Falling in Love with Holga

The Holga camera is a medium format plastic toy camera with a plastic meniscus lens, which can often create vignetting and distortion... its plastic body can also lead to unpredictable light leaks. You also only get a choice between the "sunny" aperture (f.11), "cloudy" aperture (f.8) and the bulb setting (shutter stays open until you release it). You also get three focus "settings"... portrait, group, and landscape. Basically, until you really get an intuitive feel for your own Holga, you're gonna be hit and miss. Sometimes you forget to wind the film forward. And the accidents can be gorgeous.

I took these at Dockweiler Beach, CA, and this middle one in the back of a friend's car while we were driving at night:

The Holga is formatted to hold medium format film, but I modified mine to hold 35mm, since I don't have a lot of time or money to drive to a developer here who actually does medium format processing. I just take my 35mm to Walgreens and have them just do processing, then I scan in the negatives with the new neg scanner I got for Christmas. It's cheaper (under $3 for just processing) and you get to see the exposed sprocket holes in the 35mm negative (whereas Walgreens normally cuts their prints to normal size and you can't see the full exposure).

Working around and with Holga's quirks really makes you think differently when you're shooting. I'm all for anything that will make me learn something new.

My Flickr photostream


Doug said...

I remember a friend in the photo department (they kept us drawing/painting weirdos away from the genius photo kids) telling me all about her Holga. Most of the tech specs are over my head, but i'm a fan of learning new things.

those are gorgeous pictures and i completely agree that the sprocket holes are aesthetically beautiful.

Zombolis said...

Awful pretty pictures. I like the cloudy, retro kind of creepy look.