Lomography - Alexandra Palace

Last year for my birthday, my sister surprised me with something I wanted but didn't dare to have. She got me a lomography camera, the Diana F+ Parisian (Just for the stripes. I would have called it the Breton, but that's just the Breton in me speaking) I was a bit shy with it. I didn't like the trendy side of it, you can buy them for more in all the hype shops. And I was also a bit scared to fail, it seemed that everyone can use it and I would have been vexed.

First film. I failed. It's been difficult from the begining. I had never seen a 120 film (I am used to load films into SLR cameras) and at first I thought that the black paper was the wrapping - don't judge me on that. It turns out it is the film himself. I knew from then that I had probably exposed the first shots. Loading the film is a bit tricky to load it the first time as it is very cleary a toy camera and the plastic keeps moving. It gets easier and easier, it's just practice. From there, things seemed to go well, I took my 16 pictures. I dropped the film in a lomo shop, I am lucky to be in London and to have easy access to a specialised shop. If you don't be careful where you have it developped, a friend of mine dropped hers in a random photo shop where they told her they could do it. They couldn't, her entire film was crossed by two black bars.

Lomography - Natural History Museum

A week later I picked my photos up. Of 16 exposures, less than 10 came out. Of the few pictures, only 5 came out not black. I had no clue what happened. I was very disappointed as you can imagine. So I thought of all the things that could have caused that. The only reason I could come up with was that it probably took pictures while it was in bag with the cap on - retrospectively I don't think it was the case as it still wouldn't have impressed the film. There is a little thing-y that is supposed to stop the shutter release to go down. Except that this thing keeps falling. I had concerns about it but a friend told me she never had problems. I decided none the less to find a way to keep it in place. A good old hair band does the trick. Make sure it's not too tight though!

Lomography - Notting Hill

I was ready to start my second film, only 12 exposures. I was a lot more careful this time around. I had the hair band in place, I paid attention to all the settings before taking a picture (ahem there is only the distance and the light to set up) and kept the shutter open longer to allow more light in. It worked. Out of 12, 12 came out. Out of those 12, 2 were almost black. Lesson learned, you definitely can't take a picture inside with a lomo, even with day light. Maybe if it's a small white room in the sun it could work.

Lomography -  night mode

Lomography - British Museum

Lomography - Brighton

So I'm not entirely sure if that's what actually went wrong with my first film. Techniquely even if the shutter release went down in my bag, the film shouldn't have come back blank. But since I used the hair band, all my pictures worked. As for the black ones, it's just that even with a 400 ISO film, you need a lot of light. Did anyone ever tried a lower ISO?

I'm getting more and more confident and comfortable with my Diana, which is very pleasing. I had a few other interesting surprises though...

More pictures here.

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