Category Archives: Personal Vision

For Valentine’s Day: My Diana Camera Infatuation

I’ve played around with Holga for years, after being introduced to Plastic Cameras in an Experimental Photography class back in Monterey. And even though I spent 6 months shooting Holga for the 52 Rolls Project back in 2016, I never quite developed a sincere affection for it.

Plastic cameras are fascinating though and I’ve continued to experiment with many types. But something weird happened when I was ‘given’ this 110 format Diana with one of my Lomo purchases:

Mini_diana

The 110 roll actually forms the back of the camera. It literally sat in my basement for years. And one day I decided to unpack and try it.

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The results were better than expected:

So what is the Pre-Lomo Origin of the Diana Camera? The Diana camera originated in the 1960s, produced by the Great Wall Plastic Co. in Hong Kong.  Production continued through the 1970s but ceased sometime thereafter.

Check out some Diana Camera History here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diana_(camera)

And Here: http://camera-wiki.org/wiki/Diana

Fast Forward to 2018 Pinhole Day Preparations; All kinds of items on sale for promoting Pinhole Day. Having had some success with the Holga Panorama Pinhole, I decided to try the Diana Pinhole. After all, that 110 cameras wasn’t a real camera!

Diana_Multi_Pinhole

I had read an article on Hand Held Pinhole Street Photography, and decided to use the Diana for that. And then I was hooked!

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So it was just a matter of time before the Ultimate Diana entered my life:

The_Diana

…………and with inter-changeable lenses. Are you kidding me! Of course a sale attracted my attention, offering the soft focus telephoto as another one of those seductive Lomo ‘Gifts’. So, it was going to be mine, with the addition of Fish Eye and Close-up lenses. Arriving in time for the newly promoted ‘Diana Day’ on August 4th.

 

Diana F+ Macro

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One limitation on the Macro is the suggestion tat you carry a small ruler since the precise focussing range is 6 inches.  I just “guestimated”.  Not carrying a ruler around with me, and it worked out pretty well.

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Diana F+ Fish Eye

And No Fisheye post would be complete without my Feet!

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Oh please do not come out with a new Diana Model! I’m not sure I can handle it……..This is getting almost as bad as my Mamiya Addiction, and you don’t want to know how many of those cameras I have!

The Story: Shooting Digital Like Film

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First the Quote from Frank H. Wu on 35mmc:

“The lesson to be learned about life is that we, or at least I, do not appreciate as much what I have been given as what I have had to bargain for. I earn my film photos. I have to be able to afford it. That means repeatedly. Each and every satisfying click and whirr is a few pennies, which must be in the pocket. I am automatically averse to waste.”

The conclusion is that His film photos are always personally more satisfying (and often objectively better) than His digital images.

My best photos are definitely film.  One of last year’s successes IS digital (shown above), but I planned and captured the image like it was film.  I saw the potential image, walked around the scene looking for the best angles, made three images; taking into consideration how I might crop the final images as well.  And THINKING like a film photographer avoids Waste.  For a digital Photographer, the “waste”  is all that time you spend in front of the computer sorting through hundreds of images that you would never use. For any given scene, when shooting film I have at most 4-5 images to sort through.  If you think film is expensive, what is all that time you spend in Lightroom or Photoshop worth?  The most I do in Photoshop is adjust the contrast and brightness for posting online.  In the (real) Darkroom  I do the film tests and adjust the Contrast using filters.  Of course, if I have used the proper contrast filter and exposure when capturing the image, adjustments will be straight forward.  Hmmmm……I’m feeling that I need to write a post on Contrast Filters,  coming soon!

 

The Story: Wyoming Cloud

Taken from the same location along the Roadside in Wyoming…….The joy of having two Mamiya-7’s, allowed me to make these images literally seconds apart.

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I was testing Kodak Portra 400 (as my new color film) and looking for good opportunities to make a few images with Ilford SFX-200.

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But more importantly I saw this cloud in the distance and we pulled over so I could capture the Image.  I Imagined the Image first. I would probably adjust the brightness/contrast for the B&W image to bring out more of the detail that you can see in the color image, because I know that detail is there……..I’ll repost once I’ve done that.

