Film Use Day 1

Back of the Holga 120N

As I write this I have shot 3 frames on my Holga 120N . It’s been a long time since I had to wait to see the results of a photo. One of my favorite aspects of film photography in the olden days was to get my roll(s) of film back from the drug store and being surprised at all the photos I had forgotten taking. But now I really want to see what’s on the rolls! Digital has spoiled me! Also, I’m curious to see the Holga work its magic!

I’m doing something a little differently compared to the olden days when I used to shoot film — I’m keeping a log of the settings I used on my photos. I didn’t do this before for a simple reason — 99.999% of the cameras I used were point and shoots. I used one manual SLR or interchangeable lens rangefinder (I don’t remember for sure) for a week. Now that I’ve been using digital cameras that keep track of the data (even if they are point and shoots), I’ve become a data whore. Well, I’ve always been obsessed with chronology (keeping all my CDs in the order in which I bought them rather than a more logical by artist or alphabetically), so I was determined to keep track of the approximate date and time of my analog photos anyway. And since my other medium format cameras (which haven’t yet arrived! Grr!) will slow my photo process by quite a bit, what’s a little more time to record the shutter speed and aperture? Especially in the case of my Holga where I can’t find consensus online about the true aperture of my model (I have one of the newer ones where the aperture actually works), it would be nice to record this info at first so I could get an idea of what settings to use. Sure, it’s great that the Holga is this quirky little camera, but I don’t want to waste money developing a roll of all black or all white photos. (Although I guess there’s some avant guard artistic merit there….)

I’m a bit amazed at my restraint at not shooting all 12 frames in one day, but I think that can be traced to three things. 1) Money 2) It takes time to wind up the rolls and that forces me not to shoot as if my camera were a machine gun and 3) Most days I don’t do that with my digital camera, either. I imagine, especially once the newness wears off, I’ll be turning in rolls of film to the camera shop that span timelines in the months because there aren’t that many events or locations in Baltimore that call for film usage. Right now I’m thinking of exploring Camden Yards (link to my set) and Otakon (link to my set).

It’d be interesting to see the Holga’s view of Otakon and the Yashica might make a conversation piece. Of course, to get all the amazing costumes without breaking the bank, I’ll mostly cover the event with my digital camera. I haven’t decided yet if I’m actually paying this year or just going to gawk outside the front door like last year. Either way I’m definitely going to see those costumes because the dedication that goes into them is amazing! And this year I’ll continue to build upon my boldness to actually go up to people and ask for a photograph.

But for now, I just have three frame exposed, waiting to be developed so I can know whether or not I’m even doing things correctly. Waiting to show me what the Holga can do and try and convince me not to put the camera away forever.

Author: Eric Mesa

To find out a little more about me, see About Me

2 thoughts on “Film Use Day 1”

  1. I love many of the Holga shots I’ve seen on the web. So unpredictable! Looking forward to seeing your results.

    1. I JUST got them today and I’m really happy with the results. Stay tuned to the blog and they’ll be appearing hopefully within a few days.

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