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Intentional Light Leaks: Holga

Everyone loves a delicious light leak streaking in through the side of a photo. Sometimes they happen on accident, but here’s a cool idea for encouraging awesome light leaks into your photos.

The first time I used 35mm film in my Holga, I quickly realized one of the most important things – tape up the back of your camera, or light will leak in through the counter window, and ultimately over-expose every single shot. Unfortunately this lesson involved me botching an entire roll but hey… that’s part of the game of experimenting with your camera.

Since 35mm film doesn’t have a paper backing like medium format film does, it has no protection from the light seeping in from the little red window at the back of the camera. Without covering this little window your roll will probably bite the dust just like mine did. A regular solution would be to seal this window off to keep everything nice and pitch dark inside the camera, although what you could also try is this:

Instead of completely taping up the little red window, put 3 or 4 layers of painters tape on the window instead, which will intentionally allow some light to pass through (you may need more layers depending on how bright your shooting environment is). What this will do is give a cool little reddish leak in the middle of your photos!!

written by brittany


  1. whatapathy


    wow amazing photos!! what film did u use? :)

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  2. brittany


    @whatapathy - this was a very old, dusty, expired roll of pharmacy-brand film i found under my bed when i moved into my new apartment heh... but you can get this look with any old kind of film :)

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  3. kcl2n311


    great idea!
    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  4. 110isnotdead


    Nice, I love the red in the shots. It really warms them up (for lack of a better term.) cant wait o try this out.

    over 2 years ago · report as spam

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This is the original article written in: English. It is also available in: Italiano & Français.