Blog, Holga

The Past inside the present

Just a quick post today. This is something of a grab shot that I did with the Holga HL-N attached last weekend. For a fleeting moment there was a slice of Hastings seafront that looked as if it were showing some sort of past echo, with no real sign of present technology.

Always be ready to capture the moment.

Have a great weekend.

Blog, Holga, Nine through Plastic

Nine through plastic

‘Bleak Wednesday’

Recently I’ve been trying to come up with different ways to keep my photographic mind working.

Whether you have a day job or if photography is your primary source of income, it can sometimes be difficult to find the time to focus on your own photography projects and interests, or you may just find yourself in a creative rut. I think we all experience this from time to time and I’m no exception, so I have come up with a couple of ideas to help me focus on producing something on a regular basis. This is my first idea and is one that was inspired by my recent purchase of the Holga HL-N lens. I’m quickly falling in love with this lens, finding the low quality being something of a refreshing change from using my sharp 18-50mm f2.8 Sigma.

So here’s the idea; When out in a particular location I will throw on the ol’ Holga and take a bunch of shots with the idea of putting nine of my favourites together as a panel. I took these shots last Wednesday when the weather was far from being ideal, but I had an feeling that the inclement weather combined with the crappy quality lens may produce something interesting. When I got home I was quite pleased with a number of the shots but felt that they would work better presented together rather than as stand alone images. The whole being greater than the sum of it’s parts, so to speak. And so Nine through plastic was born. 🙂

I’m sure these images won’t appeal to everyone but I’m seeing it as more of an experiment, at least at this stage. Thoughts and comments are always welcome and if nothing else I hope it stirs you enough to come up with projects of your own.

On a side note I produced this image while listening to ‘Soundtrack to a vacant life’ by The Flashbulb. A stunning album with a mood that seems to fit the subject matter of this image perfectly.

Happy shooting.

Blog, Holga, review, Tips

Holga HL-N first outing

So some of you may remember me mentioning in a previous post that Holga had finally brought out both Nikon and Canon mount versions of their lens. I ordered mine from HolgaDirect as soon as I heard the news, and 10 days later it arrived in the post.

Made of cheap plastic, it looks like it has been fashioned from an old detergent bottle top, but then that’s the charm of the Holga line up and similar Toy camera systems. Once attached to the camera body (rather loosely), operating this lens is quite simple. Depending on your camera you will either have to switch to manual ( as I have to) or if you’re lucky Aperture Priority, which will allow you to use the cameras light meter. Usually the light meter will only work if you’re using either a Canon model or pro spec Nikon bodies. On my camera however the light meter will not work, meaning that I have to sort everything out by taking a couple of test shots and checking the histogram. You could also use a hand held light-meter. Doing a little research on various Holga sites I found that the shutter speed on their film cameras is set to about 1/100th sec with a number of folks using iso 400 film, so I thought that this would be a good place to start, and indeed it was. This is based on taking shots during a normal bright day. At this point it is also a good idea to familiarize yourself with the Sunny 16 rule. Focus is achieved by rotating the lens, which has a range of roughly 3ft to infinity with four symbols depicting various distances in-between.

One thing that differs using a Holga lens on an SLR is that you are actually looking through the lens (an obvious point I know), but this isn’t the case on a traditional Holga as it has a viewfinder separate to the lens, like your old point and shoot. The lens is supposedly a fixed F8 meaning that it is very dark when you’re looking through the viewfinder and can be a bit of a challenge, especially in lower light. I just see this as even more a part of the fun of using this lens.

As of yet I have not had a proper chance to get out and about with it, but I did manage to grab a few minutes during my lunch break to take some test shots to give you a flavour of what this lens produces. As you can see, the traditional Holga trademark look is still there, the only thing you wont get is the light leaks produced by the cheap construction of their film cameras.

All in all this lens is a great compromise for those not wanting to go down the film route, and if soft and heavily vignetted photographs is something that appeals to you then there really is no reason not to get one. It costs around $30US with P&P making this about £18.50ish in my money. Bargain!

Happy Shooting.

Blog, HDR, Holga, Urbex

We all die in the end+New Holga lenses

‘We all die in the end’. HDR 3exp +/-2EV iso800 for added grain. Produced using Photomatix and Lightroom.

So, two subjects in one post. I think I can pull it off.

Going back through some more recent shots I came upon a set of brackets that I was really rather taken with, and instantly though of giving the picture a more sombre muted look. Sometimes a scene will give you a certain feel that if the natural colours were kept, that feel would be lost, at least to a certain extent. I particularly like using muted colours, it’s  something you also see done a lot in modern war movies, which helps with the overall impact.

Now; being the sort of chap who’s a bit of a fan of gritty/grainy pictures, both in colour and black and white, I was rather pleased to read that camera manufacturer Holga has now produced a lens with both Canon and Nikon mounts. And they so cheap too, meaning that unless you’re a stickler for tack sharp images, then there’s absolutely no reason not to own one of these. There has been a big surge in recent times towards older film based cameras that give less than perfect results, and yet they somehow manage to evoke a look and feel that appeals to a lot of us photographers. Some of the look Holga images have is down to how the film is processed too, but I think this is a good compromise for those who do not wish to go back to using film.  I ordered mine yesterday and I’m counting the minutes till it drops through the letterbox. In addition to this, the new Holga lenses are fully compatible with their current range of lens accessories. I’m really looking forward to getting that Holga look straight out of the camera rather than having to mimic it in Photoshop or plug-in filters; the same reason I bought my Lensbaby Muse not so long ago. Watch this space!