Despite having no kitchen and limited bathroom, with bits of plaster hanging for dear life on the walls, I managed to develop some film this weekend.
This roll of hp5 is from the trusty holga. I had the holga laying in my bag for sometime, so I genuinely didn’t know what was on the roll of film. Places range from Lincolnshire to Nottinghamshire. It’s sorta like a practice for holga week.
Last week I got a new holga with the idea of shooting two when out shooting for my town documentary. No two holgas are alike so having two creates variation in the series. I can also start to think about which holga suites which scene. As this is a new camera I expect the shutter is faster than my 2nd hand holga, and better suited for bright scene as it struggled in the shadows.
I’m not sure if its because the holga is new, but I had problems with dust or paper (not sure what it is) in the camera causing weird flecks on the edges here and there. Another problem is that there appears to be a light leak somewhere which you can see in the salvation army image where a line goes across the size.
Here is a few images from a shoot with the new holga and red filter.
I’m not sure how many of these updates I’ll do. I expect to be running a roll a week, or if not two weeks, between coursework.
This is the first time I’ve ever ran 35mm through a medium format camera shooting for sprockets. I want to see if the wide, slightly panoramic, frames are worth it by burning 35mm through the holga. If so, I might use it for my project.
Here is my ghetto setup involving foam packaging and rubber bands:
The results show a lot of messed up compositions where I should have had the camera either lower or more to the left. Its hard to judge what will be in frame or not. The images I took are around Lincoln.
I don’t think I will do it again, it was fun but the whole point of shooting the holga is that its a lightweight portable camera with the benefit of medium format. Its also hard to judge what will be in frame. I also wasted some film by winding on too much. I originally judged that 2 rotations of the winder were enough, but this turned out to be too much, I probably should have done 1 and a half turns.
I wanted to do something different for materials and processes blah blah research for my FMP, so the holga camera out.
To make it more fun I taped a red filter over the lens:
The film is also processed differently from I what I usually do. I wanted to preserve highlights and have some sort of sharpness. To do this I agitated 15 secs every 3 minutes rather than 10 secs every minute. The film was pushed to 1600 (compensating for the red filter). Full technical: Developed in hc110 Dilution E at 20c for 14 minutes, agitated for 1 min at start then for 15 secs per 3 mins.
Here is the whole roll, from snapshot to blunder, of a walk around town looking for subject matter:
Last night I ran a roll through the holga again. I scratched the shit out of the film somehow -maybe it was done in camera. I also had trouble spooling the film again, so the cupboard became the bastard-film-out-of-a-holga-and-onto-reels cupboard, once again fighting for space with shopping bags and the hoover.
I experimented with the built in flash. This holga seems to reflect the flash inside somewhere, kinda annoying, probably won’t use it much now. Having batteries in the camera really weighs down the plastic camera too.
I tried shots of the local wildlife, and double exposures of reflections in the water with some success. My favourite though is probably the church spire and tree with scratches either corner -which looks intentional. The waterfall is good too, though I’m still looking for a cable release adapter, which seem to have disappeared from the internet, so I can stick an nd filter on.
The Holga is a well known plastic toy camera that film photographers either love or hate. I have had 3 different models, and I personally hate them at times. It’s not the plastic body with its light leaks from every nook and ridge, or the simple meniscus (one element) plastic lens, or the useless viewfinder that gives no indication of frame lines or focal length perspective (the equivalent idiom that might explain it – “might as well be talking to a brick wall”, in that the viewfinder tells you nothing).
No, I don’t mind all that. It’s when I take film from a standard holga 120 and try to spool it. I can’t explain it, but something about the holga for me makes film unwieldy and awkward. Normally I can spool film, especially 120, straight away. Perhaps it doesn’t keep the film tight enough when I roll on. Hell, I don’t know. All I know is I get frustrated, scratch the film a bit, and move from the changing bag to a closet, fighting for space with a shelf unit stacked with hammers and tools.
I struggle with both Holga 120n and Holga 120 GFN, but funny enough I have not had a problem with film out of the wide pinhole model. I swear at times I’ll go digital and be boring, and then I see the results. And more often than not, after all the trouble of taping up a holga and the awkward film that comes out of it, the results are worth it.