Meet Diyosa, a self taught photographer from the Bay Area in California, USA, who loves medium and large format photography.
“I started my photography life through digital. I began as a mom with a cute kid who wanted to document her life. Through this I discovered Flickr and the wonderful community it had.”
Diyosa started shooting with a DSLR in 2005: “I learned with other fresh photographers and those more experienced who were more than willing to share knowledge. I eventually fell down the hole of film photography and was instantly hooked.” This was in May 2009 when Diyosa started shooting medium format as well, and just recently, in Speptember 2013, she started “the large adventure seriously” when she got the Aero Ektar from Lauren Rosenbaum.
“My favorite form is definitely portrait photography. As cliché as it sounds I love capturing people in the now. What they looked like at that moment because they will never look exactly like that or have that exact expression ever again. This is particularly true for the children. Film also provides a rawness that I feel is lost in digital.”
One of the wonderful aspects of Diyosa’s photography journey is that she can share it with her boyfriend DowntownRickyBrown. She tells us that they both got seriously into film photography and taught themselves how to develop both color and black and white film. Sharing this experience has been a vital part of their development.
“The best thing about our relationship is neither of us is afraid to fail or try new things. Film photography is a finnicky beast and there are many opportunities for failure along the way from loading the film wrong. To shooting wrong. To unloading wrong and developing wrong. Ricky is known for being incapable of loading film on to a reel so I always load. He’s also killed a few rolls by adding chemicals in the wrong order (fixer before developer).”
“We each sponge information off Flickr and online and share it with each other. We spend many hours sharing what we learn with one another and consider our quality time either camping and adventuring to take photos or developing/scanning and looking at photography.”
Above is one of the large format contraptions Diyosa uses to take her images.
Much of what Diyosa learns from film development is from the combined information she finds on Flickr and on subject specific websites. “Lauren Rosenbaum is a huge film inspiration to me. Giving me not only knowledge but also photography gear.” When it comes to inspiring groups, “the most influential Flickr groups include the Kodak Aero Ektar group because it showed me the power and capability of our favorite lens. I also like the general Medium Format (film only) group.”
She also highly recommended the website digitaltruth.com, as it “provides development times for every combination of film/developer and it’s an essential resource for us.” Another way Flickr has helped Diyosa through learning photography is posting her successes or failures with a photo to get feedback from the community:
“Light leaks, issues in development; [other members] would comment on the photographs and give me input or insight and encouragement. Flickr gave me the confidence to try medium format and eventually large format through the supportive community and endless threads of information.”
In closing we asked Diyosa for advice she would like to share with all of you, and she said “Don’t be afraid to take bad photos. Just make photos. Look for the light and shoot thoughtfully but don’t be afraid to take risks. Try alternate formats and processes. Mistakes happen. Sometimes happy accidents but sometimes complete and total loss of rolls. Gear matters less than getting out to make photos!”
Diyosa, thank you for participating in our Photographer Spotlight series. If you enjoyed this interview, stay tuned for our next installment.
Photos from Diyosa.