Posts Tagged ‘photography philosophy


holga pictures

some more holga pics. i’ve been taking a lot of harbour and stadium photos lately. went to oamaru a couple of weekends ago and took a lot of pictures, and the ones i took on my holga are currently in for developing and printing, so eager to see the results!

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so i’ve had my holga for a short while now, and have gone through 5 rolls of film; two colour and three b&w.

the colour i needed to have developed and printed for me, while the b&w i have been able to develop myself, and i’m in the process of making all the prints i’d like from them.

the first roll (colour) went alright. everything seemed to be the right exposure but there were plenty of light leaks. i think i benefited from it being a 400 iso film as the next colour roll would be 160 and i only managed to get 4 prints from it. oh well, you live you learn.

have scanned in the colour ones and uploaded to my flickr. i’ll get some of the b&w prints up soon, as well as scans of the photos from my other plastic fantastic cameras.






core studio 1 – photography

My first specialist studio in semester 1 at Art School was photography, my first preferred subject. I had purchased my first SLR just before the course started, so I had time to figure out aperture, ISO and shutter speed ahead of time.

This was my first time developing film and making prints in a dark room. This seemed quite daunting at first, and my first attempt to load my film onto a reel in the dark took forever as I dropped the film at least a half dozen times before managing to get it on there properly. After that, though, everything went smoothly and my film turned out as good as I could have hoped. Then it was printing time and I soon got the hang of that too, though not without some errors. I had a lot of fun playing with exposure and contrast and quickly lost track of the time spent in the dark room. Still need to work on contrast though as a lot of my images end up in a low-contrast greyscale instead of a nice divisive black and white image.

The subject for presentation was ‘toy and destroy’, which could be interpreted in a number of different ways. I eventually decided to present a sort of timeline, from a toy digger (youth), actual digger (adulthood/career) and finally a scrapheap (retirement/death), as well as a 4th image where I played with ghosting.

I’ve done quite a few more films and prints despite the studio being over; I think I’m somewhat addicted now! Most of my images are of architecture as that is a subject that fascinates me and appeals to me aesthetically in images.



Last night I ordered a Holga 120N for my birthday! The Holgas are a really neat line of ‘toy’ cameras, in the ‘Lomography’ genre.

Lomography is interesting. It’s both a philosophy and a form (or technique) of photography, attributed mainly to cameras such as Lomos, Holgas and Dianas. These effects and styles are caused by the cameras ‘unique’ hardware.
The story behind it is, in the 60s, 70s and 80s there were attempts by a few camera countries in Russia, China and other places to create mass-market, affordable cameras for the people. A characteristic of this is that they were almost entirely plastic (including the lens) and ‘poorly’ made – there were light leaks, images turned out blurry, with dark edges, amongst other things. In other words, they didn’t achieve a ‘photo real’ result.
Later, people started rediscovering these cameras and their quirky effects, their popularity shot up and a movement quickly grew. Demand was high and eventually, the original cameras were all bought up or became scare. A company was started and they began re-making these cameras, in all their imperfect glory.
Strictly speaking, you don’t need one of the ‘brands’ of lomographic cameras to get these results. Part of the fun, for me anyway, has been looking in second hand stores, online and in old boxes in our garage for cameras that could potentially give interesting effects. I found two all-plastic cameras in a box over the weekend and yesterday purchased two from an op shop (as well as a flash, all for $5!), and have been snapping away at everything, in part following the ‘ten golden rules’:

  1. Take your camera everywhere you go
  2. Use it any time – day and night
  3. Lomography is not an interference in your life, but part of it
  4. Try the shot from the hip
  5. Approach the objects of your lomographic desire as close as possible
  6. Don’t think (william firebrace)
  7. Be fast
  8. You don’t have to know beforehand what you captured on film
  9. Afterwards either
  10. Don’t worry about any rules

I decided to get a Holga mainly for the ease of use and the number of accessories and settings that I can potentially use with it, such as different coloured filters, sized films or slides, or exposure and light settings.

Meanwhile, I am using a ‘Cyprea 2-way camera’, an all plastic point-and-shoot we got for free with a Readers Digest offer over a decade ago. It had never been used or thought about – until now.

Some examples of lomo photos, taken by the particular camera I ordered (via flickr):

North of the river. Holga: Ford Lake

Wind SF underwater

"Parzellenrundgang" / Allotment Tour

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