Vines Climbing Alley Walls – Holga Film Photography

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

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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Join me at Instagram or Flickr to see a larger version of this scan.

Previously Unpublished – Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art 2004

MOMA Chicago Bronica SQa film photo

Museum of Modern Art, Chicago, Illinois, 2004

This image from a Chicago museum trip lived quietly on a contact sheet and in a binder full of old negatives from photo studies in 2004. I shot a mix of 35mm and a newfangled 2 megapixel digital camera that day, but hefted up the Bronica SQa for this 6×6 square medium format negative to catch a moment of the trip too.

I framed up this shot of patrons in the halls walking, discussing, and enjoying the art as anonymous silhouettes with the help of the camera’s waist level finder. It was a passing pause on a day around the Windy City enjoying art, culture, and image making adventures.

Every walk is a photo walk if you have a camera handy. #JustGoShoot

Tech specs: Camera – Bronica SQa / 75mm f/2.8 Zenzanon lens | Film: Kodak Tmax400 120 black and white roll film | Developer: Kodak D76 standard time & temperature

Prints and gifts from this image available here.

Summer stride

taking a photo walk to school uphill

Every walk is a photo walk if you believe!

Addie joined me for a stroll to pick up big brother & sis from their last week of the school year. Nikon FA 35mm film camera came along too. I’ve been snapping film pics of the near daily walks home from school. Some with the camera pictured, some with stranger contraptions loaded with light sensitive chemical layered rolls of film for surprises to see when I develop them. Life is busy enough without rushing home to edit & post photos. I’m excited to see what comes from the expired color 35mm film, the classic black and white flavors, and the experimental stuff loaded the wrong way just to see what happens.

Charlie the Wonder Hamster Chihuahua

Meet Charlie, our adorably derpy newest member of the family and Rarely Stationary Club.

More of my hip shots & photo rambles on Instagram here.

Go get snapping! #JustGoShoot

No Filter – December Photo Stroll Ramblings

Instagram December walk bench

#nofilter needed while out on a December day that felt more like early spring than a year end holiday countdown.

Happened upon a little beam of warm sunlight making shadows through this bench. Kids are calm, film camera out of the bag to work on completing an old roll of 35mm I know I’ll leave sitting for ages. #istillshootfilm – and I leave it undeveloped for years.

The shutter click is a cathartic song of simpler times, the image making process is merely a pause in the routine of our days so easily lost in the shuffle.

Instagram December walk Minolta X-370 camera

To be clear, I don’t want those days back – they were cashed in to pay my fare to today. My manual focus lenses couldn’t see this far ahead and tomorrow is still beyond my field of view.

Instagram December walk milk barrels

Quiet reminiscence of the eventful year winding down and thoughts to days ahead with those I love. Lens capped & camera back in the bag as the evening calm yields to homework & dinner routines. I crave the quiet calm already. I’ll be back soon.

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Previously Unpublished – Holga 35mm at Shiojiri Niwa – Spring 2009

While rummaging for some #ThrowbackThursday images to Instagram I noted several rolls of unmarked, processed 35mm film I had set aside in 2012 and all but forgotten about until early 2015. Holding the negatives to light I instantly recalled the moments I took with my Holga but was surprised by the images I had waited to see once they hit the scanner.

Holga 35mm film sprocket lens flare at park
Holga 35mm film sprocket photo of lens flare at park

Holga 35mm film multiple exposure tree branches

Holga 35mm film sprocket stairway shadow zigzag abstract
Holga 35mm film sprocket photo – stairway shadow zigzag abstract

If the above image of the zigzag shadow on concrete stairs looks familiar, there was a megapixelized version of it posted years back as a Previously Unpublished entry. I had forgotten I made a Holga film exposure of the abstract detail as well.

Holga 35mm film sprocket photo of spring blossoms

Holga 35mm film sprocket photo end of roll
End of roll.

For more low-fi film photography loving images, check out this Lomography Stream here.

World Photography Day (Shutterbug Family Portraits)

Grab your gear. Go shoot.

The last day of summer vacation winds down as the exposure dials hit their limits and rolls of film wind back into canisters, the last of the instant film ejects, and a memory card is downloaded. Today was a naturally great day for making photos. Plenty to look back on as the summer concludes and the new school year approaches.

I loaded the last of my FujiFilm FP-3000B black & white instant film into the 1960s Polaroid Automatic 100.

My trusty Minolta X-370 was still working on a roll of Ilford Delta 3200 so I got to snapping with that too – through a 28mm, 50mm, and 135mm. Love those lightweight manual focus prime lenses.

World photography day Polaroid siblings

Instagram would feel left out, so I threw it some photos of film gear and prints.

world photo day polaroid land camera automatic100

world photo day fujifilm black and white polaroids

And then the brainstorms hit minutes before thunderstorms arrived, the kids and I took as much camera gear outside as I could remember where it was squirreled away, and set up a self-timer shoot to end the summer properly. Kodaks and Argus and Minoltas, oh my! Kodak Instamatic, a few One Touch Sx-70 Polaroids, Argus C4, 35mm Nikons from fully manual FM to fully auto N65, bags of accessories to boot.

world photography day family portrait 1

world photography day photographers

world photography day family portrait

 

Read more about today’s photographic holiday at www.worldphotoday.org/

Drop me a line to set up a shoot of your own – digital, film, no big whoop.