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My Flying 120N Holga

Working in the photography department at the South Australian School of Art for the last six years, I have seen photos shot from just about every angle conceivable. Developing my own work to stand out from the norm led me to combining a few obsessions; Holgas, electronics, and radio-controlled multirotor aircraft.

The first challenge to overcome was getting a fully manual Holga 120N to be able to be shot from 300+ feet in the air. The answer came in the form of two radio-controlled servo motors and a Arduino micro-controller. One servo activates the standard Holga shutter, the other servo detects this action (via the Arduino) and advances the film one frame, the camera is capable of shooting at the blistering speed of one frame per second.

The next challenge was trying to see what is was that I was aiming the camera at. A miniature video camera mounted in the Holga’s viewfinder combined with a video transmitter sends the live feed back to a set of video goggles to allow accurate composition of shots. Getting the camera in the air is the job of a multi-rotor copter or UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle), a battery powered flying craft capable of carrying the Holga for about ten minutes up to a range of approximately 1.5kms. I am currently experimenting with different films, but have found T-Max 100 and Velvia 100 to work extremely well for the subjects I am shooting. Recent media and paranoia have led a lot of people to fear ‘drones’ or flying cameras, this project is to show that the technology can also be used to create.

written by dsyfer


  1. wuxiong


    excellent Holga flying...^..^

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  2. stouf


    This is bloody fantastic! You did a wonderful job. My poor mechanical attempt (http://www.lomograph(…)241-ikaro-1) seems really outdated now : ) If I may, I'd recommend an aperture fix (http://www.lomograph(…)ovely-holga), with a 400 iso film, to get sharper results. Once again, bravo!

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  3. vicuna


    wow, that's amazing!! Congrats for the great job!! And I love these aerial Holga shots :)

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  4. dsyfer


    Thanks guys, I plan to put up a heap more aerial images as soon as I get the time.
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  5. stouf


    ...and could you lift this ? (http://www.lomograph(…)ower-winder)

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  6. carsten-schmitt


    Holga Drone! :-)

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  7. ohlordy


    holy shit balls batman!

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  8. istionojr


    awwwesome! the square format makes it more great to see.

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  9. icaicarus


    This is freaking awesome! Great idea, wonderful job and lovely results. I bet you got a lot of fun with your flying analogic friend

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  10. castiana



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  11. digitaljunk


    Wow, well done!
    ...plus a 1-second motor winder for the Holga, ha ha. That must be a first!

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  12. dsyfer


    Hey all, just got back from putting three rolls through the Holga, I built a better flying tripod to suit the Holga (plus I have ordered a pano Holga). Just put a couple more pictures in my gallery from the previous shoot. Thanks for the awesome comments :)
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  13. nuhdos


    Great! It feels like there's no limit to our imagination :D good luck with your future projects ; )

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  14. drito

    This is pretty awesome! I really want to build a motion censor activated auto-winding holga, and your pictures have really given me a good idea on how facilitate activating the shutter and winding the film, could you spare any more details on how you did it?
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This is the original article written in: English. It is also available in: Spanish, Československy & Français.