As part of the 10th-anniversary celebrations of the Diana F+, we interviewed Denise Grays, a US-based film photography fanatic who recently set up #dianaday on twitter. She shared some of her favorite shots and talked about her passion for this dreamy, soft focus camera.
Hi Denise, tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Denise Grays and I am a photography hobbyist from the state of Kansas. I have been shooting film off and on, but mostly on, since I was 12 years old. I enjoy shooting a variety of subjects from portraits of friends to old cars on the street. Basically whatever jumps out at me visually, I'll shoot it!
Can you remember your first encounter with the Diana F+?
My first encounter with a Diana F+ was when I was participating in a photo walk with a group I'm a member of and seeing a member shooting with it and thinking, "That's a cute camera!" My first time actually holding and shooting a Diana was when I got a Diana Mini. It was a gift with purchase from lomography.com when I bought five rolls of Lomochrome Purple in 35mm. I loved that I had the option of square or half frame and color gels for the flash. I later received a Diana F+ from a friend and began experimenting with the pinhole setting on it.
How would you explain this camera to someone who's never seen it before?
The Diana F+ is a simple plastic wonder of a camera! It's not so simple that you have no options when it comes to exposures, but not so complicated that you can't pick it up and start playing right away. It's just fun!
What is the appeal of the Diana F+?
For me, the appeal of the Diana F+ is the ease of use and the distinct look of the photos from its lens. It is a toy camera but not so flimsy that it needs to be taped in order to hold it together. I enjoy zone focus cameras anyway so it's right up my alley too.
You started up #DianaDay, could you tell us a bit about why you did this and what you wanted to achieve from this.
I had seen so much about Holga Week on Twitter this summer, I just wondered, since I'm not really a fan of Holgas, was there such a thing as Diana Day? I posed that question to Twitter, even searched the hashtag and didn't get any results relating to my favorite toy camera. A few of my tweeps said, "Why don't YOU start it?" So I decided I would. I was asked if I was going to start a website or give away prizes and I said no to both things. I didn't want it to be a competition. I wanted it to be a celebration of all things Diana cam! I just wanted to see all the things that people would and could do with their various iterations of the Diana. I wanted the film shooting community, to share with and inspire each other. I picked a day that wouldn't interfere with Holga Week or other film party hashtag events on Twitter, and started tweeting! Luckily, with doing it on the first Saturday in August, the #DianaDay hashtag managed to not get confused with the Princess since her birthday was the same month. That was a concern but it all worked out. The #DianaDay hashtag had an albeit small, but active and vibrant participation with posts from across the globe.
Do you have anything exciting coming up in 2017/18?
It is my hope that #DianaDay will be an event again next summer. I definitely enjoyed seeing people have a new and renewed appreciation for this camera.
Lomography’s leading lady has been at the forefront of the analogue world for ten tremendous years, and now the Diana F+ is back with a brand new anniversary look. Inspired by classic 1960s American diners, our darling new Diana F+ 10 Years of Diana Edition promises to rock your socks off with its funky matte red and pastel blue design, complete with a rockin’ retro gold lens! Pick up your favorite new analogue companion at the Online Shop, or a Gallery Store near you!