Have you ever used a plastic, toy camera? What fun to experiment with these, especially when we get so worked up with technology in today’s digital world. These little analog beauties give you the freedom to shoot out of focus, over or under-expose your film, and spend a shooting session not thinking about depth of field, f/stop and shutter speed combinations, or worrying about your white balance! Quite freeing really!
The images I’m sharing this week were taken recently with a Holga! This is a completely plastic camera, with a high-quality plastic lens (sarcasm!), and a free-for-all attitude. Mine, well the back is taped on with gaffer’s tape because they are known to pop off randomly while shooting. I like to take photos of my dogs with this camera. Why? I don’t know really because it’s next to impossible to get them in focus, partly because of the camera and partly because they don’t stop moving. But there is something about the movement and blur that energizes these images for me. They speak to the excitement and joy of riding in the car, and heading to the dog park!
This other image, the sunflower, was also made with my Holga towards the end of the sunflower season. I find that I love the unpredictability of these cameras. I also like my carefree attitude that has me forgetting to reset the “focus” to the appropriate icon that illustrates distance. You’ll find a handy outline drawing of a head/shoulders which means your subject is pretty close to you, then you have a little drawing of a small group of people, of course this means your subject is a little further away. Next you have a little drawing of a big group of people, this can only mean your subject is a big distance away, and then you have a drawing of a mountain peak, well, this means your subject is way, away…kind of like Pikes Peak! I just like the results. I’ll make sure my images are in focus when I’m shooting one of my fancy cameras!
Finally, a shameless plug for me…if you find yourself in the mood to explore this little analog world I enjoy so much, sign up for my vintage and toy camera class at Bemis School of Art next semester. It’s called Exploring the World of Vintage and Toy Cameras and it starts on January 26, 2016! We have a lot of fun, and we don’t critique each other on whether things are in focus or not!