Anticipating a foggy walk home along the harbour later in the day, I packed my crappy, plastic Holga with me, loaded with a roll of black and white film. I love the fog this time of year because it’s usually quite thick and chilly, a combination that means I have the harbourfront boardwalk to myself. On this particular afternoon, the fog was very thick, and along with the plastic-lens camera and the black-and-white film, it was easy to shoot a roll in the twelve minute walk home from work. It was a bit too easy actually.
This lo-fidelity, grungy look has made a bit of a comeback lately thanks to a couple of iPhone camera apps called Hipstamatic and Instagram. While I enjoy both of them, the novelty wears thin quickly as I know it’s just a phoney digital filter producing an effect. I just don’t get any real satisfaction from faking it. With this roll I got giddy pulling the film off the reel, I could tell right away they turned out the way I had hoped they would. Most people think I would have gotten bored of the chemical process by now, but I haven’t. When I pull a successful roll from the tank, I still get a rush. For me anyway, I think that means I’m doing it right.
This plastic camera with its crappy plastic lens and even worse exposure ‘metering’ is such a fun tool to shoot with. It completely frees me from the more technical and precise process photography usually is. You just load it with 400 speed film, set the exposure to either sunny or cloudy, set the focus to somewhere between close and far away and snap. Then wind it and do it again. It doesn’t get much simpler and enjoyable than that. I might be posting quite a few from this roll.
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