Photos of the Week


Like aliens, Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster, our Photos of the Week theme is a little legendary, hard to catch and all the way breathtaking!


Some lomographers (including me), go their whole lives without encountering one. Getting one is a mystery in itself, leaving camera experts dumbstruck on how to produce one consistently. What are we talking about? Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the infamous number leak – a one-of-a-kind light leak in medium format that emblazons the frame count numbers into your shot, giving it a unique and more often than not, unrepeatable effect.

Some have tried in vain to open the backs of their Holgas a bit but it just results in a normal leak. So how does one do it? No one knows. Sometimes its just a trait of the older Holgas. Maybe someday, we’ll find the answer. But for now, we will have to contend to watch and admire these beauties from our Photos page. Enjoy and start hunting those elusive numbers today!


written by cruzron on 2009-08-27 #news #leak #photos #numbers #selection


  1. ndroo
    ndroo ·

    These are way cool!

  2. ilovemydiana
    ilovemydiana ·

    love them, i always with mine turned out so perfectly imperfect.

  3. alex-vidal
    alex-vidal ·

    Monoflow has some great ones too!

  4. northwardnimbus
    northwardnimbus ·

    its easy! you just have to lightly wind your film. when there are spaces in between the sheets, most prolly it will end up like these. thats a tip

  5. disdis
    disdis ·


  6. strangelilgirl
    strangelilgirl ·


  7. kdstevens
    kdstevens ·

    I say fake. I know of no film that has "13" on it. (See 1st photo.) Nor is there any instance where 666 and 99 underscored would ever occur. I admire the photographers for the creative use of numbers and graphics in their photographs, I think the idea of attributing this to some quirk of the Holga is just silly.

  8. ethermoon
    ethermoon ·

    nice shot with irbypace.... :) yes F tama. i had my rolls not wounded rightly it gave lightleaks that shows numbers... :D

    @kdstevens: what's fake?

  9. cruzron
    cruzron ·

    well, you could unroll a piece of 120 film if you wanna see if its fake or not

  10. sugiyamasatomi
    sugiyamasatomi ·

    sweet selections!

  11. dogma
    dogma ·

    WoW great!

  12. disdis
    disdis ·

    Aha!!! Someone doesn't believe in number leaks...! Should we set up a debate about it... I don't think so.
    @kdstevens: cruzron is right, you just have to unroll a 120 film to check this.

  13. cinzinc
    cinzinc ·

    woaaa! every shot is amazing! this might be my fave "Photos of the week" selection!

  14. xbalboax
    xbalboax ·


  15. xbalboax
    xbalboax ·

    @kdstevens - its not a fake if you set the holga or diana to 16 exposures you will have 16 numbers on the back of the film!

  16. lomodirk
    lomodirk ·

    pretty cool selection

  17. raissuli
    raissuli ·

    When you think nothing more can happen with a 120 film and everything has been explored ... :-)

    Loved the numbers and dots and arrows! Someone must find how to do it intentionally!

  18. xbalboax
    xbalboax ·

    @raissuli you can do it intentionally, just dont wind the film to tight, or after you finish the film you can squeeze the edges alittle to get some light in, just becareful no to squeeze too much.

  19. honeytrees
    honeytrees ·

    i've only ever created two of these. i didn't know how it happened either.
    maybe more will come cause my rolls are often loose.
    really like makeyuu's and irbypace's. :o]

  20. panelomo
    panelomo ·

    i've always liked my photos when these sprockets and number leaks come out - here's mine! (hehe.) -…

  21. kdstevens
    kdstevens ·

    Sorry, everybody, I am mistaken. I had completely forgotten about the additional numbers for 16 frames and for 6x7 and 6x9 formats. An interesting effect--sorry to doubt you all.

  22. day3hugger
    day3hugger ·

    i love these!!!

  23. cruzron
    cruzron ·

    @kdstevens: no worries! back then you'll get it by chance on your holga (thats why people taped them up). nowadays its not really needed anymore. but alas, no paper backing lightleaks anymore :)

  24. reinertlee
    reinertlee ·


  25. mephisto19
    mephisto19 ·

    great selection and thanks for choosing one of my shots, too

  26. kdstevens
    kdstevens ·

    @cruzron: and all--I am convinced that ethermoon, northwardnimbus, xbalboax, and others are on the right track and that it isn't a light leak in the camera that creates this effect but the fact that the older Holgas didn't roll the film tightly on the take-up spool. The new Holgas have corrected that and one of the first hacks that Holga hackers do is to add velcro to the pressure plate or wedge cardboard under the film spool. You should be able to duplicate the effect with any 120 camera simply by removing the exposed film from the camera, and before taping the roll shut, carefully hold the roll in one hand and slowly rotate the spool backwards thus uncoiling the roll and loosening the gap between the film and the backing paper. With practice and experimentation you should be able to get repeatable results. I know that I'm sure going to try it.

  27. irbypace
    irbypace ·

    Thanks for adding me. Awesome images. I just saw this post.... sorry for being late to the game.

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