So I got slightly carried away at SP, killing time at the Design is Kinky store. I treated myself to a Baby Holga aka Micro, Mini or Spy Holga - and while it was 'cheap' in a sense, it was still quite a bit of moolah to splash of a hunk of plastic (even the lens is plastic). I still haven't used it yet. One, because I keep forgetting it is in my bag. Two, I daydream far too much (thus forgetting it is in my bag). Three, I have a fear of failure. So I thought I should have a look around to see what the deal is with the Holga. And check out some of the cool little accessories (getting ahead of myself)...
Measuring 3 inches long and 1 inch wide and high, the Baby Holga truly is palm sized. It only uses 110 film (12 or 24 shot cartridge). I looked up lomography.com for guidance and found these simple 'fundamentals':
Free Yourself from Rules
Holga neither knows nor respects any rules. Its sheer simplicity is your key to power. Think of the Holga not as a camera, but as paintbrush, liberally splashing your medium-format canvas with exactly the elements that you choose. Envision your desires and manipulate your Holga to bring them into reality.
- Embrace Random Results
Holga is a loose cannon; an unpredictable partner who sometimes makes its own decisions despite your most strident attempts at control. Many times, your best creations will be the result of your most foolish mistakes or oversights. Don't fight it! Roll with the punches and stay flexible.
- Disarm Your Subjects
Holga is not one to be taken seriously. It looks oversized, kinda clumsy, a little toy-like, and definitely not intimidating. Your subjects will relax, have fun, and open up for your lens. Go with this. Natural is best - let yourself flow right along with Holga's innate power to strip away pretence and posturing.
- Engage Individuality
Each Holga is unique and different from the rest. Some produce brighter images, some more colorful images. Some leak light through the back, some through the side, and some don't leak at all. Each Holga is an individual, and will leave its special signature on every photograph that it takes. Appreciate these inherent quirks and seek to employ several Holgas for a range of results.
- Get Your Hands Dirty
The simplistic mechanics of Holga invite you to play with them. Dive inside its inner workings and discover what makes the Holga tick. Experiment with different modifications and treatments. Tape up the sides, slap a filter on the lens, pinhole the lens cap. When your camera wears out - cut the springs, streak the lens, or pull out the guts. Experiment and innovate. Get started with the modifications in our instruction book.
Paul Williamson has some great tips for getting started with a Holga - how to find your way around the camera, techniques for experimenting and troubleshooting advice.
You can pick up a Baby Holga online - just type in Holga or Baby Holga in google - there are usually sponsored links on the side leading directly to stores. I found in Australia that Co-Op is the best - they stock awesome products and have a good range of cameras.
These are some shots using the Baby Holga - enjoy!