Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Holga Experiment

These are the first ever pictures developed on my Holga.  For those of you unfamiliar with the Holga, its basically a $25 toy camera that shoots medium format film.  Known for it's artsy, grainy, under/over exposed, light leakin' pictures, it's loved by hipsters everywhere.  It's the original Instagram. 

For a while there I was obsessed with the idea, shooting a good 10 rolls of film in a matter of a week.  Then reality set in.  To develop and scan each roll of film was over $30.  You have to ship off your negatives and patiently await their return.  This is not easy for me.  My first camera was digital.  I'm used to instant gratification.  

After a couple of weeks I got my images back and I was, well, disappointed.  Pissed off more like it.  I've seen some great Holga stuff.  Yea, I know they're supposed to be crappy and artsy and all that, but these were just crappy.  My excitement for the Holga immediately ceased to exist.  I put it down, gave my unused rolls of film away, and retired my Holga to a bookshelf.  It was fun while it lasted.

That was at least 8 months ago.  I recently found my CD of scans and, with a fresh pair of eyes, decided to give them another go.  They still aren't what I expected, but hey, I've seen much worse.  Given the right print and environment and they could look pretty cool.  I'm actually going to look for my undeveloped film and develop another roll at random.

So crack open a PBR and get yourself a Holga.  They're actually fun, just don't expect too much.  


  1. Hi James! Great post. Glad you are giving the Holga another try! Based on these photos (which have a great grainy/blurry effect!) I would suggest you try taping your B-N switch so that it stays on N (this might be the cause of some of your extreme blur since it seems that you were shooting in daylight). I have more suggestions on my blog if you are looking to see exactly what your Holga is capable of! Good luck :)

    1. Hey Jennifer! I'm just seeing this comment. Thanks so much for the advice! I will def give it another try...and checking out your blog as we speak. Thanks again!