Deniz Berkin (aka @mrlostsoul) is a software developer based in Ottawa, Canada. Since his teens, he's always been keen on photography and filmmaking, the latter of which he was planning to explore more of until the pandemic hit. Instead, he renewed his interest and motivation in photography. "It’s only last year when I think I found my photography niche–really discovered the types of photos that I like looking at and taking–those are dreamy, ambient, and abstract photos both individually or in sets." We saw the artistic instant series that he took with the Diana F+ Instant and Lomo'Instant Automat cameras, so, naturally, we had to know more about it!
Hi, Deniz! Please tell us about the Instant Collages photo series.
I’ve seen other photographers string together multiple images into one image and I found the results and potentially amazing. These styles of photos have much more power because you have the added dimension of the relationship between the images. I started shooting instant photos because I love the instant aesthetic. You can experiment and adjust right there at the moment. Besides, the photo labs nearby were all shut down due to lockdown, anyway. So I tried to bring together all my interests - the abstract and the dreamy - and lay the images down together in sets.
What inspired you to create these images?
For my films and photos, I am always inspired by those who strive to do something different, who go on the limb by not following the crowd, by not following the rules. Those who take chances and takes risks and always stay true to their unique vision - not caring about likes or praise but just taking a part of themselves and capturing it in images and putting it out there for the world to either embrace or ignore and either way is fine.
For this series, you chose the Diana F+ Instant and Lomo'Instant Automat. Any reasons why you picked these cameras?
I love both the cameras. First, the whole Instant concept is amazing. The images are a throwback to the old photos my parents would take when I was growing up. I really enjoy shooting with both those cameras because they both have the ability to create multiple exposures and to control the exposure, to some extent anyway. They’re quite durable and both come with various lenses and accessories - filters, Splitzers, etc and to be honest, you never know what kind of image you are going to get and that is part of the magic. I absolutely love multiple exposures - they are so unpredictable and create beautiful flows of light and darkness.
Among these photos, which one is the most memorable or the one you like best?
This one is my favorite because it’s basically a green vase that was sitting near a window in the living room of my apartment. Late in the afternoon, in the winter months, the sun shines in with beauty and strength. Each image was about 4 multiple exposures with the Diana F+ Instant and the green color just blended and weaved together in a magical way. I took several more and found how some of the lines continue from one image to the next and lend themselves perfectly to be part of a set.
Would you be willing to share how you created these photos?
I usually find something colorful and bright, Then I take either instant camera and bring it up close and randomly do a shot with 2 or 3 multiple exposures. This is my first test shot. If it turns out nicely, I’ll do several more shots of the same object. until I have about 4 or 5. I’ll come home and see if I can find patterns in the lines that match with each other and start thinking about how I’ll place the images beside each other. I don’t always use all the images but I can find anywhere between 2-4 that work well together. I peel off the back of the instant image by cutting on both sides and wedging away the back using a pocket knife then just scotch tape the back of the images and place them in a sketchbook.
What do you wish to express through your photos?
I am searching for hidden beauty for a hidden truth. For things that aren’t apparent at first glance. For the poetry that is in imperfection. I am trying to express my dreams on film. I am trying to put my emotions out there–take what is inside myself and show it to the world. I am nowhere near this goal and have had many failures but it’s a lifetime journey and one that I may never be able to achieve. In the meanwhile, I am inspired by all the amazing photographers on Lomography.com who use the beauty of celluloid to offer a glimpse into their own souls.
Thank you, Deniz, for sharing your photos and stories with us! To see more of his photos, visit his LomoHome.