For those of you not familiar with the Holga 120, it’s an incredibly cheap, Chinese, medium format camera. You can read more about them in the Wikipedia article, but I’ll summarize briefly. These cameras are pretty much entirely plastic – including the lens! – and are notorious for having lots of light leaks, poor optics, and basically zero control of anything essential for taking a photograph. Forget about aperture control, shutter speed, focusing…
So, what’s the point? Well, for about $20 (yep, $20), you get a medium format camera that provides some pretty fun, “artsy”, and completely unpredictable results. But that’s what makes it really cool! It’s so “cool,” in fact, that one of the founders of Instagram credits the Holga with inspiring the creation of the service. And even well-know White House Press Photographer David Bennett has been able to snap off some incredible photos with this toy camera, like this shot of Al Gore on the campaign trail in 2000.
Believe it or not, though, there’s actually a bit of a learning curve. I forgot to remove the plastic insert inside the camera that allows the user to make square instead of rectangular portraits. So, lots of the images came out with overlapping frames. The camera also lacks a combined film advance and shutter reset, so there are a lot of double exposures…but, again: kinda cool!
Osa shot most of these here at our house in Seattle and at Discovery Park. The film is Ilford FP4 Plus and Ilford HP5 Plus. Both were developed in Kodak HC-110 (new formula) Dilution B. Scans were done on an Epson V850 Pro, with levels adjusted in Lightroom. As you can see, I skipped all dust removal from the images.