There are many different reasons why someone gets into photography. Often it is experiencing photography at an early age through parental figures who dabbled in the craft, another could be an admiration of pictures found in print media which gets you curious about the whole process. For long-time Lomographer Diego Lopez (@disdis) photography came to him out of frustration. As a child, he claims that he wasn’t documented as much in photographs as his brother and also envied a friend who got a camera as a first holy communion gift. These two factors led him down the photography rabbit hole. Eventually he got introduced to Lomography by his wife, and became an active and respected member of the community for many years.
Since 2004, Diego has been an active member of Lomography when he first got a Supersampler from his wife. Soon after, he received a Holga as a gift and continued to purchase more cameras, eventually getting his favored Russian-made Lomo LC-A. Since then if you check on his LomoHome tags you can see Diego has really taken time to experiment and use almost all Lomography products during the years he’s been active.
As a valued member of the community, Diego was given the opportunity to test out the LomoKino during its introduction in 2012. He was amazed with the piece of gear so reminiscent of Super 8 film cameras, describing it as "amusing, moving and surprising". Looking at these videos today, it reminds us of going through your parents' house and finding old VHS videos from a nostalgic time. You can take a trip down memory lane and view some of the videos here.
Like many Lomographers, cross processing is very much in the DNA of Diego's photos. High contrast, intense saturation, and experimental results are how most of his photos are characterised. Wanting his photos to be as extravagant and wild as possible, he really aims to bring out as many colors as possible in his works, stating that "crazy colors make my eyes explode in all directions." Some of his most common film stocks include Fujichrome Provia, Fujichrome Sensia and Kodak ED 135-36 Elite Chrome but his go-to film is Afga CT Precisa because "it‘s economical, has good contrast, and gets nice colors".
Any photo by Diego is instantly eye-catching due to the in-your-face colors and sharp contrasts that always make you wonder how each photo was taken. Multiple exposures, weird angles, and long exposures are all part of his array of works. He photographs everything from his travels around the world to documenting his time with his his family. Even with accidents such as light leaks, he learned how to purposefully use this in his photos to create even more unique compositions.
Talking about his photos in an interview in 2013 he says that, “When I revisit my albums I always think it‘s like a photo blog and that‘s because I never reject any of my pictures. That would be like rejecting one of your children. All the pictures I have are part of my life, some are mistakes, some are even disgusting for they are all part of a working process".
Being part of Lomography, Diego has always been in touch with the community and has seen it grow for some time. He used to live in an area where there were also a group of Lomographers and they would hold workshops and exhibitions to help entice people and make the community known. He still keeps up with certain Lomographers who are some of his life long friends including @lomodirk, @panelomo, @neja, and @warning. At Lomography we all get inspired by one another and Diego mentions in a previous interview that he is inspired by the following people in particular:
@satomi for her masks, @warning for her models, @vicuna for his life vision, @blueskyandhardrock for her locations, @mephisto19 for his 67,137 pictures, @susielomovitz for her creativity, @jeabzz for his street photos, @stouf for his experiments, @hodachrome for his tips, @dakadev_pui for his colors, @earlybird for his double portraits in black and white, and @wil6ka for his travel pictures and so many more. Each user inspires me to continue shooting!
Diego has been away from us for some time now, mostly focusing on his family, and probably making sure they have a lot of photos to look back on down the road. You can always check out his LomoHome for treasure troves of inspiring and breathtaking photos from his time with the community. When asked what advice he can give to newcomers he said one must "enjoy life through a camera lens, never mind if it's a plastic Lomography camera or an analogue classic. It's important to learn the origins of photography if you want to shoot good pictures, and this is the place to learn about it." We thank Diego for his photos, friendships and for helping make the Lomography community what it is today.
Lomography Pioneers is an ongoing tribute to our earliest community members, whose stories and photographs helped shape our thriving online community into what it is today—diverse, creative, and inspiring. See the Lomographers we've featured so far!