Regular readers of the blog will remember a Foto Friday post I did a few weeks ago where I talked about a fellow photographer using film. I noted the lone film I used — and even that very rarely — is 120 film with my Holga camera.
A Holga is a plastic toy camera. Its lens isn’t glass and it takes “dreamy” and old-school images. These images can have all sorts of looks, from vignetting, to a blur to light leaks to distortions. It’s really quite wild.
According to Wikipedia, the Holga camera first appeared in 1981 as a low-cost camera. It was made in Hong Kong.
The thing is, with digital the way it is, film has become a secondary medium for photography. It’s almost nostalgia. That makes it a bit more interesting, too, when dealing with the “toy” cameras, such as a Holga or a Diana. Cameras like Polaroids have cult-like followings now.
After thinking about this for a while, I uncovered my Holga and dusted it off. I knew I wanted to use it a bit more. So I tweeted Mike (who was mentioned in the initial Holga post) asking him if he had a Holga, which he does. That led me to start thinking about a challenge. And, of course, I was thinking of a way to bring it to the readers of HooHaa Blog.
So, we came up with a “My town” sort of challenge.
I also decided to see what I could find on Twitter in regard to Holga shooters. When all was said and done, I ended up with six people (including myself and Mike) who are willing to take part in this challenge. We will cover different parts of the globe — from three places in the United States to Kuwait to Switzerland to the United Kingdom. This will be one fun challenge.
The rules of the challenge are simple enough:
- Two rolls of 120 film — one color, one black and white. ISO will be 400 for both.
- The participant takes two rolls of their home area — a radius of 15 miles from their home address.
- Each roll will have 12 exposures, thus 24 total photos.
- Of the 24 images, 12 will be chosen for this challenge. A minimum of three images must come from each roll.
The challenge starts this Monday — May 14. Photographers will have a month to get things done and all photos will be taken by June 11. Then, from June 17-22, each person will have a guest blog post on A ‘lil HooHaa talking about their images, their town and anything else they want to add. It will give readers a chance to see the views of other towns in this world — whether buildings, landscape, people, sports — anything — that shows the area.
I can’t express how I am excited for this challenge. We’re doing this in a friendly way — as a way to show this medium of photography and a way to learn and see how others do things. I’m stoked to see the images from this challenge as it seems like people live in different size places and I really think being able to see other parts of the world will be fun.
Also, I hope this won’t be the last time I run this challenge. In fact, I’m already starting to think of other challenges to do with Holgas and such that I can do on the site. But one at a time!
To start this challenge, I would like to introduce you to the five other people who are taking part in it, with one of their past Holga photos.
Name: Jeff Soderquist
Location: Seattle, Washington
Holga used: 120N (for this challenge); Holga 120WPC.
Photo interests: Beyond shooting with my Holga 120N, I am an avid pinhole photographer. My photographic interests fall into two categories, encompassing urban and natural landscapes. Living and working in downtown Seattle I’m fascinated by the daily functions of a densely populated urban center, and strive to capture it on film. I wouldn’t classify my style as street, but it contains elements of it. I’m much more interested in capturing the human movement over time through long pinhole exposures and supplementing it with more intimate subject matter. Beyond the confines of the city, I’m an avid hiker and landscape photographer. Weekends are often spent out on the coast or in the mountains wandering alone along trails with my cameras. I find this time to be very relaxing and self-reflective and strive to convey that through my photographs and accompanied writing.
On the web:
Location: Totnes, Devon, United Kingdom
Holga used: 120GN
Photo interests: I shoot digital, 35mm and medium format film, using a variety of different cameras.
On the web:
Location: Kuwait City, Kuwait
Holga used: Holga CFN 120
Photo interests: I don’t like to limit myself to one style, but I find myself mostly doing either street photography or abstract.
On the web:
Name: Shaima M (also known as Shayouma on some blogs)
Location: Versoix, Geneva, Switzerland
Holga used: 120N
Photo interests: Basically, I love Street Photography. I love photographing my kids as well. I would do nature on very rare occasions, when there’s a scene in front of me.
On the web:
Name: Mike Davis
Location: Waco, Texas
Holga used: 120CFN
Photo interests: Instagram, Hipstamatic, DSLR, underwater or whatever.
On the web:
I look forward to seeing what these photographers bring to this challenge. I think it will be a wonderful way to see other parts of the country and the world and am excited for the results!