Last week I modified my Holga before taking it out for my first toy camera photo adventure! The purpose of this modification was to expand the image on the negative, increasing the vignette and fuzziness around the edges of my photographed image, and also increasing the amount of light leaks onto the image in order to give my toy camera pictures more of a toy camera look. That sounds funny, but it’s true. The modification also includes adding a cable release adapter and cable release in order to prevent blurriness caused by camera shake when pulling the shutter. All of these modifications I found in the very inspiring book, Plastic Cameras: Toying with Creativity by Michelle Bates. This book is full of cool ideas and includes tons of great photographs by photographers from all over the world. Tomorrow I’ll be posting a few of my first Holga shots but until then, here are the steps I took for these particular modifications so if inspired you can modify your Holga this way too!
HOLGA MODIFICATION TUTORIAL:
note: Steps 2 and 3 should be switched (seemed in the spirit of toy cameras to not fix the mistake)
STEP 1 – COVER THE COUNTER WINDOW: Cover the counter window with electrical tape. This is to prevent light from leaking onto the film and burning little numbers and letters onto the center of your images. You can lift the tape in diffused light to read the numbers while turning the film to the next exposure. Just don’t untape the window in sunlight (unless you want numbers and letters burned into your images).
STEP 2 – SMOOTH THE SEEMS: After removing the frame insert (Ooops… see STEP 3 – REMOVE THE FRAME INSERT), smooth down the seems with electrical tape. This is to prevent the film from scratching as it passes through the camera.
STEP 3 – REMOVE THE FRAME INSERT: Remove the Frame Insert from the camera. This will extend the frame and cause the fuzziness around the edges of your images that one comes to expect from a toy camera. Removing the insert also tends to open the Holga up to more light leaks (but not the kind with numbers and letters in them [see STEP 1 - COVER THE COUNTER WINDOW]).
STEP 4 – STRAP IT UP: Secure the camera to the camera’s plastic back with Velcro Straps (or electical tape). This is to prevent the back from falling off before you’ve finished shooting your roll of film which would result in the loss of all your images.
STEP 5 – CABLE RELEASE: Add a shutter release adapter ($15 on lomography.com) and cable release ($2 to $5 used, at your local camera store) to prevent camera shake.
OPTIONAL STEP 6 – SEAL FOR LEAKS (if you don’t like leaks): After loading your film and sealing the back, you can also tape up all the seems of the camera with black electrical tape to prevent light leaks. I didn’t, because at the moment I’m kind of digging the light leaks.
Now Go Play!!!