Fabulous Film Fridays, April 8 — Light Leak Workaround

As with digital photography, sometimes there are things you can do in post processing to get a result closer to what you envisioned at the time of capture.  Shooting with Beep, I’ve found a big, red light leak that is an interesting and surprising phenomenon on its own.  However, sometimes the light leak just does not work with the composition I had in mind.  This is my shortcoming; I know the light leak is there, so I should find a way to compose with it.  But the leak is a manifestation of my gear, not my vision, and as with other whims of the material used to make an exposure, it is the artist’s prerogative to change results given to more closely align with the original intent.

In some cases, this might mean a simple conversion from colour to black and white.  Doing  this eliminated the prominence a bright red splash steals in an otherwise palely coloured image.  I also found that working in black and white made for a more dramatic image that was also more in tune with the gifts of the Holga:  soft but selective focus:  extreme vignetting and a broad dynamic range.  How better to pick and choose among the many possibilities with the Holga than a few tweaks using Nik Silver Efex!  If I had a darkroom, I would be making the same artistic decision with the following images, so maybe I’m only cheating a little bit.  Another option we have is to scan colour negative film in using a greyscale setting on the scanner.

Here’s an image with the red leak.

And here’s the same converted to black and white without the leak.

I think the second is a better image, and in any case is closer to what I was imagining at the time.  I’m also experimenting with some tape to see if that alters the pattern of the leak.  The fun part about the Holga is you are always messing with your gear in a very physical way.  I will be experimenting with some fun ideas in the future, so stay tuned.  Here are a couple of skyscapes that also worked better in black and white.

~ by Samantha on April 8, 2011.

5 Responses to “Fabulous Film Fridays, April 8 — Light Leak Workaround”

  1. […] week Samantha is hosting Fabulous Film Fridays. Check out her easy light leaks work around with her Holga, Beep. Sometimes the easiest solution isn’t so obvious and then when you […]

  2. Sam, the sky in the first skyscape is really amazing!
    I just ordered my Holga yesterday so I’m curious what kind of light leaks it’s going to have. Oh, and I’m going to need to come up with a name for it too. 🙂

    • Yay! Holgas are so fun and challenging in a different way. If one were a control freak, one might not like them! I’m eager to hear what you name your new buddy!

  3. Sam, if you’re trying to locate the light leak in order to fix it, don’t forget that the image on the camera film plane is upside down and backwards. So your light leak is on the right hand side, not the left as viewed from the back of the camera. I would guess somewhere on the back or side just above the film plane judging from the red pattern in your picture.

    • Hi Les,

      Yes, since working with film I’ve had to do a lot more 3-D mental imaging!! Sometimes I get it backwards as in last Film Friday’s film scan.

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