here’s one I made earlier :: mini diana

Katie | October 31, 2010

I was recently very excited to open a present and discover this little lady nestled inside…

Diana Mini Lomo

And as a result, I was introduced to the world of lomography.

Rumour has it, it all began in the early 1990s when two students in Vienna happened across the Lomo Kompakt Automat. They had a bit of a play with it and were impressed with the results – vibrant colours, deep saturation and vignettes that framed the shot. Effects (sometimes caused by flaws in the camera, like sticky mechanisms and light leaks), all added to the artistic effect and fitted with their ‘shoot from the hip’ style. They soon negotiated worldwide distribution rights and lomography was born.

Now, apparently there are 10 Golden Rules to lomography, which we tried to follow on our first outing with Diana, which took us to Hawaii and San Francisco (and somewhat reluctantly; back to London).

Rule 1: Take your camera everywhere you go – check.

D&M Liquors, SF, Mini Diana

Rule 2. Use it any time, day and night – check

San Francisco, Diana Mini

Rule 3. Lomography is not an interference in your life, but part of it (even when you get back from your holiday and return to normal life) – check!

Putney, Diana Mini

Rule 4. Try the shot from the hip. What, as in actually hold my camera down by my hip and take a picture? Not even look through the viewfinder? When I’m shooting on film? I think I might be a bit risk-averse for this lomography lark. Here’s a picture of a palm tree instead!

Palm tree, Maui, Hawaii, Diana Mini

5. Approach objects of your lomographic desire as closely as possible – check, even if it frightens inanimate objects!

Carousel horse in SF, Diana Mini

6. Don’t think. (William Firebrace.) Just drink! (Design geek.)

Apple martini at i'o, Maui, Hawaii, Diana Mini

7. Be fast. (Quick, before the island disappears from view!)

Alcatraz, SF, Diana Mini

8. You don’t have to know what happened beforehand what you captured on film. I was really upset about this picture when I took it because the winding mechanism got stuck and I though it was ruined, but it turned out to be one of the best pictures we took on the trip.

SFMOMA, Diana Mini

9. Afterwards either. It took me ages to work out what this one was!

Wine glasses in Sonoma, SF, (I think!), Diana Mini

10. Don’t worry about any rules – thank goodness for that!

Overhead cables in SF, Diana Mini

I’ve had a lot of fun getting to know Diana mini and look forward to many happy outings with her in the future. I also think these rules are a great way to shake up your photography – and perhaps even your other creative endeavours. Now just got to try that shot from the hip…

Further reading for the especially geeky:


Further Reading for the Especially Geeky ::

Founding Editor – Katie Treggiden

Having established confessions of a design geek in 2010, Katie Treggiden has gone on to a career in design journalism, writing for titles such as The Guardian, The Telegraph, Elle Decoration, Stylist, Design Milk and Ideal Home. In 2014, she launched Fiera, an independent magazine dedicated to discovering new talent at the world’s design fairs. Her second book, Makers of East London, was published in 2015.

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  • Won’t the dye eventually lose its colour over time, or if left in sunlight or put in the dishwasher?

    • The higher the concentration of dye in the solution, the less colour is lost. There seems to be a point at which the moisture is fully absorbed back into the air, leaving the particles of dye in the ceramic body unable to move and so the colour/ pattern is fixed

      Sunlight doesn’t seem to affect the colour; I had a few test pieces sat on the window sill in direct sunlight with a line of tape on them to see if sunlight did anything and nothing happened. The test was conducted over the few months so am not sure about longer term exposure

      The pieces are decorative so wouldn’t need to be put in the dishwater but I did test them, one with a sealant on and one without, and there wasn’t any change – although I left some tiled pieces I made in the rain and the dye moved around again and became very vibrant

      There is lot of science behind the process, most of which I don’t fully understand and sometimes doesn’t make any sense – could talk about it for hours but I’ve tried to be concise!

  • Kuo

    this is such a cool process. did your friend emma come up with this on her own?? that’s incredible! also, i was watching the video while listening to “Goodnight, Travel Well” by the Killers, so the video was very dramatic for me haha

    • Thank you and yes – the process came from trying to dye everything, even the studio sink!

  • The technique is so pretty and natural. Thanks for sharing.

  • Fer

    Wow! I love your work. Congratulations!

  • Christine Lynn

    I like the watercolour effect on the pieces. They look very natural because they don’t look like they were painted. By using the dye to colour the pieces, is it safe to use the bowls and cups for dinnerware?

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