Holga Time

From time to time I enjoy just going out and walking around a city with one camera, my Holga 120 CFN. I like the soft focus, the vignettes and the ease of point and shoot. The Holga takes 120 film ( color or black and white) and depending on the size image you want you can set the camera from either 12 or 16 exposures. I prefer the square format which results in 12 exposures. There is also an ‘N’ or ‘B’ setting. The ‘N’ is for normal shooting at about 1/60 second. The ‘B’ is used when you need longer exposures and ‘better’ use a tripod.

hanging laundry in London

kite out a window near Newspace Center for Photography in Portland

a girl, her dog and her phone

All Holgas are not equal. I bought a pink one thinking I would just use it for color film but the light leaks were so bad that all my photos had red streaks across them. I taped up the outside of the camera and I put tape over the red counter window but nothing helped. I know that some people like the red light leaks but this was extreme. The camera sits on a shelf in a girl’s pink bedroom. Luckily it was only $30.

red leak at the pier

And that’s the other nice thing about the camera. It’s cheap. You can find them at your local camera shop. In Portland that’s either Blue Moon Camera on N Lombard or Pro Photo in NW. Or you can go to the Lomography website and choose from all sorts of cheap plastic cameras. Urban Outfitters, a teen’s clothing store also carries a few Lomo cameras. Pop in a roll of film and away you go. I choose to have my film developed and not printed only because I hate to spend the money on prints that might be crap. So I bring home the negatives and scan them on a flat-bed scanner, Epson V700. Then I can decide which ones to have printed by my local lab.

Blue Moon Camera in St Johns, Portland

on my way to Pro Photo in NW Portland

ducking into the Urban Outfitters store

cameras at Urban Outfitters

The ‘CFN’ means my camera has a color flash. I thought I’d use this feature more but I seldom do. So if you want to save more money just get the Holga 120N. That’s what I started with until someone didn’t know how to remove exposed film and broke the knob ( hi, hubby). I was in London at the time and lucky for me London has two Lomography stores so I headed to the one off Carnaby Street and picked up the 120 CFN……and a cool bag. I wish we had a Lomo store in Portland because the one in London offers some cool workshops. I visited the store three times and every time it was packed with people buying film cameras of all sorts. FILM IS NOT DEAD.

Lomo store in London with black and white film

workshops at the London Lomo store

Some of the things I like that you can do with a Holga are the double exposures and the Holgaramas. I am still working on getting the overlap just right, but even when it doesn’t match up perfected it is still cool. I did recently buy the Holga panoramic camera but there is something I like about the overlapping.

double exposure at a skate park

coffee with ice cream created a pleasant mistake

at the fair times 3

not a good place to stay

multiple overlapping exposures

My photos are not sharp. Some Holga photos I see are sharp and I wonder why mine aren’t? I finally decided it is my lens. I read that Holga is now making a glass lens, but does that defeat the purpose of this quirky camera? I may have top get my hands on one and see what I think. Until then, why not give this a try. Go spend about $30 on a plastic Holga camera, $4 on a roll of film and go out for a few hours and have some fun.

when your truck matches your business

hit the road in an old caravan

walking around


About gretchen

I love living in the Pacific Northwest being close to the mountains and the ocean. My hobbies include photography, travel, reading, biking, walking and gardening. I am an Anglophile at heart and try to visit the UK often. My camera goes everywhere with me.
This entry was posted in cameras, Daily Life, film, Holga, lomography, Photography and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Holga Time

  1. simon0252 says:

    Great series of images Gretchen. I particularly like ‘kite out a window’, ‘lomo store’ and the Holgaramas.

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