .
How would you compare the Diana F+ to the photography equipment you usually shoot with?
I have to say that the Diana so different in that it’s so stripped. It’s so basic, so primal compared to my other cameras, even the iPhone. There are no apps, no bells and whistles it’s literally just click and wind, click and wind, I found it very zen.
Can you share a secret to taking great pictures?
I don’t know that there are any secrets left to be told about creating great photography, but I’ll repeat one. I think the holy grail of good photography, for me anyway, is light. I would advise anyone who wants to continue to get better, to be a student of light. Take a moment out of everyday to stop and reflect on what the light is doing at that particular moment. how is it falling on certain objects, what does it look like if you look at it a little more to the left or right, how is it bouncing around, etc. Light, light, light!
What’s do you like best about low-fi/alternative photography?
I love the fact that it mimics real life in that it’s unpredictable. It’s also straightforward and unpretentious.
If you could hang as a camera around anyone’s neck, who would that be?
I would have loved to see the world through the eyes of my favorite photographer Roy DeCarava. But sadly he’s not with us anymore, so if I had to pick a living person, it would be Scarlett Johansson.
What’s strangest, funniest, hands-down greatest, or most “unusual” photographic/Lomographic encounter that you have ever had?
The 2002 Lomography World Congress in Vienna, hands down craziness. The “Lomography Sampling Games” or Lomo Olympics as they were called, was an entire week of madcap photo adventures, parties and community. I was lucky to be there and haven’t had an experience like it since. There was a photographic scavenger hunt that was so outrageous, I remember lomographers in their underwear in freezing cold in the middle of downtown vienna taking self portraits with complete strangers, good times. Good times.
What’s coming up on the horizon? New projects? What’s in the works and what’s on your mind? Who/what would you like to shoot next?
More shooting, a couple of films, a book, an app, teaching, learning, it never stops! On my mind: I should’ve kept the Scarlett Johansson comment to myself. I would love to shoot in Chicago!
Your advice to Lomographers and/or low-fi photographers?
Never focus on the tools or the platform, the elements of inspirational visual storytelling are eternal and will survive any technological revolution. It’s always the EYE that survives.
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.