Things I Have Learned From An Holga 135

I got this little camera around Christmas time and I have been experimenting with it for the past couple months now. This is what I have learned.

1. This is an Holga 135 toy camera. It takes photos using 35mm film. It is not digital. It’s outside appearance will steal your heart, but what happens on the inside is what will make you fall in love.

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2. Not everything that you see through the viewfinder will be what you see on the photo. This becomes obvious after the first roll of film or so. Aim high, or risk cutting peoples heads off. You can also see that the top of the lens obstructs the view a bit through this über meta photo below.

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3. Double exposure! Since you can expose the film as many times as you want with the Holga, you can take some pretty interesting shots. You will only get to see how they turn out after you get them developed, but that is half the fun!

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4. Patience is key. My first roll of film as a whole sucked because it was completely experimental. There were a few shots that I got out of it that I thought were pretty cool, but the more you shoot, the more you will learn what different lighting will do.

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5. Quality over quantity. You only have so many exposures per roll of film, so I found it is better to take a little time to think about what it is you want to photograph, what will make the photo unique, and how to compose it. You can’t go back and delete, so snapping a photo of everything you see will get expensive.

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6. Film costs money. Duh. Everything costs money. Luckily I got a few rolls of film to start out with, but if you don’t develop your own photos, which is also expensive, you will have to bring them to a lab. I have found I’ve averaged around $8 per folder of prints I have gotten back. So again, quality over quantity.

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7. Observe. I’ve noticed so many more things after going out and taking photos with this camera. Because you don’t get to see the photo right away, you take more time to look at what you are shooting. This is what has made film photography fun for me thus far, and I hope to learn some new things on my next roll of film.

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I am definitely hoping to get better with this little camera and learn a bit more about it! If any, or all, (probably all) of that sounded amateur, that’s because it was. But look out for more where this came from!

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