Last Updated: 22 October, 2009
A Holga toy camera might be your next creative step.
While I’m sure there are photographers out there who love the technical aspects of photography, I’m not one of them. I appreciate the end result of experimenting with exposure and development but the painful, mathematical process of it zaps the creativity out of me and makes me want to throw my developing reels at a wall. In times like these or when I just need to have some fun, I turn to my toy cameras.
Toy cameras are inexpensive and simple. They are often made of plastic and even have a plastic lens.
I’m a supporter of all toy cameras but the Holga holds a special place in my heart. The vignetting, light leaks, blurry shots, double-exposures, the fact that it’s a medium format point-n-shoot that pretty much eliminates any need for technical information…all of these things make my heart sing.
Often creativity is bred from limitations.
- Choosing between “sunny” and “cloudy” is the only exposure control.
- For focusing you can chose between “one person”, “a few people”, “a group of people”, and “mountain”.
- There isn’t an accurate viewfinder.
If you think too much about it, you’re missing the point and losing out on the fun!
I prefer shooting in the square format so for each roll of film, I get 12 frames.
I have little control over these frames so I just find an interesting subject and shoot! I have found that my Holga has changed my perspectives on what is interesting subject matter. I never know what my Holga will add to the image I think I’m taking.
I have even stopped using my viewfinder which is especially useful in street photography.
I have often forgotten to roll the film and ended up with double-exposures that were much more interesting than what I had originally aimed for.
The possibilities are endless even thought my control over them isn’t and what photographer isn’t a bit of a control freak at times? It’s liberating.
Even if you enjoy the technical aspect of photography, I’m sure you’ve reached a point when you just lost the magic of what originally attracted you to photography.
- Maybe you’ve had too many limitations put on you by clients or too many assignments that are leading you in directions you just aren’t interested in.
- Maybe you just got too wrapped up in getting some result you see in your mind to enjoy what you are doing.
- In any of these situations, picking up a Holga, seeing the world like a child and enjoying your play time with your toy camera will be immensely rewarding.
- You might even end up carrying around your Holga with you like I do…”just in case”.
Student Guest Post by Alyssa Patton
Editors Note: I have several Holgas, and other toy cameras, as well. Below is one source for a Holga at PhotographyUncapped affiliate Amazon:
Do you use a Holga? Do you use another Toy Camera? Comment below, please.