Feb 22 2008
Among the many gifts I received for my birthday from the best wife a guy could ask for was a new camera that I asked for.Â No, Dorrie didn’t buy me a D300 or anything expensive – just a brand spanking new Holga FN.Â If you are one of the three readers of this blog (that’s a 50% increase since a year ago, by the way), you probably don’t have a clue what a Holga is.
A Holga is a $15, plastic, piece of crap film camera.Â It takes medium format film rather than 35mm.Â The Holga is the least sophisticated camera ever made.Â There are two aperture settings (f8, f11) and one shutter speed (1/100 second).Â There’s no light meter, so it’s up to the photographer to have a good sense of the lighting required to properly expose the film.Â There’s a focus ring on the lens, but without any way to preview what your shots are going to look like, the best one can do is guess how to focus the lens before firing off a frame.Â Holgas are known to have significant light leaks which are rectified by taping the seams of the camera body, and even when all the leaks are sealed the images vignette in the corners.
Why would any sane person use a Holga then, with all these problems?Â Because it’s fun.Â You never know what your images are going to look like; most likely your images will be slightly out of focus, the composition will be weird, and you’ll be lucky if it’s perfectly exposed.Â But there’s a really cool artistic quality in these types of photographs.
My new Holga has reintroduced me to film processing.Â I processed the film with the images in the above Flickr badge in my bathroom.Â I had the film scanned by the local photo mart.Â Once I get used to the workflow and the ins-and-outs of the camera, I plan on having some black and white prints made and hand-coloring the them.Â Should be fun.