All Hail the Holga?
Some of us in the Foto8 office are infatuated with our Holgas - cheap, medium format, toy cameras, or ‘plastic fantastic wonders’ according to the lomography website. As many a sneering, photographic purist will tell you, the Holga is a technical disaster – the exposure and focus are somewhat uncontrollable, light often creeps in through cracks in the shoddy plastic casing, and it’s a miracle if every shot in a roll of film comes out. However, the images that do make it through the Holga’s random mechanics have an accidental, dreamlike magic that we just can’t get enough of. We want to know what you think. Read on to see our personal favourite Holga shots and find out how to show us yours…
Over the last few weeks we’ve been showing off our Holga photos in the office and it seems that the joy we take from these images comes from our personal affection for the subject and the unruly, dreamlike light the Holga throws on them. Due to the imprecision of the wind on function, frames often overlap causing stray, ghostlike figures to wander into neighbouring landscapes and parties – creating an eeriness that is perhaps a large part of the camera’s appeal. It doesn’t try to capture high definition reality, it’s only £40, it can’t.
Some critics aren’t quite so accepting of the Holga’s flaws and distortions. Various online photography forums contain debates between “Holga lovers” and “Holga haters”. Here’s a few examples of some less glowing reviews:
‘why should you buy a Holga when you can just smear jelly on the lens?’
‘I’ll be damned if I have to like a crappy picture just because it was taken with a camera that barely works. There are reasons folks started using cameras with real shutters and lenses’.
What do you think? Are you a lover or a hater? Comments below please.
We’ve chosen some of our favourite shots here and we want you to do the same!
Join the Foto8 group on flickr: www.flickr.com/groups/foto_8/
Then add your Holga photos to the group pool, making sure they are tagged with the word ‘holga’.
“Sun Llama” by Rosie
“Desert Lagoon” by Rosie
“Party” by Grace
“Red Car” by Grace
“House” by Lauren
“Snow” by Lauren