Understanding Leaks, Streaks and Bent Images


Lecture for newbies: How to embrace light leaks and unpredictable effects from your Holga.

Maybe you are like me, and bought a Holga because you knew it would have “charm” and “character”. But then you find out after a few rolls of film, that it doesn’t leak like you thought it would and all that black tape was not needed. Well, here is a way to get some leaks, streaks, extra blurring and crazy effects on your shots.

All you need to do, is to remove the film mask from the inside. Then take some masking tape and cover the sharp edges where the mask was, so the film will not get scratched up when it goes past. Yes, shoot without any film mask. Without the mask, a few things can happen. You will let in some light at the top of your images making some interesting bright white and red leaks. I also get some streaks of light across the image sometimes as well.

But maybe the coolest part is how the film does not rest flat inside the camera anymore. This can create images where straight lines are totally bent! And if you scan your own negatives, you can find some interesting leaks, colors and other effects at the edges of the image, past the traditional 6×6 scan area!

Combine this with slide film and be sure to x-pro it, surely you’ll get some WILD photos!

written by abdukted1456 on 2009-06-13 #gear #tutorials #mods #light-leaks #tipster #modification #holga #film-mask


  1. vicuna
    vicuna ·

    You're right about the mask, I NEVER used it! That gives your pic much more vignetting and irregular borders...

  2. eyecon
    eyecon ·

    # 6 is a supergreat shot!!!

  3. sibu_sen
    sibu_sen ·

    Ooo, nice shots! And a great tip, I didn't know this! Will definitely try this, as I have never really been happy with my Holga shots… Maybe this will help! :D

  4. stouf
    stouf ·

    Nice results ! And it's crazy, in the first one, it's like there are Northern lights !

  5. deniscaplang
    deniscaplang ·

    loose the mask, loose the lens cap, loose the metal strap!

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