Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Holga Perfect!

I have been thinking for a while about the best possible application for the Holga. My theory was that portraiture would allow the subject of the picture to be accurately portrayed by the relative sharpness in the center of the lens while the background would be “blurred” out and made tertiary (as it should be by a good portrait composition) by the innate optical aberrations of the plastic lens.

If you look carefully at the picture below you will see that is exactly what happened here. 

This is one of my favorite Holga pictures so far, Noah holding his cat Gandalf (if you think the cat’s feet are huge you should see Noah’s feet). Of course I have only shot one roll of film so far. In time I may find other kinds of pictures where Holga excels but for now, I believe the evidence supports my theory.

Kodak Portra 400 processed by The Dark Room.

First Holga Pictures

The first roll of film shot with the new Holga was uploaded to The Dark Room’s web site last night and I am impressed. Even though I applied minimal tape and that only to cover the film number window and to make sure the back didn’t fall off there were no noticeable light leaks and the quality of the pictures was surprisingly good.

The “soft” focus and dreamy look associated with plastic lenses was there of course, along with the trademark color shift and vignette effect at the corners. There is definitely some undefinable characteristic about the unique “look” of the pictures that just seems to charm the viewer into overlooking the imperfection and just accepting the pictures for what they are – Holga!

Here is the Holga shot I promised you in a previous post.

…and here is the same scene shot using the 35mm Vivitar with the 50mm f1.7 lens.

Notice the difference the square format versus rectangular format makes in the overall look. I definitely like the Holga but I have to learn to get closer to my subject and get used to composing the shot with a square format instead of the rectangle format I have been shooting for most of my life. Of course, you can’t get too close or else the subject will end up in the “blurry” areas around the edges of the lens.

Both shots were were made using Kodak Portra 400 and processed by The Dark Room.

More to come – I guarantee!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tallest Building in Mobile

Here’s one of my favorite pictures from the latest batch. The RSA Battle House Tower is the tallest building in Mobile, Alabama. Actually it’s supposed to be the tallest building on the Gulf Coast. It sits right across the river from the tanker we’re building. If only I could get rid of the power lines.

It was shot with Kodak Portra 400 at f11 and 1/250 on a bright but hazy afternoon. Processing by The Dark Room.