Why I love my Holga

7

As we all already know, the Holga is a cheap, light-weight camera from China that comes with a plastic lens and also a plastic body. Although it is known as a toy camera, it is not actually made for small children. I hated it at first but eventually fell in love with it!

The first time I tried a Holga was 8 years ago, I was 17. I totally hated it, I thought it was stupid. The back cover of the camera falls off so easily. I was told to use black tapes all around my camera to prevent light leaks. The film was too big, and nobody wanted to develop it. Plus I looked like a total idiot carrying that camera around. My first roll was crap, I just didn’t see the point of it and moved on to other cameras.

One day, after I got back from the beach with a friend, he showed me the pictures that he had taken during our trip with his Holga. I couldn’t believe them, they were surreal, magical. I had to be able to take the kind of pictures that he took, but I didn’t have any money to buy a Holga at the time. I found another friend who didn’t want her 120CFN anymore who asked me if I would like to trade a pair of my shoes for her camera. I even got some free rolls of films! Fate has brought me to my camera. It came to me.

The Holga has very minimal control, the light settings are sunny and cloudy. It has bulb and normal shutter settings, marked as B and N. The focus settings include one person, three person, many people and mountains. My Holga does have 4 colors of flash though, and my personal favorite is the yellow flash.

There really isn’t much that my Holga can do, in fact it does so many mistakes with its light leaks and accidental multiple exposures. If I had to sum my Holga up in a word it would be unpredictable; I guess that’s what I love so much about it. Now days, I no longer tape my camera to prevent the light leaks, I let my Holga do whatever it wants to do.

I love how it how my camera exaggerates whatever it is I see through my lens. I love thinking of ways to hack and tweak the camera. I love the excitement of waiting for my films to be developed and seeing what disaster it did this time. Though it occasionally lets me down, I know it will make it up to me the next time I develop films out of it.

I don’t think the term “Don’t think, just shoot” ever works for me. I don’t like to waste my film, because of this (actually, just mostly money) limitation that I have on myself, it forced me to look at things in a different way. It thought me to not think so much of what other people think, so I can do whatever I want to do. See people at a different angle. I watch things more closely and I am more careful. It also thought me to be patient. I constantly think of how things could look like and how I could try to make that happen. My Holga honestly thought me so many things.

Today my Holga lives in my oversized handbag or in my car. It also has made yet another best-friend. I think it’s happy.

written by spidereightlegs on 2010-09-10 in #lifestyle #holga #love #lesson #best-friend

7 Comments

  1. mephisto19
    mephisto19 ·

    super sweet article!!!! but be careful with your holga in the car - it can melt....

  2. mephisto19
    mephisto19 ·

    super sweet article!!!! but be careful with your holga in the car - it can melt....

  3. la-urbanista
    la-urbanista ·

    I am thinking if getting a Holga. Now I certainly will. :-)

  4. cruzron
    cruzron ·

    @la-urbanista - go get one! i promise you wont regret it. make sure you get lots of light for the first few rolls first before experimenting :)

  5. eva_eva
    eva_eva ·

    i had this crappy holga camera too! too big that i seldom will bring him out for an outing, but, seriously, im in love with the outcome of this crappy camera thou :) nice story and photo gallery!

  6. ayo_ari
    ayo_ari ·

    nice story! i've got a diana f+ and i swear when i bought it i felt the exact same way! haha!

  7. reefjj
    reefjj ·

    I just got a Holga too!

More Interesting Articles

  • The Lomography XPro Slide 200 Film and My Holga: An In-Depth Review

    written by Lorraine Healy on 2015-03-23 in #gear #reviews
    The Lomography XPro Slide 200 Film and My Holga: An In-Depth Review

    An Argentinean writer and photographer living in the Pacific Northwest, Lorraine Healy is a long-time fan of plastic cameras and is the author of "Tricks With A Plastic Wonder," a manual for achieving better results with a Holga camera, available in eBook form at Amazon.com. In this article, Healy explains how she fell hard in love with the Lomography XPro Slide 200 film and why she takes it on her many travels.

    3
  • December 5th Advent Offer: Looking for a terrific camera for the holidays? (Online Code: BRIGHTDELIGHT15)

    written by jacobs on 2014-12-05 in #news
    December 5th Advent Offer: Looking for a terrific camera for the holidays?  (Online Code: BRIGHTDELIGHT15)

    It's the most wonderful time of the day — Lomography Advent deal time! We're back and at it with a sweet 15% discount on all La Sardina cameras! Already have one? Well get another one, or treat yourself or your friends to any of our plastic bodied cameras using our continued discount today. The more, the merrier!

  • Lomo'Instant First Impressions

    written by sanamiii on 2014-10-02 in #reviews
    Lomo'Instant First Impressions

    I was very excited when Lomography announced the Lomo'Instant Kickstarter project. I love instant photography since I can share the happiness instantly with my friends. Although I already have an Instant camera, I could not resist getting a Lomo'Instant White Edition on Kickstarter!

    2
  • Shop News

    Fisheye One Pearl Blue

    Fisheye One Pearl Blue

    Snap dazzling 35mm fisheye shots at the push of a button with this shimmery blue lightweight beauty.

