Category: Photography

Sprocket Shots and Bulb Fraughts


The last roll of film I developed was the first time I made the mistake of using the bulb setting on my Holga 135 without returning it back to normal when I was done. Not only that, but I managed to rip the end of the film when I was trying to wind it back into the canister.

I have read about many people making the same mistake with the bulb and I have always been conscious to set it back. Not this time. Nearly all the photos came out blurry because of this, which was slightly disappointing, but some were salvageable I suppose. Better to make all the mistakes on one roll of film.

My word of advice and a lesson that I learned from this, is to make sure you know how many exposures you have on your roll of film. The film I used had 24 exposures, and the reason the film ripped was because I tried to take a 25th exposure. Upon winding the film back, it completely tore off the last few photos. I heard it ripping and after that there was nothing else to do but bring the camera in and see if the Walgreens Photo Man could help me. He did. He got the loose film out and was able to develop the photos, which I would soon find out were all blurry anyways.

Here is what to expect if you completely f*ck up all your creativity and hard work:

holgafail2You can see the tear and the sprockets… however that managed to happen. But I think it did come out kind of cool.

holgafail1Blurry, and more sprocket holes! Yes!

holgafail3This one is neat looking. The one thing I like about the bulb setting screw up in this photo is you can see the movement: Andee struggles to zip her massive coat.

holgafail4This one was my favorite of the whole roll. Lots of eery motion. Almost looks like she is floating over the street.

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.


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.


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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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!