Romantic-Gothic Portraits on Film: Interview with Ariadna Sardà

We got to know Ariadna Sardà when she was selected as a contributor to the recent zine, Somos Paisajes in collaboration with Etereo, entirely shot on Lomography films. Today she's back on our Online Magazine with a photographic series shot using our Diana Multi Pinhole Operator and a roll of Berlin Kino B&W film. Check out her dreamy results below!

© Ariadna Sardà

Hi Ariadna, could you introduce yourself to the readers of our Online Magazine?

Hello! First of all, thank you very much for having me for this collaboration and on such a special day. My name is Ariadna Sardà, but you can find me on social networks under the name Ari Tinieblas. I was born in 1995 in a village in Tarragona, but I've been living in Barcelona for four years now. I graduated from the Institut d'Estudis Fotogràfics de Catalunya and I work as a photographer and at the same time I've been working in analogue labs in Tarragona and Barcelona. Currently, I'm focusing my career as a photographer and videographer shooting mainly music bands and doing collaborations with models and artists.

© Ariadna Sardà

Tell us about your background. When did your journey into photography begin?

I've always been a creative person. I have memories of being at my grandparent's house when I was little and, to keep me entertained, they would take out paper and crayons so I could draw. Then, as I grew up, my artistic interests expanded beyond drawing to include painting, digital illustration, embroidery and sculpture with polymer clay, among others. And it wasn't until 2012, when I was 16, that I became obsessed with photography.

The first camera I had was a Nikon D3000 with which I started to materialize the ideas that crossed my mind. Being a frustrated illustrator, I noticed that a world opened up in front of my eyes when I saw that I could create those ideas with the camera and then get closer to them with Photoshop editing. I'm quite self-taught, in fact I signed up to study photography in order to acquire the technique I thought I was lacking. I finally got into photography when I decided to use my savings to buy the camera that is still with me today, a Nikon D800 with a 50 mm fixed lens. After some traumatic events, I found myself with the need to turn to my art and use it as a way of expressing my feelings and emotions at the time, and that's how I am eight years later.

© Ariadna Sardà

Where did your passion for analogue photography come from? And why do you prefer to shoot on film?

When I was 15 years old, a group of friends gave me a Lomography Diana F+ for my birthday. I had wanted to take the leap to analogue photography for a long time because it seemed incredible, magical. Shooting the film, taking it to be developed (or developing it yourself) and seeing those little negative squares appear on that plastic where there was nothing before. But I was very scared, because I thought I wouldn't know how to do it, until they gave me that camera, and there was no turning back.

Eventually I gave it up and continued with digital, because I couldn't get the results I wanted. With digital and editing I was getting better and better results. But then I started studying photography, where we had an analogue lab course and obviously we had to start shooting our analogue cameras and then develop the film, enlarge the images and start acquiring knowledge. That seemed to me to be the best thing in the whole course.

A relative gave me a Mamiya 645 Pro TL. When I had it in my hands I didn't really understand what it was all about. Was it a video camera? Was it a super professional camera that I wouldn't know how to use? Medium format came into my life and that's when I started shooting like crazy. I was shooting two rolls a week. I would do the same as I did with digital, take a friend into the woods, dress her up as a Victorian ghost and start guiding her into poses that I would then shoot non-stop.

I suppose I prefer analogue photography to digital photography because of the positive emotional weight that it meant for me to finally find the medium that suited me best. All my work is tinged with a gothic romanticism, because that's the way I am, and there is nothing more romantic than analogue photography, or so it resonates with me.

© Ariadna Sardà

You mentioned that your very first analogue camera was our Diana F+. What are your memories related to this camera? Do you still have it or use it?

That little black and turquoise plastic camera is in a box in some attic of one of my friends' houses, since I packed up my life to go to Barcelona and some things were left scattered in the houses of friends and relatives in my hometown. I have to go and look for it, as I have a session in mind that I would like to do with it. I remember the first films I shot with a lot of affection, as well as a lot of mystery. The images were there, crazy double exposures, self-portraits at home, photos of my dog in the countryside. I'm looking forward to having it in my hands again.

Tell us about this fantastic photographic series shot with the Diana Multi Pinhole Operator? Where was it taken?

As soon as the package arrived with the camera and film, I started to organize the shoot. The photos I was going to shoot were in my mind from the moment I received your email, asking me if I wanted to collaborate. So I called my friend Sofia (my partner in crime photography for many years), I told her about the collaboration and we agreed that one Sunday we would go to the beach of my hometown, Torredembarra, to shoot these photos. The day arrived and we got down to work. The water was freezing. I put the film in the camera, Sofia got into the water and I started shooting. I was super nervous during the whole session because I had no idea what would come out of that film, since I wasn't clear about the framing I was using and I had no idea how the photos would turn out. Plus I was moving around a lot and I didn't have my tripod with me.

At the end of the session, I wasn't sure how the images would turn out, but at least we had a good time of fun and uncertainty, where we both ended up shivering while sitting on a bench and waiting for our feet to dry so that we could get warm again. When I received the scans back from the LomoLab I was in love, I guess because of the low expectations I had created. In the end the photos turned out to be super spooky and not too far from what I normally do, so I'm very happy to have been able to live this experience.

© Ariadna Sardà

You chose the Berlin Kino B&W film for this series. Why did you choose this film? And which features did you like best?

I chose the Berlin Kino B&W film because I wanted to try it out, as I had seen photos shot by other people with this film and I was captivated by its soft contrast. And so it shows in my images. It was golden hour and there was a lot of contrast and yet in my images it dissipates completely. Also because of the movement, not using a tripod and the exposure time that I was sensing I should use. I will definitely use it again in the future, I don't rule out doing a more editorial session in the studio with it.

Do you have any advice for someone using this camera for the first time?

My main advice is to use a tripod, but above all to relax and have fun shooting. Don't go in with high expectations, as it can be a bit cumbersome to use for the first time. And use color film if you want to enjoy all the accessories and the whole experience even more.

Do you have any interesting projects or collaborations planned?

At the moment I'm focusing on expanding my portfolio. I'm also getting into the world of video and I'm like crazy shooting footage for future music videos. I have some secret collaborations in the works and I'm improving my technique in the studio, as until now I've always shot on location and with natural light. I'm having fun and working hard at the same time to be able to make my art, which until now has been purely a hobby and form of expression, into something bigger.

To see all Ariadna's work check out her Instagram profile.

written by melissaperitore on 2023-03-08 #gear #pinhole-photography #spain #dianamultipinholeoperator #lomodiana #ladydiana #lomowomen23

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