  • December 4th Advent Offer: Looking for a terrific camera for the holidays? (Online Code: BRIGHTDELIGHT15)

    written by jacobs on 2014-12-04 in #news
    December 4th Advent Offer: Looking for a terrific camera for the holidays?  (Online Code: BRIGHTDELIGHT15)

    It's that time again — the Lomography Advent deal of the day! If you're in search of a beautiful gift for creative folks or looking to get into the game yourself, we've got your back. Today's super deal is on our Diana F+ and Diana Mini, as well as a continued discount on our plastic bodied cameras.

  • Creative Vision, Personified:The Community's Most Creative Lomographers

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-02-03 in #world #lifestyle
    Creative Vision, Personified:The Community's Most Creative Lomographers

    As Steve Jobs puts it, "creativity is just connecting things." It's all about tracing one's experiences and pushing the boundaries of what's already known to establish new things. The Lomography community is no stranger to these instances. In fact, the community is filled with brilliant minds who are always ready to refine existing techniques and look for innovative ways to express their visions and ideas. Here are just a few of the creative lomographers we've come to love over the years.

    9
  • Pushing Boundaries: Multiple Exposing Film Soup

    written by Amber Valentine on 2015-04-21 in #world #tipster
    Pushing Boundaries: Multiple Exposing Film Soup

    As you may have read in my previous article, I truly fell in love with Lomography when I combined my Fisheye camera with an old Canon AE-1 for magical photographic results. Last summer, I took so many pictures of flowers that it started to become almost boring for me. My waning interest and the coming winter meant that I had to figure out something else to do with my 35mm film.

    1
  • Shop News

    Immortalize your best shot on Aluminium!

    Immortalize your best shot on Aluminium!

    Carefully enlarged from your negatives onto premium photographic paper by lab professionals, each picture is a unique piece of craftsmanship.

  • How To Boost Your Creativity With The Nikon F2

    written by alexintheskywithdiamonds on 2015-06-25 in #gear #tipster
    How To Boost Your Creativity With The Nikon F2

    I have been the owner of a Nikon F2 for six months. Known as one of the most powerful, all-mechanical 35mm SLRs, it is indeed the type of camera that will follow you at world’s end.

  • My First Lomo Affair: Litumai and her Diana Mini

    written by icequeenubia on 2014-07-31 in #lifestyle
    My First Lomo Affair: Litumai and her Diana Mini

    She was supposed to get a Diana F+ camera but ended up with its equally charming small sister Diana Mini. Find out why Andrea Lituma, litumai in the Lomography Community, considers this mishap as "the best mistake ever" in this edition of My First Lomo Affair!

  • Registering Moments With the Lomo'Instant

    written by bgaluppo on 2015-05-02 in #gear #lifestyle
    Registering Moments With the Lomo'Instant

    Some people say instant photos bring about a feeling of nostalgia. Although I often use the Lomo'Instant Camera with different crazy accessories such as the Splitzer and color gels, I have to agree there is something about it — dreamy vignettes maybe? — that always makes me want to go back in time and experience it all over again. In the name of analogue photography and good old memories, we passed by some classic spots in Vienna and took one shot after the other. Take a closer look at our gallery.

  • Shop News

    Shoot recognizable images with the Petzval

    Shoot recognizable images with the Petzval

    You want your subject be the center of attention? Petzval lens photos are recognizable for sharpness and crispness in the centre, strong color saturation, wonderful swirly bokeh effect, artful vignettes and narrow depth of field that will make your subjects stand out!

  • Transient Living: Armitage & McMillan in Denver, Colorado

    written by maliha on 2015-01-07 in #world #locations
    Transient Living: Armitage & McMillan in Denver, Colorado

    If you want to know the heart of a person, peek inside his/her wardrobe! And no, nobody famous said that; I only just made it up. But really, don't you think it's true? After all, the way we dress screams our personality; at least for most of us. And that is why, as soon as I land on a new city, one of the things I absolutely must do is find the local boutiques. Sure, I love the fancy chain boutiques as much as the next person, but there's just something else about a local clothing store. It's unique!

  • Lubitel 166+: Lubitel is for Lovers+

    written by adi_totp on 2014-09-05 in #reviews
    Lubitel 166+: Lubitel is for Lovers+

    Lubitel for lovers+. You're probably wondering, "Why is there a '+'?" It's to describe and expand a whole new definition of the Lubitel - in this case, this camera is not only for lovers literally, but also for anyone who loves to shoot portraits, street scenes, objects, and the skies. Do you love to take photos of your lover, your dear friend, your lovely family, your pet, or at the streets? This camera can be used in ALL situations. You can shoot everything that you love with it!

  • Happenings on Film: Yeti Scavenger Hunt in Zaporozhye

    written by mmxi on 2015-07-06 in #world #lifestyle
    Happenings on Film: Yeti Scavenger Hunt in Zaporozhye

    My friends and I teamed up with Photo Art Pro to spread analog love to the Zaporozhye community. Last month, we hosted a Yeti Scavenger Hunt and had a LomoKino camera as prize. We challenged participants to shoot a roll of film based on a checklist. It was tremendous fun!