Holga-ish

Ok, so I lied. I was a purist for the last 20 years of my photographic life. Now that I’ve started a blog, and am lacking in the (sometimes forced) daily creativity, I’m finding that there’s nothing at all wrong with post-processing. Especially when with one hit of a button, a quite bland quick shot of an airplane – the trees, clouds, flowers and bugs just weren’t jumping out at me today – can become something a lot more mysterious and powerful.

So I checked out wiki, and learned something new today. Holga is a toy camera that “often yields pictures that display vignetting, blur, light leaks, and other distortions.” In other words, taking your picture from bland to WHAM. Yes, in all caps, it’s that special. Why don’t you give it a whirl yourself?

Image

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4 thoughts on “Holga-ish

  1. jaydavisphotography says:

    I owned a Diana camera a long time ago and it is similar to a Holga. I’m a professional aviation photographer and really like your shot. Looks different and that is cool !

  2. warblerific says:

    Thanks for the kudos – much appreciated!

  3. Bill says:

    I thought I was doing the “purist” thing, too. Then I looked back at what I was really doing all those hours in the darkroom, and decided to stop kidding myself.

    Photographers have post-processed from the time of Daguerre. Ansel Adams was a master of controlled development, burning and dodging as well as planning and exposure. In a sense, all studio photography is “pre-processed” by suiting the environment to the camera, film and subject, and eliminating practically all the variables but model cooperation and clumsy assistants (may their tribe be infested with the fleas of a thousand camels).

    Digital is just another step forward in the art, like Kodachrome, Accufine, gel filters and the Hasselblad. And no chemicals! That said, like any kind of photography, be it tintype, film or whatever comes next (lensless photography is my guess), it’s still garbage in, garbage out. If you don’t have the eye, it doesn’t matter if you’re using a Hasselblad with a 54 megapixel back or a Wal-Mart $69 special; a netbook or a Mac Pro.

    You’ve got the eye. That’s the processing that counts.

    • warblerific says:

      I’ve always heard the Ansel Adams darkroom example, but I’ve never really thought of studio photography as being manipulated as well. But you’re right – an image is rarely (if ever) a duplicate of reality. I guess I need to recognize the creative process, and allow for the artist’s perspective to shape the image. What worries me is when ‘people’ (the generic public) start to believe that images are reality – airbrushing models, HD sunsets, a multitude of hot air balloons added to the sky – all totally acceptable artwork, yet definitely distortions of reality to the uninformed eye. That was always my fear when entering the digital realm – are we misleading viewers, are is it just art? Because I focus (harhar) on the natural world, I want to leave my images as unchanged as possible, so the viewer can admire what is really out there, and potentially see it for themselves, rather than always be disappointed that they missed a crazy orange/red HD sunset, that may never be a realistic possibility. But I agree, the 2 main components for a great image are 1) lighting and 2) the photographer’s eye. If you’re missing one or the other, an image will be mediocre at best.

      Ok, caffeine/photographic adrenaline rush is over. Feels good to hash this out philosophically – thanks for the chance to do so. Oh, and thanks for suggesting I’ve got the eye – means a lot, especially coming from someone with your talent.

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