I'm currently in New York traveling on business. Today was a mess, pouring like crazy in the morning. I brought my nikon rig with me to take some quick snaps between meetings. Of course I dont want to bring it out in the rain with me.. so I went to the Center of Photography and caught their exhibit, lots of good work, lots of so so "art". After checing out the gallery, I went into the bookstore and there it was... A Holga! Just what the doctor ordered. As I left the gallery the rain was ending and I started shoting. It was a great change of pace, not having to worry about what lens to use, silly things like exposure, etc. I'm not sure I even want to process the film, the memories of taking the shots are too good. LOL!
Yeah, know what you mean-a change can really revitalise you and then you go back and see differently with your regular stuff. Happy experimenting!
My 35mm plastic lens expirement is really making me look at things differently. To get the look I want, I have to compose everything from a distance, then on the print zoom inward to that composition (enhances the plastic lens look). I've always composed full frame and now am only using distant compositions taking up 1/4th of the frame. I agree, a change every now and then can recharge the visual batteries.
Last month I saw a dozen or so Holga photos nicely framed, matted and hung in an entry hall. They were wonderful and I even went back a few weeks later to look again and am trying to contact the Photographer to see what he did different.
I think what he did was what Sean is suggesting, compose loose and use only the sweet spot (or on a Holga that could be semi-sweet) and crop out the bad distortions. The images seemed like 1800 lens work or maybe very well done pinhole.
His use of two solid themes and very good presentation also turned "cheap toy camera" shots into something special. Photographer was Kyle Masuga about whom I know almost nothing except he is a Denver photographer.
With the holga I found 2 things really helped , Right behind the lense is a square frame I taped an orange filter their and once the film is loaded tape the hell out of the back! remember also your finger is the shutter speed. I used to take the holga every where and of the 100's of rolls of film I have 2 images I'm proud of. Course I was able to go back with a real camera and re-shoot the images that the holga inspired.... Have fun but don't expect the holga to follow any rules.
[quote=" I used to take the holga every where and of the 100's of rolls of film I have 2 images I'm proud of...[/quote]
I know very little about Holgas, but if the success rate is that bad I am even more impressed with the images I saw.
I love my two Holgas. To learn more and make some slight modifications to eliminate light leaks (unless you like that with a holga) and cut out the film insert to hold the film flat in sq format here is a good sight:
I use Arista 400 and soup it in Rodinal. I have modified one holga with a larger aperature and recalculated depth of field for the new F-stop. I had a third that I had removed the spring and locked the shutter open for night shots but broke it.
I think Randy at www.holgamods.com can supply a ready to use Holga that has all those modifications. For a price of course. I use Velcro to hold the back to the main camera body and a piece over the little red window.
I just got (and refurbed myself) an Agfa Isolette V folder, hoping for something of a Holga-like effect, 'cept with a better camera in a more portable package. Fits my cargo jeans pocket just fine.
I just hope the lens isn't too good. That was the problem with the Yashica 635 TLR I got last year - lens was too good.
With luck the Isolette's triplet Agnar will have some edge softness and falloff toward the wide apertures. I know it'll have some flare problems 'cause I had to remove the coating to get rid of the fungus/mold/mildew spots.
I'll keep y'all posted.
I must dig out my brother's old Lubitel 2 and have another go with it. If I can get it through my head that soft focussing and vignetting are not necessarily bad things, there may be hope for me yet!
('Course that's a pretty big "if"...!)
...Power corrupts. Absolute power is even more fun!