As part of the 10th anniversary celebrations of the Diana F+ we interviewed Cardiff based photographer and community member Simeon Smith about his experiences using this dreamy, versatile plastic camera.
Can you remember the first time you came across this camera?
A good friend from San Sebastian, Maria, introduced me to the whole Lomography thing. She had a Diana F+ and was obsessed with the camera, but at the time we were both poor students, so she'd take it all over the place with her, but rarely take photos, due to the cost of processing 120 film. Fast forward a decade or so, and I picked up a Diana myself - I'd never really tried medium format film, and the Diana was a cheap introduction.
How would you explain the camera to someone who had never seen it before?
It was designed to be cheap to produce and eye catching. It's bulky, and it leaks light all over the place, but the images are just something else. Nothing looks quite like a Diana shot. It's soft focused, and your eyes are instantly drawn to the centre of the frame.
What is the appeal of this plastic lens camera?
By removing the ability to take a technically perfect shot, you're left with just the important things: framing, colours, subjects, shapes, lines. No one has ever been moved emotionally by how well in-focus an image is, or how correctly exposed it is, people are moved by the subject, the composition, the concept.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to use this camera?
Buy a roll of black electrical tape and tape all around the edges of the camera. Try some double exposures, the soft textures of the plastic lens look great double exposed. And don't worry too much about wasting film. If you just have one image you're proud of, that's enough.
To see more of Simeon's photographs visit his website awonderfulkindofimpossible.co.uk
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!