Holga photography

OK, It ‘s my last semester at the Academy Of Art University in San Francisco, and I’m about to defend my thesis in early May, so I can graduate.

I am taking a fun, but challenging class, Pinhole and Plastic Cameras, and right now we are concentrating on Plastic Cameras.  I have purchased my new little Plastic Camera, the Holga.  It’s meant to give you some freedom of expression, due to it’s lack of controls, and control!  It’s a time to “let go” and go out and have fun, not knowing for sure if you will have anything when you get home.  It has a fixed little lens that surprised me after seeing what it sees and gets, because you are looking through a small little view finder window that is not “what you see is what you get”. SO you really have no idea how you are framing it or what will be inside the frame, for starters.  Then you can change the “focus” by turning it to one of 4 pictures; one person (3feet), two persons (6ft), many persons (18 ft), or mountain (30 ft to infinity).  Then near the lens you have a little slide that can be on a cloudy picture or on a sun picture, that’s it for “F/stop”, which is about f/11 or f/8.  And the shutter speed is about 1/100 of a second.  Then you can work another slide, which one side is a B and the other side is an N.  N is for normal, and B is for bulb, so as long as you hold down the shutter button, you can take timed exposures, or you can just click the shutter twice to let in more light.  It has a tripod screw opening, and if you choose you can buy the model with a flash attached to the top of the camera.  Now the most amazing thing is that this little plastic camera shoot medium format film (120)!  Who would have thought..

So I have been out shooting with my little Holga, trying out “all’ The settings and trying to come up with images in the film.  First roll,  only 7 of  12 came out.  They recommend you throw away the lens cap, (lens is plastic and the whole camera runs about $45), since if you leave it on, you don’t even know it , because remember you are looking through a view finder window, not the lens.  I “shot” at least 3 -4 frames with my lens cap on, hence no pictures.  But on my first try I got two great shots that I really love.  Second try, about 7 shots came out, some were underexposed and some overexposed, and I was trying to cut light by holding a polarizer in front of the lens. I don’t recommend this.  I also lost my pen on the hike and couldn’t write down the few settings I was trying in combination, so that didn’t help. But I did get some images I liked and were correctly exposed.  On the next three roles, I must say I was pleased that all 12 of all 12 on all three roles came out!  Not a pro yet, but moving up on the learning curve.  I tried not to change my settings, and shot with overcast conditions with 400 ASA Fugi Color negative film.  The sun was moving behind and out of clouds all day, but I didn’t change a thing.  I figured the 400 ISO range could handle most of the light of the day.

Anyhow, I will be writing more on the Holga and posting some of the images I created with this little plastic beauty.  This is all for now, thanks for listening…

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