First Impressions: Antonio Castello with The Diana Instant Square


A few months back, Antonio wowed us with some fabulous Petzval shots he took at the Berlinale. Today he's back with some fresh instants he shot with one of the very first Diana Instant Square prototypes.

Hi Antonio! Welcome back to the magazine — what have you been up to since we last spoke?

Hi! I’m always glad to be back, it feels like home. Since last time we spoke I’ve been very busy working on cleaning my film archive. When I moved from New York to Berlin I came with more than 100 film negatives (no kidding!) which I was planning to scan and archive; that was circa 3 years ago. However, laziness and procrastination were stronger and I never did it. So this summer I’ve been sitting in front of the scanner, cutting negatives and organising my archive. Most of these pics had already been scanned before, which is good, but at the same time I’ve been finding beautiful old pics, that even though they are not my best, they let me see my progress as a photographer.

Have you ever tested the Diana F+ camera? What do you like about this camera and why?

Yes! One of my first cameras was the Diana F+, actually it was my very first medium format camera. What I like about this camera is how versatile it is, it has everything, different lenses, different format backs, and to be honest one of the best flash system ever invented — I mean you can use that flash in any other camera, how genius is that?!
I’m very proud of having the Gold and Chrome special Diana editions in my collection. I always use my Diana when shooting Fashion Weeks, I actually have this series called #fashionweekfaces in which I shoot people working around with my Gold Diana, this brings a lot of unexpected and unique responses to the shot.

What do you like about instant photography?

As we all know instant photography can be expensive, but I like it for the same reason. Every shot it’s completely unique and valuable, you know you want to take the best picture, so you wait, you plan, and you try your best. I also like the fact that I take a look at these pictures more often than my digital or film ones, they are all around my house — on the fridge, on the walls, here and there — once you print them they never fade and get lost in the hard drive.

You took one of our first Diana Instant Square prototypes to Berlin Fashion week. How did you like working with this new Diana camera?

It was quite fun actually. I have a lot of instant cameras and I was kind of expecting the same feeling as with the Lomo’Instant. However this time was different: the vignettes, the shutter, the flash... it felt like working with the good old Diana again, and the results where actually better than I expected.

Where do you see yourself using the Diana Instant Square, what kind of shoots or situations?

I see myself using this camera for portraits, it’s really easy to get a good sharp focus and the flash helps a lot to it. I want to get closer to people with this camera.

You also tested the Lomo’Instant Square Glass in the past: how would you define the difference between both of these cameras? What do you like to shoot on instant film?

They are similar cameras yes, but the feeling is different. I feel more comfortable with the Diana Instant Square in fast situations, especially in events like fashion week where you need to be fast, and as I said the flash helps a lot. The Lomo'Instant Square Glass is a slower camera, more for friendly situations or landscapes I think.

What advice can you give to new users?

Get as close as possible and embrace the vignettes!!

Can you share some of your upcoming projects with us?

Right now I’m testing the Neptune Convertible Art Lens System and I’m really loving it, so I have prepared a couple of fashion, product and long exposure shots with it. I find it so versatile and easy to use in different situations that I can’t stop using it. So expect an up-coming series of articles with this lens!!!

Thank you Antonio!

If you'd like to see more of Antonio's fantastic work, visit his website. If you'd like to know more about the Diana Instant Square, head over to Kickstarter. You'll have to hurry though, our exciting campaign ends 20.07.2018!

written by ellakoppensteiner on 2018-07-17 #gear #people #antonio-castello #diana-instant-square

Mentioned Product

Diana Instant Square

Diana Instant Square

Shake off expectations and let the Diana Instant Square fill your frame with unpredictable beauty. There’s no re-take, no post-production polishing — you snap the shot and seconds later you hold a beautiful picture filled with strong, saturated colors and soft, moody vignetting in your hands.

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