I never knew cameras can work without batteries! I have always thought that cameras are among the most complicated machines in the world. I always saw cameras as ‘portable eyes’ that records images in a veeery complicated manner. Let me tell you a Love at First Lomo story on how I left my love and came back.
As I was watching TV, I heard the word ‘lomography’ in a magazine show. Just like any teen would do, I googled it. It did not take long before I was dreaming of having my own ‘lomo’ camera.
Photography was always a ‘thing’ for me. I always had this certain attraction to it but only in a casual manner. There was even a significant event in my childhood that involved MY photography, a lot of money and my desire for lobotomy (I want to erase that memory so badly).
I still secretly desired owning a ‘lomo’ camera. Everyday, I searched the Internet for information and even dragged a friend along with me that happened to be a photography student. We were supposed to buy the same camera at the same time but for some reason he got one before I did. Shoot 1 freaking roll with it and let it go. It was basically not his thing. Maybe he’s a digital type of guy, I don’t know. So, after a week he sold the camera to me, discounted. And here is when my real lomo adventure began.
The camera was Holga 120GN, and it came with a Fuji Neopan 400 ISO film. Where should I try it out? In the cemetery, of course!
According to the ever reliable Internet, one should remove the inner frame of the Holga for it to have heavier vignettes. Of course, I want vignettes! So I removed it. I spooled in the film and snapped the back cover. I noticed that there are 2 options. 12 shots and 16 shots. Of course, I went for the 16 shots, duh!
After just 1 roll, I went to the developers and had it processed. I went back and the lady told me that my images overlapped each other. Anxious to see the photos, I asked them if I could use their computer to see my files. And I got these.
I was soooo impressed with the camera and myself that I started shooting almost everyday.
These are some of my shots!
I love shooting so much! I find myself doing lomowalks of my own. My favorite places are cemeteries and other weird places. I wanted to do this forever. But not long after, I realized that this hobby of mine was draining the little money I had. Also I came to the more serious stage of my education…so I had to stop.
Fast forward to late 2011, after I forgot all about my loved camera. I suddenly came across my old albums. I looked at it and I felt the excitement I had a few years ago. Immediately, I stood up and looked for my Holga under a pile of random things. After a few hours, I found it. But the hotshoe is rusty and the shutter is stuck.
Unlike before, I now have a job to that can somewhat suffice my lomo needs so I decided to buy a new camera. I was actually eyeing on a Diana F+. I was about to order it online when I thought I’d give my old holga a chance. I brought it to the camera experts to have it fixed and cleaned. But to my surprise, the fee they’re asking is half the amount of the original price I paid for the camera. So I went home and and the first thing on my mind was to order that Diana.
When I got home I sat in my room, looked at my Holga, removed the back and just immersed myself with the piece of plastic I was holding. Who would have thought that this simple mechanism can take such beautiful pictures. Then it hit me. Since it’s so simple, is it also simple to dismantle it?
I said to myself, If I break the camera (further), I have nothing to lose since it’s already broken in the first place. Then, I will get myself a Diana.
I know you know where this is going.
I opened it up. Sprayed it with WD-40. Screwed it back together and guess what, the shutter now works!
I was really excited to test it so I went out, bought the cheapest film that I saw (which was an expired Centuria 200). I took pictures with it and had it developed in the same day.
Because I was on a hurry, I loaded the film the wrong way! So what happened is that I got redscale photos by accident.
The images were exposed right so it means my Holga is now revived! Not long after, my girlfriend also bought a Holga, and since then we are always shooting together!