Thoughts on Holga

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.

Here are a few frames for holga week:

FernsPushing DaisiesTemple and Graffiti double exposureRJCalow_HolgaWeek-1-2RJCalow_HolgaWeek-2-2

Another good thing about the holga is the ability to modify them easily, which I did by making a pinhole camera. But that’s for another post.

Sidenote Рheres a top tip for holga cameras



Thoughts on Holga