Vines Climbing Alley Walls – Holga Film Photography

Holga black and white film photo of vines climbing alley garage siding

Perfectly imperfect.

A life motto, really. The toy camera that inspired Instagram, the Holga, was my escape from the Digital SLRs that had helped to jump start my photography endeavors. All that whiz-bang technology, wireless photo transfer accessories, those hours poring over editing presets and bad effects just needed to be simplified.

In addition to instantly reviewing my DSLR shots came the rushed pace of taking, reviewing, editing and uploading photos faster than I could appreciate them. Most of all it was a race to fill social media feeds with snapshots rather than to wait for an interesting subject and make, not just take an image.

Every walk is a photo walk if you believe!

While my children were in school a few blocks away I began walking the neighborhood to pick them up. I had just bought film to try out and it seemed like the perfect time to get to know my surroundings and photograph unique finds along the way. We’d stroll back home together and talk about their day in class, noting interesting architecture, cars, and yard art. I saw vines overtaking a garage along my walk and made sure to bring my Holga along the next time I would be passing by.

This image further illustrates many problems with and characteristics inherent in Holga photography. Most noteworthy of the quirks are light leaks and streaking, questimated zone focusing, unpredictable vignetting, questionable sharpness just to name a few. It is a distant opposite to the clean, crisp, predictable digital image reviewed down to each pixel.

Finally, just go shoot. Whether the results are interesting or artistic are up to each viewer to decide. What I found in carrying my Holga around was that it helped me clear the larger hurdle of just taking a camera along with me. Probably the hardest part for a camera gear collector is just choosing what to bring! Most all my other cameras have multiple lens choices, but my Holga only has that dead-simple “Optical Lens” on the front.

Intention needs action.

A camera with very few options makes that first step to creating a simple choice: take a photo or do not take a photo. There is no try. Either you press the shutter lever and snap an image or you don’t. Whatever photo making thing you’re carrying with you today, #JustGoShoot!

Prints of this photo are available here

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