If anyone is wondering what in the heck a Holga is... it is medium format plastic camera*. Yup, all plastic :) When deconstructed, photography is based on two very simple principles...light and time. When the shutter opens, the amount of time it stays open determines how much light is let in to project an image onto film. This is how images can be too dark (underexposed, not enough time) or too bright (overexposed, too much time). So, cameras don't have to cost a fortune to be functional. When I was in school, I actually made a camera out of wood and a plastic magnifying glass lens. It was completely operable and created images you would expect to see in the 1900's. It was very cool :) The lure of the Holga is the same idea as my homemade camera...imperfection and nostalgia. It has inherent light leaks and defects that vary from lens to lens, because that is what you get with a $25 plastic lens. I just love looking at old photographs and seeing the imperfect exposures and the natural vignetting on the corners. Many of my favorite photographers began their careers in the early to mid 20th century and viewing their images evokes a certain amount of nostalgia for me that I get great satisfaction out of recreating by way of the Holga. The soft focus, muted colors and random vignetting all courtesy of the Holga's rudimentary plastic lens. For me, there is a certain appeal to imperfection and realness that just cannot be created authentically with today's high functioning lenses.
The Holga Project became a hobby of mine around 2011. Whenever I would go on vacation I would pack my film and my Holga and photograph dogs I came across on the street. It was a way for me to observe and document other humans with their canine BFF's across the country. Unfortunately I don't get to vacation nearly as much as I'd like so I've expanded to photographing in my neighborhood and at local dog beaches. I've always very much loved street photography (see Elliot Erwitt, Vivian Maier, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Garry Winogrand) so I prefer to photograph when nobody knows I'm watching. I don't mean for that to sound creepy, but it's when you capture the most honest human/dog experience. I am interested in the real relationships that we have with our canine companions and that can only be captured with a certain amount of anonymity.
And so, I give you The Holga Project. My view of the world in all its honest, carefree, nostalgic glory :)
*Medium format refers to the size of the film which is typically 6 x 6 cm, which for all of us non metric system users is 2-1/4" x 2-1/4". In case your head just tuned out like mine when I see a bunch of numbers, it's the same idea as the square instagram photos we all love :) Since it's size is larger then 35mm it uses 3-4 times more film surface which allows for better tonality (smoother gradations), finer detail, and less grain.