Friday, July 31

The Holga and Postcards

This is one of my favorite pictures, out of all those I've taken with the Holga. I was walking around Uptown with my camera and saw a clothing store display where one mannequin had fallen off her stool. It seemed uncommon and looked a little creepy, and the traits of the Holga captured that most satisfactorily.

The Holga was created in Hong Kong, in 1982, by T.M. Lee, and is simply a light plastic toy camera. The seams are imperfect so it allows some light-bleed in the film, and the whole thing (including lens) is made of plastic, so the focus is imperfect--but these qualities have endeared the Holga to artistic photographers. In particular, I use it because it tends to create antique-looking photos with black-and-white film; in color, they look like vacation snaps from the '60s.

The darkened area of the photo, ringing the image from the sides and corners, resembles a technique called vignetting (related to the English vine--imagine it winding around the periphery of an image). It referred to a decorative border surrounding a picture, intended to place the focus upon the subject matter in the center, but also applies to a simple darkening, saturation, or blur effect around the image.

What I did with this photo, and a few others, was e-mail them to Zazzle.com and convert them into postcards. At the time only a few companies offered this service; now, a great many do and rates can be quite competitive, to the customer's advantage. The quality of these postcards was rather nice and I felt pardonably proud in sending them out to friends and pen pals around the world.

2 comments:

BATTLEFINCH said...

i'm wanting one of those now...

Christian said...

One of those is zipping on its way to your location.