Sunday, March 19, 2017

The Curious Case of the Sunrise Holga

There’s been a bit of a buzz online recently about the reintroduction of the iconic piece of image-making plastic known as the Holga 120N camera. LA-based Freestyle Photo, for one, plans to have the camera available for delivery in a few months time (sometime in June/July).
But here’s the funny thing, you can order this camera right now on eBay. As a matter of fact, it’s been available for order on eBay for a few months now. And as an early adopter, I placed my order in late December 2016 from a Hong Kong seller and received the camera early in January.

The camera is now made by an entity called “Sunrise”. The label on the front of the camera above the lens now says “Holga 120N by Sunrise”. It sure looks like the original Holga 120N. And much like the original Holga, it comes with a couple of masks (for square and rectangular images), a strap and a lens cap that you should immediately throw away (or you’ll forget that it’s still on your camera after you’ve shot a couple of rolls of film). It even comes with a small instruction booklet for those who may just be beginning their Holga adventure.

I wish I could report that the camera actually works like an original Holga 120N. I tested it out by shooting one roll of B&W recently and, much to my surprise, nearly every frame had been struck by light somehow getting into the camera. Hmmm. I wasn’t really sure how this happened, so I persevered and shot another roll. For the most part, the results were identical. Perhaps a couple of good frames and several fogged frames. Ok, I thought. I’ll tape up every seam on the camera body and shoot yet a third roll. No luck. One good frame and eleven light struck frames.

The strange thing is the fogged frames don’t look like typical Holga light leaks where light gets in through the back of the camera and an imprint from the film paper backing shows up on your negative. This looks like the light is somehow entering the camera through the front, perhaps even through the lens/shutter area(?). I did watch the shutter fire several times and it seems to be working normally. I removed the back and placed the camera on a light table. I shut the room lights off and fired the shutter multiple times and, perhaps it’s my imagination, but it did look like the may have been some extraneous light bouncing around inside the body. There is a small gap around the end of the factory supplied mask and it looks like there’s a bit of light entering through there. So I’ll most likely tape this up and try another (the fourth) roll.

I’m posting some results here so you can see some of the strangeness happening with this particular camera. I’m really hoping that I got a “bad” one. Being the glutton for plastic camera punishment that I am, of course, I immediately bought another one. I’m hoping to shoot a roll with this “new” camera in the next week or so.

The photos:

This one is perhaps the most "normal" of any of the 36 images made with the three rolls of film I shot with this camera. No technical difficulties here, just that usual Holga look.

Here, the image is visible for the most part but there are major light leaks on top and on the left. And I'm not totally sure what's happening with those sun like orbs of light near the top left center of the frame.
I do sort of like this defective image, however.

These four images are typical of the majority of the frames on the three rolls of film. Thirty one of the thirty six frames looked pretty much like these.
The light leaks on the top and left are pretty dominant and there's even a hint of light striking the film on the right on one of them.
I guess I was shooting trees that day.

In the meantime, color me skeptical regarding the new Sunrise Holga 120N. And if anyone out there has bought one, I’d love to hear from you.
In the meantime, I'm off to shoot a couple more rolls of film.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Sunday, February 26, 2017

2017 Krappy Kamera Show

I am happy to say that my image, "Albuquerque #2", will be a part of this year's Krappy Kamera show at the Soho Photo Gallery in New York City. The juror for this year's show was photographer and Shots Magazine publisher Russell Joslin.
The show will run from March 8 through April 1 with an opening on March 7 from 6-8 p.m.
This image was made in, you guessed it, Albuquerque, New Mexico with a Holga camera.
It's always a great display of images created with "alternative" cameras, so if you're in NYC during the show, please check it out.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

RayKo 10th Annual Juried International Plastic Camera Show

It's that time of year again for my favorite plastic camera show, the 10th Annual Juried International Plastic Camera Show at the RayKo Gallery in San Francisco, CA.
I am fortunate to have three images in this year's show: "Antelope Canyon", South Granville, Prince Edward Island" and "Black Sun, Camel Butte".
The show will run from March 1 through April 23. The always fabulous opening will happen on March 1 from 6-8pm.
Ann Jastrab was the juror for this (and every year's) show.
If all goes well, I'll be in attendance at the opening. Please say hi if you're there.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Walking Along the Edges

As an inveterate tinkerer of all things photographic, I have added, swapped, moved and deleted more than a few images on my website and I have unearthed yet another series of images that I am calling "Walking Along the Edges".
You can have a look here.
Like most "series" of images that I have (mostly unknowingly) created,
there will surely be changes afoot in the near future.
Probably even tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Castle Hill Trees #3

Ipswich, MA
Kodak Brownie Hawkeye Flash with flipped lens
Expired Kodak Verichrome Pan film

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Mysterious Figures #3

Ipswich, MA
Kodak Brownie Hawkeye Flash with flipped lens
Expired Kodak Verichrome Pan film