Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hipster Photography

I just picked up a little vintage gem at the Salvation Army for 99 cents today, a plastic magazine promotional camera.  It's almost identical to the one pictured above except mine says LIFE on the corner and doesn't have the plastic molded grip on the right.  I picked it up on a whim, knowing that I still had some old rolls of unused film, and after scouring the internet for more information about it I'm getting excited to try it out this weekend!

One of the many Diana reproductions offered by Urban Outfitters.
I know I'm going to get some crap from my friends at the lake this weekend.  They'll tease me about becoming a city hipster.  My response will be something about how unlike actual city hipsters (who are in many cases actually phonies) I did not buy a Diana repro from Urban Outfitters for $80.  I have no idea if my little camera will produce the same dreamy photographs so well loved by Lomographers and die-hard Diana fans.  I can only hope.


If you're not familiar with the famed Diana's or Holgas so popular with hipster artists, in a nut shell it goes like this: In the 1960's there were a variety of cheap plastic cameras, many made in the Soviet & Hong Kong.  They had rather poor construction and they were also ALL plastic including the lens.  This crummy plastic lens produced a blurred effect and also didn't capture color accurately. Add to that light leakage around the seams and you've got one cheap, shitty-ass camera!  Or so you'd think!

Wouldn't you know it, all those defects create one perfectly lovely effect!  One that still is darn near impossible to create in photoshop.  Our hearts flutter with false nostalgia over hazy visions of simple objects we forgot we knew and of places we've never visited.  It's like a Hollywood flashback.  The photographs are not our fuzzy memories but we accept the emotions they invoke because they appear the way our own distant memories appear.  Tilted tints and tones color our lives and off-kilter objects reflect the warping of our perception over the passing of time.

We remember the sun being brighter than it really was.

Above 4 photos from Kameron Elisabeth


  1. Thank you for this post and explaining the photographic history - I love reading about that sort of thing!

  2. Glad you liked it! I'll post pictures from my weekend once they develop!


So, what do you think?