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Creating “Holga” photography images

3 Jul

I have always liked shooting arty kinds of photographs. More than a few times friends and colleagues will ask “Why did you shoot that? or Why did you do that to the picture?” One of the arty styles I enjoy shooting is with a Holga camera. The Holga is a plastic camera with a plastic lens and a fixed aperture of  around f/8. In the world of journalism it was always remarked, “F/8 and be there!” But I don’t think the person or people saying this had the Holga camera in mind. So when using the Holga the only way to adjust your exposure was by the type of film you used, that is, 100 ASA or 400 ASA or 800 ASA celluloid film. Not digital. I still have some of my Holga film shots, both negatives and transparencies, but at this time no film scanner to be able to reproduce them to show.

The images created by the Holga camera were imperfect, hazy, ethereal, soft and not your typical landscape types of shots that are crisp and clear. The only way to adjust your focus is with a little dial that shows a single person, a 3-person group, a large group and a mountain. Very much like guestimating a point and shoot. And of course there is no autofocus.

The cool thing is that I recently came across a post somewhere that talked about the Holga company making Holga camera lenses for both Canon and Nikon. And so I bought one. These are some samples of some recent shoots I did with this lens. The affect is okay, but not quite the same as I remember from shooting with the Holga camera itself and with film. These samples were done with a Canon dslr body and the Holga lens. But it is fun and a nice way of seeing. Reprints of images can be found here.

Jerry Mennenga, Sioux City, iowa

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