In defence of the Holga


Regular followers of Photocritic know I don’t have a lot of time for the Holga, as illustrated in this post. The response to that post was ear-deafening: The blogosphere (ick I hate that word) went mental at me in the defence of the Holga.

The other day, Robin McAulay tried to be a little bit more eloquent of the Holga. He succeeded, and offers the following guest article… 


holga-02.jpgAnyone buying a holga expecting hasselblad results would be foolish indeed – for many who have seen the results the urge to own and use one is the need to escape the over saturated digital market – ready made crystal clear, sharp and predictable images at a snap. Now anyone can be a technically great photographer without using so much as half an hour charging the battery for a point and shoot without any prior experience with a camera.

When two Austrian guys bought themselves a mass produced soviet lomo LCA on a break in prague, saw the strange funky results it produced and started cleverly marketing it as a modern western object of desire … no one would have guessed how popular it would become. Producing images that looked like your dad took them when you were still in nappies – blurred, light leaks from imperfect body seals and double exposed due to faulty winding mechinisms just added to the charm. It was rebellious and fun.

holga-01.jpgAnother great marketing idea.. the holga crossed over into “Lomography”. The holga carries on the tradition where the LCA left. Nothing to do with the soviet union Lomo factory (made in hong kong) it was dragged in as another lomographic gimick that produces similar but heightened results, pushed on bored lomographers as the natural step further into the cult. The lomo story was a brave one if it stayed were it was – underground. It has essentially became what it balked at from the begining and become a great money spinner.

The small group of artists who seriously use the holga for the aesthetic value of the image it produces usually cringe when stumbling on lomographer sites. Using the holga based on lomography rule of thumb has become as narrow minded as the technophile DSLR world we live in today.

things reach a state of perfection people like to revert back to the meat and two potatoes they remember with glassy eyed fondness – usually never as good as the memory.. but that’s never the the point.

The photos in this article were taken by Robin McAulay, and you can see more of his work over on his profile.

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