A Visual Diary of NYC and Madeira with Clara Pereira and the Diana F+ Camera

Ilhas/Islands (Madeira/New York) is the exhibition featuring photos shot entirely on a Diana F+ medium format camera between 2010 and 2014 by documentary and portrait photographer Clara Pereira. Let's get to know her in this interview.

© Clara Pereira

Hi Clara, welcome to our Online Magazine! Could you introduce yourself to our readers?

Hi, thank you for having me. I’m a Portuguese freelance photographer, born and raised in Madeira Island and currently based in New York. Although I graduated in Visual Communication/Graphic Arts, and worked in Portugal as a graphic designer for several years, photography set roots in me since high school. Years later, I jumped full hearted in pursuit of it. I moved to New York in 2009 and have been taking pictures ever since. My work is focused on documentary photography, portraiture, and jazz music.

Please tell us more about this stunning series shot with our Diana F+ camera.

This work was shot from 2010 until 2014, in Madeira Island and in New York. It wasn’t shot as a one project, meaning: I didn’t have a specific purpose for them at that time. I was documenting the world that surrounded me, my family, street events, strangers, landscapes, etc. During the COVID-19 lockdown I went back to my archive and tried to organize everything (still in process), and while doing that, I started to put together a group of images that I felt were strongly connected. I also had help from Joan Liftin, an excellent photo editor, who saw things in my work I wasn’t seeing. And there it was, a part of my story. Distance from the work can also bring a new perspective and then it's easier to connect the dots.

Why did you choose to shoot with this camera?

Well, I wanted to shoot film and I wanted to do it in a medium format (120) but I couldn’t afford most of the medium format cameras available. Someone mentioned to me the Diana F+, and I thought, why not? I got myself one and fell in love with it. So, it wasn’t a pre-set decision to use this camera for a specific project. I guess I was using this camera a lot, and intuitively, I was seeing and shooting in a continuous visual thread.

There are many things I like about this camera. Its light weight and the fact that people don’t pay much attention to me when I photograph them. That for me is an advantage. Another reason is that due to the limitations of the camera and using film, it slowed down my process. I started being extra careful with my compositions and subject selection.

© Clara Pereira

The Diana F+ often results in photos with light leaks and other quirks. Do you consider them disturbing elements or pleasant mistakes?

I learned to live with them, and most of the time I really enjoy them. It’s true that a light leak might ruin a picture, but my experience has been more positive than negative and I embrace all of it. The imperfections are generally a bonus. In my view, a good picture doesn’t have to be perfectly “clean”, it needs to be a strong one to hold all the imperfections. And eventually, I also learned to reduce and avoid some of its weaknesses.

Please give us a hint of what can we expect from your solo show.

This show is a group of 20 black and white images taken in Madeira Island and New York. It’s about my path, as I went from a small place to a big city, and it’s about the identity of the places and people I come across. It's about dreaming and growing, memory and loss, about distance and getting together. Of course, for me, it has a deeper meaning and represents many different things, but I am counting on the pictures to do the work by themselves and tell their own stories. I hope people can connect with the work. In many different ways I feel I’m completing a full circle, and I’m happy to be sharing this work at the place where everything started.

Do you have any interesting projects or collaborations planned that you would like to share with us?

Right now I’m trying to put together a larger group of pictures for a book related to this same project. Apart from that, I will spend some time in Portugal and I’m looking forward to photographing more - the people and the land.

If you are in Madeira, Portugal, you can visit the exhibition from November 3rd, 2022 to January 3, 2023. Check all works from Clara at www.clarapereiraphotography.com.

written by melissaperitore on 2022-11-01 #gear #people #medium-format #dianaf #lomographycamera #photographyexhibition

Mentioned Product

Lomography Diana F+

Lomography Diana F+

Take timeless and dramatic photos on 120 film with the Diana F+. Create stunning soft-focused images and customize it with sweet lenses or even an instant back for additional effects and flexibility.

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