This past Saturday I was lucky enough to be involved in a Diana Mini Workshop held by Lomography Australia/NZ in Melbourne as part of the Diana World Tour.
A group of 20 or so Diana Mini owners gathered in the No Vacancy Gallery space, clutching our little plastic cameras ready to absorb & reflect on the advice of fellow Diana camera fanatic & photographer, Ian Tatton.
Ian has been gracious enough to let me share some of his Diana Mini advice, tips & tricks. In this post I will cover the Diana Mini Basics & the 'Think SAFE' steps, with more to follow in later posts.
Diana Mini Workshop
The Diana Mini
"No. 1 rule - remember to remove the lens cap! If you don’t, all your pictures will come out black... same thing will happen if you open the 'back door’ mid roll as you’ll be exposing the film to light.
All films have different film characteristics. Generally speaking the higher the film speed (ie. faster film - 100, 200, 400, 800), the more light sensitive it is. With the Diana Mini, I tend to lean toward 100ASA film unless shooting in low light conditions, you can go with 100ASA film unless shooting in low-light conditions, you can go with 400ASA. Besides colour and B&W film don’t forget there’s the eye-popping colour explosion of cross-processed slide films when processed in negative chemicals and the warm reddish hues of Redscale film!
To take a photo, you must manually set all the camera settings.
Lighting is key to all types of photography. Light can be measured and controlled by its brightness using ‘Aperture and F-stops’. Put simply, on the Diana Mini - Cloudy (f/8) or Sunny (f/11) and by its duration - ‘N’ setting (1/60) or ‘B’ setting (timed Shutter Speed used for long exposures).
S - Shutter. Set the camera to N for normal photos (B for long exposures - on the B setting, the shutter will stay open for as long as you hold the shutter down).
A - Aperture. Evaluate the lighting conditions. If it is bright, under sunny skies, use Sunny settling. For overcast skies, use the Cloudy setting.
F - Focus. Decide how far you are from the subject, and set the focus ring accordingly.
E - Expose your film. Trip the shutter, advance your film (if you wish) and repeat!
If in doubt, shoot 2 frames or more of the same subject. If I was using the sunny setting, switch the aperture to Cloudy, to get a second negative with slightly more exposure. "
(Text credit to Ian Tatton)
To further help you with film selection, my next post will be examples that I myself have shot with my Diana Mini over the past year & a half with a spectrum of different 35mm film, followed by more of Ian's excellent Diana Mini tips & tricks.