Long live film and welcome back Holga!
It has been a while since I've written but I've continued to work on my film photography projects. I just read that the Holga is back! A new factory has started producing the Holga 120N again. This is extremely exciting because in the age of digital photography the elegance of film has a creative place for future generations.
Long live film and welcome back Holga!
In the middle of winter (actually a nice day for Detroit) runners donned their favorite undies to participate with the above dinosaur to raise money for the Children's Tumor Foundation.
I thought that this would be a fun event for more Diana F+ tests; this time with the 110 soft telephoto lens, and Ilford Delta 3200 film. The Cupid's Undie Run was a fun and light event where I took lots of photos; color and black and white.
I'm not a fan of grain but I wanted to see how the Ilford 3200 would react in the Diana and developed at asa 800 with Kodak D76. The entire roll came out correctly exposed but with obvious soft focus from the lens.
When I use the Diana I constantly have to think distance, settings and lens. This is a major switch from the Holga where I leave it on sunny, load and shoot. Mixing it up feeds the creativity like learning Adobe Premier for videos.
Toy cameras are not cheap and It’s such a relief when your test rolls show that your new toy camera works like it should by producing images. I always get a kick out of the surprised reactions when clients and even fellow artists discover that my images are produced by toys – it’s usually a comical form of disbelief.
Toy cameras do not get the respect that they should because they’re plastic. I ran across a You Tube video yesterday, a tutorial believe it or not with the narrator (instructor?) in every other word dissing his images and the tool that he used. I didn’t make it to the end Dewy Downer no doubt was trying to be funny, but he was too much for me.
Basically, I like everything about the toy camera the concept of them, the challenge to work with them and their look. I’ve been photographing a lot lately because it’s an “up” for me and living in the USA that's literally oozing passion from every united state it’s an emotional time.
My creativity has channeled a healthy outlet for balance and allowed me to breathe. Enter Adam an amazing sales associate who works at Lomography in NY and who sold me my new Diana Fs. I bought the Black Jack and the Buttercup. The Buttercup has the colors of Brazil’s flag yellow and green. This was pointed out to me by my new Brazilian friends and toy camera enthusiasts pictured above.
Ironically Dewy Downer never mentioned the lo-fi process; It still sucks when images don’t come out when they should (welcome to the unpredictability of Lomography) but the process of picking out the film, loading the camera, going out with friends, experimenting/creating and souping film (is there an image or isn't there) is a complete thrill.
New friends, new cameras, new images; all in all, it was a good week to be a creative.
What is there to say when there is so much to say? And so much being said.
I took my Holga out today for a breath of fresh air. It was a beautiful but sharp and bone chilling day in Detroit. It was also the first indelible sunny day with a magnetic blue sky and fluffy white clouds. The sun was brilliant; a normal day when times are anything but. I felt that this image is a perfect metaphor of the current reality.
Happy New Year everyone.
My blog is never pre-planned although I have thought about this and rejected the idea. I like to free write about my actual experiences and experimentation with my Holga or Diana cameras. In the past few weeks there has been little film shooting and whole lot of digital photography – which you will not see posted on this website. This site is strictly for film.
Over the holidays Lomography.com ran an amazing sale and I purchased a new sprocket rocket camera Superpop Green, it’s gorgeous. It’s also a back-up for the one that I currently own which has started to give me grief when I wind it to the next frame. The problem is that I’m not sure anymore if it really is the next frame. I also bought some of their film a rare occurrence because I find them to be extremely grainy which I’m not a huge fan of - all for the whopping price of $40 including shipping and handling. For anyone who has ever shopped on Lomography.com this is considered either a great savings or a systems glitch.
Everyone already knows that I’ve begun to shoot with the Diana F as well as other toy cameras. I’ve decided to dedicate a specific area for Holga only photography. This is primarily due to the fact that the factory has closed and the camera although still available is discontinued. I disagree with the blaring headlines that the Holga is Dead! or wait, RIP Holga. Creativity never dies so Holga lives, breathes and clicks.