The Story: Imagining the Image

Imagining the Image:  What happens when I think before I shoot?  I’ve heard this in workshops;  see the image first.  But usually the workshop leader drifts off into concepts of composition………

And that misses the point.  I have had one particularly good workshop with Cole Thompson, where we discussed seeing what you want the final image to be, and how to capture the image towards that end.  Really Imagining the Image….First!

*(Cole’s discussion of personal vision is also excellent…take a workshop with him if you get the chance.  I don’t endorse many people like this).

Reflecting on some recent photographic success, I found that for ALL of these images, without exception, I SAW the image BEFORE I captured it!  Even without realizing.  I had pre-visualized.  Everything on my “Now Showing Page” and some not there (that I personally consider successful), were all made that way.  So I’m adding some favorites here (some blasts from the early days included), where Pre-visualization really was the key to personal satisfaction for me.  And  the stories behind the image……..

This Kiva I had visited years before.  Taken a few quick tourist images and moved on with my Road trip.  I wanted to revisit those images and they were ‘lost’ in 20+ years of disorganization.  They were also color 35 mm and I was doing B&W now.  So when I had the opportunity to revisit this site, with a photographic concept in mind, this was the result:

Johnson_KE_Illuminate_1

So inspired by Jason Avery’s #filmtober Question #27 “What do you look for when on location for a photo?”  Over the next several months, I will pursue the story behind my images.  These will all be tagged as Intersections and The Story……

The Story Image Collage #1:

 

Back in the Saddle Again: At the Artist’s Studio

As usual I get Special Recognition of some kind…………We’ve discussed what that might mean before.

KEJohnson_Convent
The Symbol of My Journey

But I like the Light Space and Time Gallery………I think that they are Fair, so I’ll Keep supporting them.  Check it out and consider sending something in.

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Through the Glass: Post Surgery

MayoMug_2019

After 13 hours of surgery; 90% of my tumor removed (excellent for a brain tumor); and 5 days in the Hospital….All I have to show for it is my Mayo Clinic Mug!   I did get released on New Year’s Eve and had that time with my Family.  One final thing I can say about the surgery is that my brain is functioning differently and my visual and audio perceptions are different;  not reduced or degraded, just different.  I will continue to explore this issue during my recovery.  Although my traumatic brain injury was planned and controlled, there are still ramifications I’ll be dealing with further down the line.  How will this affect my Artistic Vision?

What I have also experienced is the highest level of health care service EVER IN MY LIFE!  I want everyone to have this level of care!!!!!!

On January 23rd I start my Proton Beam Radiation Treatment.  Last year a friend of mine died from Esophageal Cancer.  The Proton Beam treatment was an option for his cancer that was never offered to him, because it wasn’t covered by his insurance.  I AM PISSED that he didn’t at least  have the option.

Special 52 Rolls Redux: Happy New Year 2019

Dignity of the Earth And Sky:

Dignity3

Continuing the 52 Rolls Redux, where I reclaim my ‘lost posts’  AND Hoping to Begin 2019 with Much More DIGNITY.

 

 

This is also part of “The Story”  and “Imagine the Image

Through The Glass: Terms and Conditions

As You read this I will be in surgery for my brain tumor; thoughts, prayers and well wishes appreciated.  And the image below will be ‘unpinned’ from my Twitter page, because hopefully after my surgery I will have clarity and not ambiguity…..

I also want to explain how my ‘medical updates’ will intertwine with my normal Photographic Posts.

And this is the ONLY time you will ever see a Biblical Quote here, but you will see the connection:

1 Corinthians Chap 13 verse 12: “For now we see through a glassdarkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” 

KEJohnson_Convent
The Symbol of My Journey

All of my Journey Updates will start with the heading:  “Through the Glass”  And I have added that tag to take you directly to these updates if you are interested.  I hope that you can see it refers to the Ambiguity of what I am facing.  That what made this image so timely.

Final Camera Kit

I love all of the cameras described here.  But it was totally unrealistic to think that I could use them all, even in three months time.  So these are the ones that made the journey………

 

The Mamiya 7 with 45, 50, 80 and 150 mm lenses.  The Minolta X-700 with 28-200 Tamron Adaptall lens and 50 mm macro lens.  I’ll mostly be using the 35 mm to test my Kodak E100 film.