By Kate Ferguson
I really love shooting 120 film on a Holga. Holga’s are affectionately referred to as “toy” camera because they don’t have any real settings. You can switch between portrait and landscape type options but beyond that, there’s no adjusting for light or focus. That’s pretty similar to how a disposable camera works, except that while a disposable camera comes fully loaded and put together, a Holga is self-loaded and does not include a flash. Due to the very basic design of their plastic cases, they’re prone to light leaks, and since you self wind, it’s easy to stop between frames and create double exposures.
Most of the 120 film photos I shoot with Holga feature both light leaks and double exposures. (That’s how I like them!) Sometimes I slightly edit these photos for color or contrast before I post them, but in this series I’m showing you mostly the raw images, just as I got them back from the developing lab.
Sunset in Venice Beach
So this shot is actually two different photos of two different pools put together. One of them is a black and white 120mm film shot of a Los Angeles pool, and one is a digital photo of a Palm Springs pool. They were shot the same weekend one summer and then I put them together. So this one is edited, but the black and white portion is as developed.
This is another close crop of a shot I took in Joshua Tree, at my uncles’ property Shelter. The double exposure features a metal tub you can dip in out there in the desert.
This image, shot in Hollywood, CA, not only has some double exposure action going on, but it has full-on sprocket light leaks! This could be avoided by taping or rubberbanding the case of the Holga closed, but I encourage it. The newer Holga’s are made to fit more tightly so this might not occur as much naturally, but some people throw their Holga’s around to warp the seals a bit. (Literally, like toss them to the floor.)
This image was shot near my apartment in Hollywood. I love how this one sort of looks like a box closing in or something. I don’t know how that happened. Beauty of a Holga.
This was also taken in Joshua Tree. There’s no flash on a Holga, so as you can tell, there’s lots of dark stuff going on indoors. However, the outdoor light was so bright that it caught some interesting details anyway. As usual, there’s a double exposure going on.
Venice palm trees, three different ways.