Sunday, March 19, 2006
The Holga is a plastic toy camera that is made in China, and is the "daughter" of the Diana. It uses 120 roll film, has one plastic lens element, a simple spring shutter and one aperture of about f/8. It easily falls apart and often needs to be held together with tape and various velcro fasteners. Why use such a camera? It is a freeing experience. The photographer does not have to be concerned about exactness, photographic control, or even image perfection. It allows total seeing, and what you see is not always what you get. I obtain my Holgas from Randy Smith www.holgamods.com who reworks the basic Holga, adding refinements. I have one of his that is fitted with a waist level finder. The finder comes from an old box camera. He also makes one in which the lens is replaced with a pin hole: the PinHolga. I also have a basic Holga 120N, in which the Chinese Holga company has 'borrowed" a few of his modifications. They produce images that are reminiscent of images taken in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Using a Holga is often a welcome relief from the high tech world of digital photography. The top two photos were taken at a garden and landscape supply yard in Half Moon Bay CA and the three on the bottom are of the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose CA. More will be added.