Why I’m Taking a Holga Hiatus

I bought my Holga from Hong Kong last year off of Ebay. I ordered it for $30, bought some 120 film, taped up the body for light leaks, and experimented. At first the results were promising. An etheral glow and soft focus surrounded my subjects. I could make any setting look pastel, dreamy, and a bit like an Urban Outfitters catalogue. The pictures had a summery feel– because of the color schemes and because I first started with it between the summer of my freshman and sophomore year at Mizzou. Being at home that summer, my parents bought most of my film for me, and paid a lot of the processing costs. I never realized how much this hobby film cost until this year.

I always assumed the light leaks that made red stripes along the photos would gradually fade away as I learned to tape better. I thought I could strategically use the bothersome vingetting (darkening around the corners) to my advantage, as flickr forums had told me. However, none of this happened. It was only a part-time camera for my, as I rely on my Nikon d70s and Pentax K-1000 most often. Perhaps this was why I couldn’t develop the delicate craft of lomography in a year and a half. Perhaps it just wasn’t precise enough for me. It was difficult when my parents weren’t paying for the film to shell out $40 for a roll or two and only get a few shots that weren’t obscured or lost in shadows. I also soured on the film because of its ‘soft’ qualities. Accuracy is something I value highly, and I enjoy portraying my surrondings in a way that reflects reality. Perhaps I am closer to photojournalism and farther from fine art photography than I thought.


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