I really liked a quote that I read on Facebook that had Mother Theresa's picture on it - the world is full of good people. If you can't find one be one. I'm not sure who wrote it; the web attributes multiple sources.
In turbulent times I think that we all find solace in simple things like words. Words are powerful in quotes, jokes or poems. Its not hard to find the thread of unity running underneath the current of turbulence. We all seem to be pulling together - maybe we always were but there is warmth in unification.
A one-liner by Demetri Martin - the worst time to have a heart attack is during a game of charades. Then I often remember one of my favorite poems by Langston Hughes.
Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.
The past two weeks have been filled with sight, color and sound. I’m taking a broadcasting class and I’m really getting into the quality of sound. I love the music by composer Abel Korzeniowski. One day as I began re-writes in class I pulled up some of his music on You Tube and I listened to his music through an amazing set of earphones. This has basically changed my life. The richness of the sound blew me away.
I’ve never been into the latest anything although I was a gadget junkie when I began photography because everyone had and would talk about the latest cameras, tripods, etc. I think this nonchalance about the equipment made my foray into Lomography so easy. I didn’t care that the cameras were $49 or $57. I cared about what I could imagine and create with their limitations.
Toy cameras are not $47K digital Hassies but they are amazing in their own right. I think that most people would dismiss them as cheap and pigeon hole them as such. My use of plastic cameras is an open secret. However, if a client frowns upon it then I use my Mamiya or Nikon. Cheap is not necessarily inferior at least not in photography – sound, yes.
There are so many limitations conscious or unconscious that we place on ourselves and that are placed on us by others. I think that the one great thing about the arts is that while creating one can be whatever they want to be and there are no limitations. That’s what I love about the arts and being a creative is that in a world where there are controls everywhere you can pick up a half ounce piece of plastic and break them all.
What is the toy camera effect in a digital world? I couldn’t resist and I checked out the toy digital interpretation. This effect per code is a picture that has a foreground in focus, the back ground in soft focus with a dark vignette around the edges. When I reviewed these images on my computer I kept going back to my Holga and even in my early days of learning this camera I can’t remember this level of focal unevenness.
Toy film cameras are popular and fun and I find it funny that digital cameras have created a program to “re-create” their “effect” for digital shooters. Lomographers know that plastic cameras vary regardless of the maker. A Holga is not a Holga is not a Holga. But a program is a program is a program.
Creative digital effects are not all bad I admit that I really enjoy using my miniature (insane color saturation) and selective color modes (examples of which will never be posted on this film photography website). My digital tool of choice will never replace my Holga or Diana; first and foremost for purist reasons but primarily because the effect is unremarkable. Buy plastic and load film.
Busy, busy, busy and creative. As you know I’ve been working on a color portfolio for a while with both the Holga and the Diana. This became a major undertaking through plastic mainly because I didn’t want to sacrifice my style for great color – which was not coming through as strong as it should have in color. My main foe? Correct exposure. In black and white I have cracked this case with time but in color it’s a different story. So many swirling variables from film speed to the actual camera used. It was no longer grab the film, tripod and stop watch.
I’m still primarily using the Diana F+ with the 110 mm soft telephoto lens which I continue to find fascinating and fun because of how it captures my city with a wonderful Alice in Wonderland eye. The ordinary never comes out of this lens. I am almost there – so far as sharing color images that I think will be provocative.
Contests and galleries. What do I think about photography contests? I think that exposure is important and that all work needs to be seen in order to become known. I’m particular about the contests that I enter which isn’t many. Usually contests have an entry fee which is a fact of life but when they attach uploading your images through trial websites or asking you to tell your friends and followers on Facebook to vote for your images I move on.
I’ve been looking at galleries lately and I’m encouraged. I found three galleries that interested me and I contacted them. This could be rejection but I thought that it was cool that two of them are now following me on Google +. The best investment that I’ve made as a photographer is my website. Instant and constant exposure. I send the link to my target audience and its done. Keep it simple, stay focused, remember who you are, and what your work is about.
Eclectic, audacious, perceptive. Préfère plastic cameras, film photography, and darkroom chemicals.