Tag Archives: Lomography

Dad’s Cameras

There was a camera closet in our home. It was supposed to be a linen closet, but it was a camera closet in our household. There was the black Nikon FM2 film SLR in one of the middle racks, sitting pretty next to an array of plastic film point-and-shoots. There was the Bronica ETRS medium format SLR below that in a dry box, with a detachable gun grip that I used to pretend to be a toy gun when I was very young and, on occasion, still do when no one was looking.

Seagull TLR 02
A Seagull Twin Lens Reflex Camera

Then there is this strange looking twin-lensed box which turned out to be a Seagull Twin Lens Reflex (TLR) 4A. The TLR had always intrigued me because it was so different from the others. The waist-level finder was extra confusing to me as a child because aiming the lens did not correspond to the holographic image in the finder. I loved all of the cameras in that closet, in that home.

We all fall in love with photography for one reason or another. The love of the technology. The love of the art. But I suspect that, for more than a few of us, it was because of our fathers.

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5 Reasons You Should Try Digital Holga Portraits

Remember when life wasn’t so complicated, when there wasn’t a million things to remember, and when photography wasn’t a serious hobby but just . . . for fun? Holga remembers.

holga pinhole 25mm f8 lens
A featherweight at 38g. A bargain at $15.

There is freedom in simplicity. You can pour over MTF graphs online and ridiculous DxO Mark scores, or you can do-it-yourself and experiment with something deliciously old school.

As I’ve mentioned recently, I’m in love with this $15-25 plastic Holga lens. We took it out to the LA Arts District, Venice Beach, and Santa Monica Pier for several model test shoots.

The Holga lens is available for a variety of focal lengths and mounts. We used a 25mm f/8 for our Sony A7, but other versions are available as follows:

5. The Lovely 35mm Film Look

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Peyton Lake rocking her AC DCs in the back of a 325i. Makeup by Jordan Takeda. Image processed with the Terry Style Clean preset for Adobe Lightroom.

Digital is clean, precise, and sterile. Film has a texture to it, or as Patrick Bateman might say, “the tasteful thickness of it.” But the problem with 35mm film is the time, expense, and effort of dealing with a physical media, not to mention, the way we consume photography has long changed from printed photo to digital websites.

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The $15 Holga 25mm f/8 Plastic Fantastic Lens

Its images feel like old movies, childhood toys, or fond ex girlfriends. It is riddled with optical flaws and its image circle can’t even cover a cropped sensor, but it takes us back to the roots of photography and camera obscura. It is $15, utterly uncomplicated, and, without a doubt, the funnest lens I’ve used in a very very long time.

Processed in Lightroom with the “Holga Cool Sides Warm Center” preset, available below.
Processed in Lightroom with the “Holga Cool Sides Warm Center” preset, available below.

The lens is the Holga 25mm f/8. The Holga brand name is synonymous with the plastic fantastic 120 medium format film camera you can purchase in every Urban Outfitters across America. At the core of Lomography’s lo-fidelity philosophy is the idea that photography is meant to be impulsive, spontaneous, and fun. And now, for the first time, it is digital.

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Processed in Lightroom with the “Holga Cool Sides Warm Center” preset, available below.

We explore the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in downtown LA and then take a short road trip to Pasadena, California. We mount the Holga on our Sony A7 and Sony A5000. No more expensive 120 film and waiting for the it to develop. No more fiddling with plastic cameras without any preview.

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10 Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for Photographers

Boys and girls. Valentine’s day is on a Saturday this year. Today is the 7th and it’s exactly one week away. Are you going to be ready? Made your reservations yet? If your significant other is an avid photographer, we’d like to lend you a hand with the gift. Here are 10 gift ideas for photographers. Most are available on Amazon Prime so you know they’ll arrive on time.


10. For the Leading Lady in Your Life – Fujifilm Instax Mini  8 Instant Film Camera ($69+)

Fujifilm-Instax-Mini-Pink-Set2

This is pretty much a guaranteed hit with your wife, girlfriend, or potential leading lady. Many of my female friends happen to love this camera. This Instax Mini 8 comes in pink, yellow, baby blue, white, and black. It’s a instant film camera that shoots credit card sized photos. I’ve raved about the Fujifilm Instax & Instax Mini line for years. Now, for the women reading this and looking for something for her leading man, there are more masculine versions in black, in piano black, or in even classier versions of silver & black or silver & brown.

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Cult Cameras – The Yashica T4 Super D (Part 2: Film vs. Digital)

In Part 1, we introduced you to the cult camera that is the Yashica T4, made famous by Terry Richardson. And as discussed before, Film is Dead. In terms of the economics, the way we consume photography has changed to the point where 35mm film is relegated to a niche for hobbyists, purists, and hipsters. Film will never see the mainstream light of day again. But, when the automobile took over for the horses, we still loved our steeds. Today, we still love film. Instagram, Facebook, and the native iPhone Camera app all have “filters” to emulate the film look. Is it just nostalgia? Or is there something missing from digital?

Digital Sterility vs. Film Texture

Do you remember the Super 8? The film movie cameras, not the motel chain. It was slightly before my time, but I certainly recognize it when I see it. If you take a look at the Lexus commercial below, it captures the feeling of “film” very well.

Film has a texture to it, or as Patrick Bateman might say, “the tasteful thickness of it“. It is a feeling that digital doesn’t have. Digital is clean, precise, and sterile. The way our Bayesian sensors interpolate color and light is just fundamentally different from photo reactive emulsions on acetate. Neither one is “better” than the other. You can make the same argument against film, that it cannot reproduce the “grainless” look of digital. The two mediums are just “different.”

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