Home Sweet Home, Whidbey


A long-time fan of plastic cameras, Argentinean writer and photographer Lorraine Healy is the author of “Tricks With A Plastic Wonder,” a manual for achieving better results with a Holga camera. In this article, Healy shares her images and favorite places of her home base: Whidbey Island, Washington.

Double Bluff beach, Holga N, Reala.

Summer! Even here, in the upper boonies of the Pacific Northwest! We get a lot of visitors when the weather is nice, and photographer friends ask for recommendations of places to shoot. I have taken a few around my turf, and given others some lists of stuff I like to shoot around here; it also gave me the idea of writing some articles for the potential visiting photographer who wants to go beyond Seattle to shoot.

Russian writer Tolstoy famously said: “Paint your hamlet, you will have painted the world.” Well, Whidbey Island, where I have been fortunate to live for the last 21 years, has several burgs, villages, and a biggish city. No hamlets, as such. But I knew that if I went through my files, I would find a lot of images shot here on Whidbey in every season. One of the reasons for this is that, because Whidbey is an island, it is not that simple or that fast to get somewhere else to go shooting. We have a ferry that connects us to the mainland on the south tip of the island, and a couple of bridges on the northern end that allow us to drive into “America”—but either option takes between one hour and a half to two hours, and even more in the summer.

The usual first shot with any new camera: my barn. On the left, shot long ago with a Certo medium format camera, on Bulb, because no other setting worked! On the right, Diana Mini with Lomo Xpro 200 Slide Film slide.

As a result, I tend to photograph on the island A LOT. There are a few places where I return to constantly, in every season, under any light conditions. If you follow me on Lomo, you will surely recognize my barn (above)! That is how I test any new camera (new to me!) that comes my way: I take a shot of the barn. Below there are a number of images of the same tree. This apple tree is about 200 yards from my house, and I walk by it almost every day, or rather Phoebe dog walks me by the tree. It is on the corner of lot that was prepared for building but no house ever went it. The place is kept immaculate, year in, year out.

Clockwise from top left: LC-A 120 (cropped), Smena 35, Fuji 645zi, LC-A, LC-A+, and Certo MF.

Another of my favorite places to photograph: the dump! Let me correct that: our local recycling center. Whidbey Island “is home to 58,211 residents (according to the 2000 census). An estimated 29,000 of Whidbey Island residents live in rural locations.” (according to Wikipedia). So most of us rural residents cart our own garbage and recycling to the dump. The operators of our local recycling center are pretty friendly to photographers, and I usually carry a loaded camera in my vehicle, so whenever I go, I grab a few shots. It is always a fabulous place to get images of pure color and texture, which I use later to “sandwich” on to other negatives.

Freeland Recycling Center. Diana Mini, Lomo Xpro 200 Slide Film.
Compacted cans ready to be shipped to… wherever compacted tin goes to. Holga N.
Fuzzy, too much of a close-up, but fine for color and texture. Holga N.

Near Freeland, the village outside of where I live, there are a couple of great places for landscapes as well as dog-walking. Double Bluff beach is fantastic for photographers from fall to late spring. Summer is not bad, but it is crowded. Fifteen minutes north of Freeland is the locality of Greenbank—a post office, a legendary general store, and the community-owned Greenbank Farm, 150 acres of what used to be the biggest loganberry farm in the world. Today it is an off-leash dog walking paradise, with endless trails and scents to keep any doggie happy.

A lone heron standing on a rock, Double Bluff beach in the middle of winter. Holga N.

Freeland, my home “town,” is not properly a town because it is not incorporated. It is on the south end of the island, and it is not the most picturesque place on it (that would be Langley and Coupeville, we will be “visiting” them soon). But it has some lovely little places that I love to photograph, like these white birches by Holmes Harbor. I have a real weakness for birches and there are not very many around here. Again, I try to catch them in every kind of light, even rainbow light.

Stay tuned, more on Whidbey to come…

This is my 52nd weekly article for the Lomo Magazine. Around this time last year, I challenged myself to reach out to the Lomography folks and offer to write an article a week for a year. I will now be taking a step back, and write about an article a month. It has been a blast and I thank everyone who has read my musings, especially those who added very thoughtful comments. I’ll still be posting, but I need to deal with two oncoming shows, a couple of big commissions, and a trip or three! So, again, thank you all, particularly Eunice Abique, my Lomo editor! Let’s hear it for @icequeenubia, who took a big chance on me!

[Editor's Note: It has been a pleasure reading and editing your weekly articles, Lorraine! Thank you for trusting me with them. Cheers to more adventures!]

Lorraine Healy (@lorrainehealy) is an Argentinean writer and photographer living in the Pacific Northwest. A long-time fan of plastic cameras and she is the author of “Tricks With A Plastic Wonder,” a manual for achieving better results with a Holga camera, available as an eBook from Amazon.com.

written by Lorraine Healy on 2017-07-13 #places #lifestyle #travel #medium-format #35mm #lc-a #color #lc-a #holga135bc #us #diana-mini #washington-state #certo #holgan #lomosupersampler #fuji645zi #whidbey-island #smena-35-120

Mentioned Product

Lomo LC-A+

Lomo LC-A+

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  1. schugger
    schugger ·

    I will for sure miss the weekly dose of @Lorrainehealy articles! Thanks for the great stuff you gave us over the last year! :-D

  2. lomodesbro
    lomodesbro ·

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful back yard and exciting travel adventures

  3. lorrainehealy
    lorrainehealy ·

    @schugger thank you @lomodesbro kia ora, my friends! My articles will be a tad more spaced out but I'll still be at it!!

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