Holga

Holga

 

I love my Holga. I have two degrees in photography and an awesome DSLR camera, but always find myself going back to the Holga! The Holga is a medium format 120 film toy camera, made in Hong Kong, known for its low-fidelity aesthetic.I purchased the camera from the B&H Photo Store in NYC while I was living and working there. I don’t know if you’ve ever been there, but B&H is the largest non-chain photo and video store (serving over 5,000 customers a day!) and is located in “Hells Kitchen” and owned and operated by Hasidic Jews. The store takes up almost a full city block and is so large that you have to order your item (with a photo-rep) and from there the order is picked up from their storage area and placed onto a conveyor belt that runs over the customers heads and to the checkout line. Needless to say, B&H is a photographer’s wonderland and every trip there is an event.In NYC, I used my Holga to shoot street photography, protests and political rallies (sometimes even finding myself in D.C. on the Whitehouse lawn!). After NYC, I moved to London to study for my Masters Degree in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography. Being so close to other countries, I traveled quite a bit with the camera to places such as The Netherlands, Croatia and Lithuania (Lithuania being my fav!). I liked to photograph the old cemeteries in those countries with the Holga since it seemed to capture the peaceful, dream-like quality of those spaces. Upon graduation, I returned to the area where I grew up and pretty much stopped shooting with the Holga as it is difficult to find places to develop the medium format film (or film in general for that matter!) so it sits on display on a shelf in our office with film still in it from our trip to Portugal in 2010. My two nephews (aged 9 & 10) like to play with it when they come over. It doesn’t bother me that they play with it while it still has film in it since the more it’s played with the more the image will change. I guess it’s an experiment in progress.The Holga’s low-cost construction and simple plastic lens often yields pictures that display vignetting, blur, light leaks, and other distortions. The camera’s limitations have brought it a cult following among some photographers, and Holga photos have won awards and competitions in art and news photography.

T.B. 

Oswego, IL