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Monday, 18 June 2012


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The Holga is the great equalizer- it's just you, your imagination, and the box. Some of the most moving and beautiful photographs ever created have been taken with one.

For whatever reason, it really seems to piss some people off... (especially the ones with $3,000 boxes).

"(Of course, being me, I couldn't limit myself to even that one basic condition.)"

Such a familiar theme ... In at least one way, we certainly are brothers.

But those of us who march, or dance, to the beat of different drummers can't even organize. We'd all be out of step, trip and fall all over each other. \;~)>


Do you think maybe Mr. Burnett will feature Mr. Snadford's picture in his Holga online gallery?

My observation is the Holga and Lomography group is riding a crest of film revival. When it peters out the Holgas will add to the piles of almost useless Kodak cameras littering the world. It is interesting they just brought out a 127 film camera. Of the models they offer, I like the steampunk look of the metal La Sardina. It is the styling to the body that is attractive, not the quality.

If the mirrorless models are the wave of the future. Then we should expect a revival of the SLR at some point.

David Burnett's magic black box.

I wish I could do half the things (with any camera) that Thomas Michael Alleman does with his Holga.


Robert Holmgrem is no slouch with one either.


I have a friend on Flickr who goes even further down the evolutionary ladder - he shoots awesome pics with a pinhole camera...

I wouldn't diss the Instamatic too much though. Playing with my mom's and then the one given to me for my birthday lead me to be where I am today.

The Holga definitely pisses me off. The examples I see of good photos taken with them could all have been better if taken with a decent camera.

I started with a Instamatic - I still have it somewhere if anyone has some old 126 cartridge film. But it's not true that here was only colour neg. film - my earliest photo albums are all from b & w negs.

I've been using the same Diana camera for 20 years and Holga for 15 years and although they have both broken several times, they are still my favorites when heading out the door. Both can make beautiful pictures and I have a lot of confidence in them.

We did a pinhole project with schools. Self made boxes, paper negatives and pigment prints from the scanned paper negativs. Low cost and a lot of fun with the construction of the cameras and the first time development in the darkroom. The pinhole boxes are on the desk: http://www.thomaskrueger.eu/sestri/

Always thought good-looking cameras were boxy, hump or no hump. My current favorite features a box ensconced in a box.

And what should one do if meeting the basic requirement has a pricetag with five figures?

I know the pigeon safari! We did that too. We had a photo gathering with about 15 photofriends/colleagues. They came with an assortment of Nikons, Sony's, Canons and whatnot, which I asked them to stow in a locker for the day. I then handed out $1 toy camera's of which I'd bought a bag in a toy shop and told them that that was their tool for the day. The funny thing was, the rain never let up that day. It poored and poored. But heck, the camera's were just $1 anyway. So we chased pigeons around the town square, happily snapping away with the camera's. We then held a group exhibition in a gallery with the results of that day. It was tremendous fun and exciting. Lots of pigeon pictures!

"It poored and poored. But heck, the camera's were just $1 anyway."

Nice (accidental?) play on words.

I got back into photography about five years ago because I saw work done with Dianas and Holgas, and after all the sterile fine-grained sharpness and flat colors I had come to associate with the ascendance of digital I became intrigued about the possibilities of photography once more.

Toy cameras are aptly named -- fun times.

My favorite cheap plastic piece of crap camera nowadays is the Gakkenflex TLR.

some Gakkenflex street and some sorta nsfw work

They should call it the Trolga, considering the righteous indignation it provokes.

I have a friend who taught a wet-photography course at a private school. She started them with photograms, just objects laying on photo paper under an enlarger. They stopped with the Holga. She said she just wanted to start them off thinking the photo process was fun, and she said the parents loved it too.... "Hmm, a photography course, how much is that going to cost?" "Well, the camera is $29.95...."

Mr. Bearman is right--cartridge tri-x definitely existed, in 126 and 110. I still have some too.


"cartridge tri-x definitely existed, in 126 and 110"

And even better, Verichrome too!

In any case, the only thing available to me locally at that time was color negative.


Completely off-topic, but "The Basic Requirement of the Box" sounds like the title of a Wallace Stevens poem. Or, given the parallel you made between street photography and poetry in your previous post, maybe not so off-topic.

The thing that bother me about Lomography cameras is this: the makers of the original Diana were (I think) trying to make as good a camera as they could, while still being able to sell it at a very low price. The makers of the modern Dianas and Holgas, on the other hand, just seem to be deliberately trying to make crappy cameras.

I might be late to the party and you've all probably seen this before but I love these box cameras / darkrooms that were "developed" in Afghanistan to provide ID photos.


I love the way everything is condensed into one box and you get a print there and then


You know you're in the realm of willful, pointless self-indulgent snapping when your primary intellectual and creative allegiances lie with the type (or brand) of camera you're using, whether a Holga or a Phase One.

Nevertheless, photography is merely an enjoyable pastime for the overwhelming majority of us. Pleasure is the only compensation we receive for our efforts. So why not be willfully pointless and self-indulgent, eh?! It's true as ever that the medium should generally not be the message. (Sorry Marshall.) But dammit some of these boxes are just plain fun to use, aren't they?

Go for it!

I don't like the generalisations which seem to go with the Lomography community. For that matter, I don't like them one way or the other. Escalating using a crappy camera to an art form without any underlying art doesn't work for me any more than dismissing photographs because they weren't made with the latest, greatest and most expensive gear does.

In the Nancy Rexroth interview she says: "Of course the irony is that The Diana and the Holga are all film cameras, and each roll has to be developed in a darkroom, not a spontaneous thing."

For anyone thinking of building a digital Diana, Nokia, Eriksson and Motorola did this for years.

Can we sit somewhere in between? I, too, am turned off by the perfection of digital cameras (funny I was such a big proponent of it in the 90's). I will just roam the world with my Leica M3 or Nikon F and call it a day.

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