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A collection of photographs and stories by Invercargill photographer Rick Harvey

Back To The Future With Plastic Fantastic Holga

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Miss Holga – first encounters with a plastic fantastic

Recently I stumbled across a website that featured some galleries of lo-fi, quirky, over saturated, light-leaky, vignetted photographs that reminded me very much of the sort of photos I used to take back in the day with my Kodak Instamatic camera.

It turned out be a genre of popular photography which I had not heard of – lomography – and I quite liked what I was seeing so stated to do a bit of Googling about the topic.

Definitions and descriptions of lomography abound on the net, but in essence lomography in its true sense is about taking photos using “toy” (generally plastic) film cameras with (generally) plastic lenses that produce square images that are (generally) oversaturated, severely vignetted and affected by light leaking into the body of the camera.

So I set about trying to re-create the lomo effect, firstly by using the “toy” camera setting on my Fujifilm XF1, then by using software to add light leaks, lens distortion, softness, and so on.

Then I decided to invest in a plastic fantastic Holga lens for my Nikon DSLR.

Plastic fantastic Holga lens on my Nikon D5100

Some would ask why put a $40.00 plastic lens on a DSLR. Well there are quite a few reasons I did it:

  1. For fun;
  2. Because I quite like the lomography genre;
  3. The digital option is much cheaper than processing film as per genuine lomography; and
  4. I would be too impatient to wait for a film to be developed anyway; and
  5. Because I could.

So with the Nikon set to Manual mode away I went out to try and master Holga – the plastic fantastic.

Easier said than done – and it is still very much a work in progress – but here are a few examples of the “real thing” using Holga.

All Saint Church Invercargill
All Saint Church




Track marker at Fosbender Park


Road cone beside the Waihopai River


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