Wet plate photographer Ian Ruhter has received a good deal of attention over the past year for using a custom camera van to create giant collodion process metal photos. When he’s not turning large sheets of metal into photographs, he’s sometimes working on the opposite side of the spectrum.
One of his recent interests has been shooting pint-sized photos using a Holga toy camera that he converted into a wet plate camera.
It was about this time last year that the world was introduced to the Holga iPhone case: a strange-looking gizmo complete with a rotary wheel packing 9 separate lo-fi filters for the toy-camera, retro lover in you. Well, much like the Swivl we reported on yesterday, Holga has decided that bigger is better, and is attempting to break into the DSLR market with a new rotary wheel lens for DSLRs.
The folks over at Tucson, Arizona-based ArtsEye Gallery love the Holga so much, that decided to create a gigantic version of the plastic 120 format toy camera for an annual photo competition they host. They were originally planning to create it as a fun prop, but midway through the construction process, they had the brilliant idea of making it as a functioning camera.
Update: We’re hearing that Walmart is no longer offering medium format film development.
Want to try your hand at shooting medium format 120 film but not sure where you’d get it developed? Stacie Grissom of Stars for Streetlights recommends WalMart as an easy and affordable option:
I have an awesome tip for you. I actually got my Holga prints developed through Walmart for about $3 per roll. That’s it. I could not believe it. Here’s what you need to do:
For each roll of film, take a separate film envelope and write “SEND OUT ONLY” at the top. Then fill in your info. “Send Out Only” means that Walmart will send it to a photo lab to be developed instead of developing it in the store. I don’t know how many (if any) Walmarts still develop 35mm film, but they definitely won’t do 120 film. Just send it out to a lab that knows what to do. Next, in the special instructions section, make sure you write “120 Film Processing, 4×4 prints.” And then drop them in the box! It’s seriously that simple. I was really paranoid when I sent out my film, but Walmart actually did a nice job.
Grissom also offers a number of other tips for shooting with Holga cameras.
7 Tips for Holga Cameras [Stars for Streetlights]
This Holga camera is named the “Holga-Cam of the Apocalypse” and is worth $24,000. Photographer Mike Martens created it using a Holga 120N camera body worth $25 and a Phase One P25 digital back worth $24,000. The two components are fused together using a horseman lens board (hence the camera’s name) and a foot of black gaffer’s tape. The camera shoots low-fi photographs at 22 megapixels. You can find more images of the camera here and sample photographs shot with it here.
(via Photon Detector)
Holga is selling an iPhone Lens Filter Kit that packs 9 separate “retro” filters into a single accessory using a rotary dial. While the design itself is pretty clever, the resulting photographs are a bit… strange. They sell for $25 over in the Holga store.
Holga iPhone Lens Filter Kit (via Boing Boing via Gizmodo)
The Fader has published an interview with Instagram founder Kevin Systrom that reveals how Systrom first got into photography, and how the service’s now-ubiquitous filters came about:
[...] my teacher handed me this plastic Holga camera and said, “You’re going to use this and learn to deal with imperfection.” I remember developing the first roll and the feeling I got from the vignetting and the light leaks that came from the blurry plastic lens. That transformed the way I looked at photography—from trying to replicate reality into taking a scene and creating some kind of interpretation of its mood.
Instagram started as a mobile check-in app, but after creating his first filter (XProII), Systrom realized they could do more with the concept. He then began creating new looks and spending a couple hours at a time trying to mimic the look of different photos.
Oversaturated: Is Instagram’s Popularity Changing Photography? (via A Photo Editor)
Image credit: 2011.02.10 Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom by Gerard’s World
The next time you’re planning a birthday party for someone who loves photography, try making a giant camera piñata using cardboard and paper-mache. You can fill it with candy and treats, or take your photo-geekness to the next level by filling it with photography-related gifts and accessories.
Forget Little Trees. “Sweet Snapshots” are the air fresheners photo enthusiasts should have hanging from their rear view mirrors. ModCloth sells them for $6 a pop in yellow grapefruit or pink peach. The reviews say the scents don’t last very long, so just know that you’d be buying them mostly for aesthetics.
Sweet Snapshots Air Fresheners (via KEH Camera Blog)
“Hipster traps” have been springing up across New York City, and one of the baits used is a Holga 120N camera. The traps are the latest project by artists Jeff Greenspan and Hunter Fine.
Urban Traps is a project where we lay traps for certain subcultures. Our goal is protect neighborhoods from infestation and collect different species for further study. [#]
Other items used for bait are sunglasses, a yellow bicycle chain, a can of PBR and a pack of American Spirits.