inspiration

Miroclicks

Holga 120 CFN and Lomography Redscale 100 film.

Holga 120 CFN and Lomography Redscale 100 film.

One of the fun techniques you can try with the Holga is that of microclicks. This form of panoramic photography yields stretched, a bit translucent images. The process is about the same as making an endless panorama: shoot a picture, do not advance all the way, shift your view a bit, and shoot again. Keep doing this until you have everything in the picture that you want. The difference is that with microclicks, you only advance a very small amount, two or three “clicks”. When advancing the film in the Holga, you hear or feel some kind of small clicks, like the teeth of a cog wheel. These are the microclicks you use as an indication for how far you advance.

Of course, you can do this trick with other cameras as well, as long as there is no guard agains double exposures and you can advance random distances. The advantage of the Holga is that it clicks audibly.

How many clicks you need to flush exactly depends on your preference. I myself find three a nice amount. With more clicks, it becomes an endless panorama. Nice too, but different. With fewer clicks, the picture can quickly become a but too stuffed.

Keep in mind that a microclick picture produces an overexposed picture, so 800 iso film may not be the best choice. Redscale works well, since it’s almost impossible to overexpose. Or black and white, that usually can take some extra light as well. Still, at first it will probably take some trial and error how many layers you can shoot for a good picture. I have obtained wonderful results, but also blurry blobs. Either way, it’s fun to play with. At best, you have beautiful, etheral landscapes. Or buildings that look like they are vibrating. The distinctive darkening strips on the side of the image give the picture a little extra depth. A little bit like looking through a tunnel, or going very fast in an old science fiction movie.

Advertisements

Architectural Flowers

Holga 120 CFN and Fomapan 200 film.

Holga 120 CFN and Fomapan 200 film.

A fun technique for getting cool double exposures is using a splitzer. A splitzer is a fancy name for half a lens cap that coveres half the lens. It’s simple, and fun to use. You cover half of the lens, take a picture, do not advance, cover the other half of the lens, and take another photo. This way you can make beautiful in-camera remixes, no Photoshop needed.

Holga 120 CFN and Lomography Redscale XR 50-200 film.

Holga 120 CFN and Lomography Redscale XR 50-200 film.

On the Lomography website, I came across a few photo albums by user maximum_b (https://www.lomography.com/homes/maximum_b) with wonderfull semi-abstract images of buildings. A kind of christmas baubles made of skylights and windows. They were made with a quarter-splitzer. Or a 3/4 splitzer: with three-quarters of the lens covered. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so I blatantly copied the idea and tried the 1/4 splitzer.

Holga 120 CFN and Lomography Redscale 100 film.

Holga 120 CFN and Lomography Redscale 100 film.

Assembly was easy as pie: strip of cardboard around the lens, circle and cut out, cut out the quarter circle, tape here, tape there, done.

Holga with 1/4 splitzer.

Holga with 1/4 splitzer.

The trick is then to put the quarter splitter on the lens and take a picture (keeping in mind what quarter of the image will be visible). Do not advance the film. Then turn the splitzer a quarter turn, and turn the camera a quarter turn. You should now have the same corner exposed. Take the same picture again, and still do not advance the film. Do that two more times, so that all four quarters of the negative are exposed to the same image.

For the best globe effect, you should be looking for a building that strikes a bit of a point against the sky. A corner of a modern building gives a nice, tight view, but turrets and the like of older buildings can also provide an interesting image. It takes a bit of experimenting what buildings give a nice result. Personally, I think it’s most beautiful if the image is as symmetrical as possible. All four the quarters the same, nicely centered. With some clouds in the background you´ll get a beaufiful architectural balloon.

Holga 120 CFN and Lomography Redscale 100 film.

Holga 120 CFN and Lomography Redscale 100 film.

The result is super cool. The best pictures look like architectural flowers or stars. It’s an effect that goes very well with redscale film, or expired slide film. Ordinary color film tends to get overexposed, but that does not happen quickly (rather the opposite) in redscale. Black and white also looks beautiful.

Holga 120 CFN and Fomapan 200 film.

Holga 120 CFN and Fomapan 200 film.

As far as camera choice is concerned, I prefer the Holga. I have used the Diana F+ as well, but with that lens, the end result is just too image-filling to my taste: the image spills off the sides of the picture.

Diana F+ and Fuji Provia 400X film.

Diana F+ and Fuji Provia 400X film.

Square images work best, which quickly leads to 120 film. Ihis also has the advantage that you have a high resolution and you can get the overlapping details in the center of the picture beautifully clear. But who knows, maybe it works on 35mm as well. I should try with the Diana Mini some time.

Holga 120 CFN and Fuji T64 Pro film.

Holga 120 CFN and Fuji T64 Pro film.

Flashy Holga

Holga 120 CFN and Fuji Velvia 100F

Holga 120 CFN and Fuji Velvia 100F

One of the advantages of the Holga 12 CFN is the built-in flash. Not just any flash, but one with four color modes: white, yellow, red and blue. You can do fun things with a flash like that.

In general, don’t use the flash that often. With the simple cameras and flashes I prefer, when you use the flash you can easly kill a photo by flooding it with hard light. A colored flash in itself is not necessarily a bonus either. It can all too quickly lead to an monochrome flood of color. Maybe fun at start, but I quickly grow tired of it. This is actually the main reason why I was disappointed at first when I got my Colorsplash camera.

Holga 120 CFN and Lomography  CN 800 film.

Holga 120 CFN and Lomography CN 800 film.

But unlike the Colorsplash, you can make double exposures with the Holga CFN. And then those colored flashes do become fun. By shooting a few layers while flashing with a different color each time, a festive mix of colored layers is created. Especially in party situations, this works very well, as if you are recording the disco strobe. But a harsh camping trip also can also be improveved with some colors.

Holga 120 CFN and Lomography  CN 800 film.

Holga 120 CFN and Lomography CN 800 film.

It works best when it’s dark. In theory, you could also flash in daylight and make multiple layers. However, with too much light, the different color layers don´t really come across.

Holga 120 CFN and Fuji Velvia 100F

Holga 120 CFN and Fuji Velvia 100F

A variant is advancing the film al bit between each layer you shoot. This will give you a more elongated photo in which the time passes in different colors.
It’s a simple trick that gives a spectacular result.

Holga 120 CFN and Fuji Velvia 100F

Holga 120 CFN and Fuji Velvia 100F

Happy Little Trees

As a student, I used to enjoy watching the show of painting guru Bob Ross. It was beautiful, restful TV after coming home from pub or disco. While describing everything he did in that warm, friendly voice of his, Ross effortlessly painted scenes of idyllic scenery. All in exotic/familiar sounding colors like cadmium yellow and Vermeer brown, and not even with brushes, but just with a palette knife. Then, just as I, still half drunk, would think “boy, that guy sure can paint beautiful scenes”, he would say something like: “This cloud is lonely, it needs a little friend,” and bam! A huge pine tree straight through the image. What a waste of a perfectly good, I thought.

But let’s face it, Bob was right. That everyone needs a friend, but also that a landscape is often hugely improved with a tree in the foreground. It gives depth to the image, which otherwise can easily become somewhat flat and monotonous. It is a well-known rule in landscape photography that a good picture has a foreground, a middle bit and a background. A tree is often an effective foreground.

Going through my pictures, I indeed have many pictures of (forest) scenery with such a tree through the image. I also have plenty without that tree, but those with trees are often really better. That Bob Ross was an even better painter that I thought in my twenties.