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About Annette

By • Mar 1st, 2009 • Category: Someone : About

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There are some of those great photographers out there who loves working with a Diana camera and I’ve decided to feature some of them in my blog here in a new section ‘About someone …’. The first (lucky?) person to be featured is an online friend and a great photographer … Annette Elizabeth Fournet who lives in Memphis, Tennessee and in Prague, Czech Republic.

I fell in love with her ‘Last Ones Standing’ series of photos, where she captured photos of beautiful vanishing scary scarecrows of Eastern Europe. Here’s what this talented Annette has to say …

Tell us a bit about your first encounter with a Diana camera.

It’s telling my age, but I was in art school in the 1970’s when Nancy Rexroth’s book IOWA came out. She was the first fine art photographer to use the Diana, They must still have been in production then or had just recently been discontinued. I knew immediately that I wanted a Diana Camera, although I did not find  one until 1984 at a yard sale for $1.

It has all been said before (about the ‘magics’ of Diana cameras). Let’s hear your point of view.

I chose the Diana because I was photographing things that existed but I wanted to express the idea of how transitory and fragile their existence was. So the Diana was a logical choice in its ability to render something real into a memory or ‘other’ reality. There are a lot of wonderful talented photographers using Diana type cameras, but it is just a tool, just using one doesn’t make your images good.

I love the ‘Last Ones Standing’ series of photos in your website. Were the photos taken with a Diana camera?

Yes, I use the Diana and clones exclusively, except on my digital project.

The original old Diana cameras (and clones) versus the new remake of the Diana (Diana F+ from Lomography). Which do you prefer? Do you think there is any difference between them?

The main difference that I can see so far is that you have a lot options with lens choice with the Diana+ series. Each Diana, old or new, seems to have its own visual personality. I like having a wide angle, telephoto and close up lens option with the new cameras. I usually carry four to six cameras loaded when I work so I always have both types with me. I guess if I was some how forced to choose I would opt for my most trusted Rosko clone.

I’m sure you have more than one Diana (or her clone) camera. So what’s the total count like?

I think about 90, including some duplicates and some ‘Dianasteins’ (hybrid Holga with Diana lens, Fujipet with Diana Lens) and some later versions like the Dana, Diana Deluxe and Sunpet.

Your bio says that you are teaching photography at the University of Memphis. What challenges do you face at work? Do you teach using the Diana camera too?

Now I have a full time job teaching at Southwest Community College. I love teaching, the main challenge is having enough time and energy for my own work. In Creative Photography I encourage students to try a Holga (because its cheaper) or a Diana in order to make images in a more symbolic method. I ask them to make photograph that expresses water but you can’t have any water in the image.  The toy cameras are good for this type of assignment. It helps the student concentrate on concept and not worry too much about technicality. I hope to teach a workshop in Prague, summer 2010 if any one is interested. Would love to teach a workshop in Singapore if you know of a venue for it!

You’ve had your work exhibited at galleries and museums in France, Denmark, Greece, Hungary, Romania, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Great Britain and the United States. Any chance of holding one in Singapore?

I would love to! I would love to come to Singapore for the vernisage and to photograph! Are there scarecrows near by?

Please share with us 3 of your favourite photos taken with the Diana camera 🙂

These are from the series “Last Ones Standing / The Vanishing Scarecrows of Eastern Europe


Ruda, Czech Republic 1993 (the first scarecrow picture I made)


Mara, Romania 2007


Lendak, Slovakia 2006



We’ve read your bio and artist statement in your website. Anything else we don’t know about you?

I have a very supportive and patient husband who builds great darkrooms! And I have three black cats. I always thought if I ever had a black cat, a white cat and a grey cat I could name them Kodak, Ilflord and Agfa.

If there’s someone who’s new into photography who asks you if he/she should pick up the Diana camera as his/her first tool, what would you say?

Personally, I think it is best to learn photography on a manual camera so that you really understand everything  about exposure, focal lengths, and all those good things before you use a Diana. You will understand so much more about how to manipulate your negatives in developing and printing. But then I am old fashioned, however, if it keeps people interested in using film I’m all for it!

I hope everyone out there love what she does too. Oh … Annette … if you are reading this … sorry to say that I’ve never seen a single real scarecrow around here except for a couple of props and decoration pieces. If you don’t mind a fat scarecrow, I can pose as a scarecrow for you. Thank you, Annette.

Check out more of her work here.

5 Comments »

  1. Marvellous! thanks for the link to the interview, this website is brilliant!

  2. kwlewis, you are most welcome. Thank you very much.

  3. A fat scarecrow? I wanna see!

  4. wow. in awe. lovely.

  5. @solace : Oh yeah. She is talented!

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