Fabulous Film Fridays – Holga Takes on G11

As photographers, mood is often critical to our work.  Working on this Fabulous Film Fridays project has really struck home how flexible we can be with digital cameras when it comes to mood.  Or maybe ‘flexible’ is not the right word….  When photographers shot with film, they had to take mood into account before they commenced a shooting venture.  Knowing the conditions and pre-visualizing the corresponding mood desired was an essential skill when materials were as particular as film.  As well, the quality of your camera and optics can make a huge impact on mood.  With this in mind, I decided to compare a recent photo shoot in Calgary done with my Holga, Beep, and some earlier shots I’d taken with the Canon G11.  The Holga is a plastic camera with a plastic lens which, compared to the crisp results of the glass G11 lens, creates a unique result.  I think the  images really highlight the influence mood can have on a picture…and the photographer’s choice in materials to convey that mood.

The Holga images I shot in a quick succession through the windshield as we drove down 9th Ave in Calgary, Alberta.  As you can see, I have a lovely light leak (the red flare) in my Holga!  I call this series “Calgary Tower Emerging”.  Here are the three images from Beep:

And here are the G11 images shot over a year ago in January.  The light was a wonderful, crisp yet pale winter sun which set off the buildings and their reflections very nicely.  These are represented ‘as shot’ and illustrate the fun you can have with abstract and graphic art in urban areas.

So there you have it!  Quite a difference in the mood and feel of the different materials, isn’t there?  For full disclosure, these are images with minimal ‘fussing’ in Photoshop; I use Nik Efex Tonal Contrast filter to sharpen the resized jpeg, but otherwise only use curves to bring back the raw data to what I saw at the time.  What are your thoughts on the difference in mood between print film and digital capture?


~ by Samantha on March 25, 2011.

4 Responses to “Fabulous Film Fridays – Holga Takes on G11”

  1. […] week Samantha is hosting Fabulous Film Fridays over at her blog. Check out her comparisons of cityscapes she took with Beep her Holga versus images she made with […]

  2. Holga all the way, even with a light leak. Unfortunately we are in the days of “whatever is sharpest is best” kind of thinking, where equipment collectors think they’re photographers and photographers aren’t considered photographers because they don’t have the best, or I should say, most expensive equipment.
    Good post,

  3. It’s remarkable how different the mood of these photos is. The Beep photos definitely have a dreamy quality to them and I especially like the third Calgary Tower photo!
    Judging by the windshield wiper marks on the windshield it looks like the shots are flipped horizontally. I don’t know if you did that intentionally but I think it actually works. Having the main subject (the tower) on the left side of the frame just “feels” better to me.

  4. Hi Tom,

    Not intentional! They were put in the scanner holder ‘backwards'(that is, the negative had to be flipped to get the correct orientation in the scanner). That’s what happens when you scan film after a couple of beer. While these won’t make good stock footage of downtown Calgary, I like the effect as well.

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