diane lieu
brand strategy + visual storytelling

b/w film


Shot on Ilford HP5 plus 400 ISO, 35mm black + white film w/Pentax ME Super

When I think back to my childhood, the most vivid memories I have are of vast canyons that filled my insides with a sense of forever ago, calm, empty deserts where the sun scorched my skin, but not my sense of adventure, and broad mountainsides whose flora made me ponder how it was possible anything could take breath at such extremes.

My parents were in no way nomadic; I've only moved with them twice in my childhood and only after substantial amounts of time. But they were adventurers, in every sense of the word. As a child, I remember piling into the car, a pillow and suitcase in hand, early in the morning. We always raced the sun out the door and we usually won. Endless times I can recall my father crowing at my door frame, his effort to get me up and into the car so we could be off to a good start. In that car, we traveled the western United States. Nevada’s deserts, Colorado’s colored plateaus, and Utah’s rolling hills peppered with pines and junipers older than I could imagine. Nature was always our inspiration, our reason to wander.

It was on one of these innumerable trips that I first picked up a camera, determined yet failing to capture the breathtaking mirage before me. Nature never seemed to want to pose for me, but it hasn’t stopped me from trying.

In this series of images, I am trying to capture that feeling of awe and nostalgia connected with the travels of my childhood. These intimate moments shared between myself and my camera are a direct homage to the memories tenderly strung on a clothesline in my mind. Nature, a sense of familiarity and warmth, as well as elements of home life transported are present. So intimate are these moments that the puzzle when put together by a stranger may mean nothing. Visceral yet almost transparent, I wanted to hunt the ghosts of these pleasant memories left with me.