Monday Morning Metaphor - Holga Camera
The Holga Camera - a metaphor for life? Bear with me on this. So people ask me all the time - is film dead? One might be inclined to believe this to be true. Everything is digital now. Digital is wonderful. It allows people who never thought they could be photographers to be photographers. It allows photographers to learn from their mistakes. Immediately. It allows the world to be captured and seen in real time, affording moment to moment photojournalism where we see the events as they unfold, rather than days later. Digital makes life easy. Or easier. Though I would argue it also adds layers of complexity that many people are not aware of. But that's a different blog entirely.
So what, you might ask, makes one photographer (ie me) different than another? What keeps the fine art photography and wedding / portrait business humming if just anyone can pick up a digital camera and take a picture? My answer - creativity. Seeing the world uniquely. Establishing a style that belongs only to me. Being a master at what I do by knowing the wheres and the whys and the hows and not just pickuppointandshoot. But most especially it lies in being willing to continue to learn and explore new ideas, new techniques, and new mediums, or in the case of film, old mediums and make them new again. That's where the Holga comes in.
I thought, when I switched to digital, that I would never touch film again. But I was waaaay wrong. Because never have I been so excited to pick up a camera as when I bought the $25 piece of plastic called the Holga. And the reason for my excitement is this - unpredictability. I had no idea what the results of my efforts would be. I had no idea what the light leaks and plastic parts would do to the world as I saw it through that little square opening. And the days I waited for the film to come back were exciting - what would I see? Would I be thrilled? Disappointed? Amazed? As it happened I was all of the above.
So herein is the metaphor for life. What is old will be new again. A little excitement and anticipation can do wonders for the soul. Creativity can be fostered and reborn if you just try something new. And in a world where we want results instantaneously, there are still some things worth waiting for.
This and the triptych above are straight from the camera. Yes really. No Photoshop at all. Color is as is, light leaks created the vignetting, and to my utter delight, the numbers of the film actually imprinted themselves on the image. this was the Holga as I wanted it to be. Of course only one roll of film turned out this way. And I have absolutely no idea how I did it. But boy am I glad that I did!
These two above from a graveyard in Ireland. Straight from the camera again in terms of the edging and fading. I converted them to BW in Photoshop and darkened the blacks. But otherwise, as is.
Same with these two above. Converted one to BW. Otherwise, both straight from the Holga.
The rest of these images (below) I helped along with some color - either converting to sepia, slightly de-colorizing, or BW. I think I added a vignette to about half of them. These weren't nearly as interesting to be as the above. They just looked like photos from an aging throwaway camera. But with a little help they are still really cool. And the Holga 120 film allows for a certain antiqued look - it is film, after all, and it shows.