Holga

About two years ago, I bought a Holga. I loved my digital camera, but I was ready to try something new – and since I couldn’t afford to upgrade to a DSLR, I decided to go the other direction and try film. I was excited to try medium format film, and I liked the idea of a toy camera – all the imperfections and the dreamy quality of the plastic lenses intrigued me. So I thought I’d give it a shot (ha!).

Two years and seven rolls of medium format later, and I still hadn’t developed a single one. Part laziness, part…ok, mostly just laziness. I loved taking the pictures, but finding a shop that would develop 120 film, dropping them off, scanning, choosing prints, etc. just kept getting pushed to the very bottom of my to do list.

This month I finally dropped off all seven rolls to be developed, and yesterday I got my negatives back. I was about 76% sure none of them would come out and I wouldn’t have a single picture to show for my years of Holga-ing. Amazingly, most of my shots did turn out. They’re far from perfect, and they’re not the classic Holga square because I had the wrong mask on the entire time (I win at life). But I LOVE them. Each and every one.

And because it has been years since I took some of these, I had completely forgotten about a lot of them. For example – I forgot that I handed the Holga off to my mom at my wedding, giving her a quick rundown of how to advance the frames. So last night I got to see wedding pictures I didn’t know existed. It was like finding buried treasure.

I plan to order prints, but I haven’t yet. These are “poor man’s scans“: my SLR + a piece of glass + a blank Word document + Picnik.

It’s like looking through a scrapbook I didn’t know I had made.

As I type this, I’m still deciding whether to publish this post. Maybe I should wait until I get actual prints? Maybe some of the wedding photos feel too personal to share. Maybe I’m afraid the magic I see when I look at these won’t translate. Regardless, I’m completely addicted to Holga now. I’ll try not to wait another two years to get my film developed this time.

{52 Self Portraits} Week 8

It’s been an exciting week, photography-wise. My film class ended on Tuesday, and I ended up with 6 large prints of photos I made myself, from start to finish. I found that making prints, alone in the darkroom while playing Mumford & Sons and Regina Spektor on my iphone, is pretty effective therapy after a crappy day.

On top of that, I got my first medium-format negatives back from my Holga. It was like looking through a scrapbook I didn’t know I had made. The most exciting discovery was the roll from my wedding, taken by my mom after I gave her a 10 second run down of how to manually advance the film, and she looked at me like I was crazy. Seeing new wedding photos, a year and a half after the fact, is pretty magical.

Anyway! This week, since I’m ridiculously excited about the Holga stuff, I decided to post a picture of a self-portrait, taken on a cruise last May (Hi Megs!) and developed this month. I spent all day doing poor-man’s negative scanning (glass + binder clips + blank Word document + DSLR + editing in Picnik), so these are just previews of what the prints will actually look like. I plan to post many more of these after I get prints made. Yay, Holga!

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{52 Self Portraits} Week 7

One of my favorite things is taking people to see the Oregon coast for the first time. My dear friend Amanda came to visit this weekend, and we drove out to Florence to play on the beach. I managed to remember to snap a quick self-portrait as we braved the cold wind to enjoy the ocean.

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{52 Self-Portraits} Week 5

Today wins for quickest self-portrait – from no idea, to somewhat of an idea, to shooting, to editing, to posting. I won’t say how much time this project has eaten up in past weeks – let’s just say today was a vast improvement, and now I can get on with my weekend.

It was only a matter of time before I took a picture of myself doing what I do best on a Saturday morning – drinking coffee, and that’s about it.

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{52 Self-Portraits} Week 4

This week’s selfie was rough. My only inspiration was the light coming through the window in our dining room, so I tried to focus on that as the subject rather than me.

I still never got exactly what I wanted, but I love the light and the feel of this one.

Enjoy the last hours of the weekend, friends.

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{gratitude.2012} Simple Pleasures

This post brought to you by Camera+, Instagram, and my trusty iPhone.

This week I…

…tried out a new watering hole, with moderately good cider…

…tried a new recipe (avocado pasta)…

…took a calming walk in the Pioneer Cemetery near my office…

…drank A LOT of tea…

…read like a fiend…

…played with my camera apps at my desk…

…and, the thing I’m most proud of – I developed my first roll of film, from start to finish!


It was very scary and exciting, and a lot of fun. Out of a class of 10 people, several ended up with blank rolls – so I was pretty excited mine came out at all. I’m trying to work up the nerve to shoot another roll and go back into the studio by myself to try it again, without the instructor there reminding me of the steps.

Did I mention I’m taking a film photography class? I am. It’s awesome. Will hopefully be sharing some of my prints, when we get around to making them.

Happy Friday!

{52 Self-Portraits} Week 3

This week I ended up going in a completely different direction than what I planned. My idea was to do something creative with focus in a wide shot, which I tried for a bit. But then I found the most gorgeous light coming in the window of our second bedroom and went for a portrait instead. Trying to focus in front of the camera is tough.

I can tell I’m already getting much more comfortable in front of the camera, and with posting my mug on the internet. I’m also kind of fascinated with my face in a way I haven’t been before.

I had a lot to choose from this week. I think I may start posting some of the shots that didn’t make it to a set on my Flickr page.

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