I want me a Holga! : toronto & copenhagen photography
Surprising coming from someone who was educated as an engineer, I have actually, over the last few years, come to describe myself as a luddite - one who is opposed to technological change. As an avid photographer, it took me quite a while to go digital, and only when hubbie, the antithesis of luddite, thrust a digital SLR into my hands (via the Christmas tree) did I agree to make the change. Now I have of course embraced the pixel as my photographic medium, but given my history, it is still very tantalizing to think about going back to film, going back to my first fully manual SLR, or even going retro/toy - like the Holga.Now this camera looks FUN. It's a medium-format film camera and plastic throughout, and thus considered a 'toy' camera. It was developed in 1981 and originally intended to provide an inexpensive mass-market camera for working-class Chinese to record family portraits and events (thanks Wikipedia). But what is fun about this camera is the quirky results it produces - it's typical photo comes out with vibrant, exaggerated colours, surreal noisy sharpness and contrast, and heavy vignetting. Cool and fun effects - and very interesting because these are the exact same effects I often apply, though very much more gently, in Photoshop to enhance my photos. I suppose I could probably push these effects further in Photoshop... but... that's far less fun and surprising, and far more time-consuming than achieving it in-camera! The Holga also has a bit of a cult following - central to a luddite counterculture. It even has it's own fan blog at www.photomfa.com/holga. Anyway - here are a couple of photos, which, upon first flip through the download were failures to my eye because they were really grainy thanks to a super-high ISO, out of focus thanks to too slow a shutter speed, and uninteresting because I didn't get the face and smile I was looking for. I rated them 'zero' in Aperture, putting them in the ranks of raw images to be deleted forever. Luckily, however, I took another look before doing the cull, and put my Holga glasses on. I imagined what these photos would have looked like if it had been a Holga between my eye and my little guy. Now I LOVE these photos - they have mood and feeling and make me feel happy and in love. They needed some work to bring out the mood - some colour mucking and vignetting mainly. But there you have it. BOTTOM LINE: If it weren't for Holga, I would have deleted these!