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 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.



i'm wanting one of those now...

Christian said...

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