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My Brief Love Affair with Holga

  Byron Bay, September 2010 (I think)

Byron Bay, September 2010 (I think)

Once upon a time, many years ago, I was obsessed (and that's putting it lightly) with film photography. More specifically, I was obsessed with lomography. I bought myself a cheap standard Holga 120S camera and carried it with me everywhere. I thought it was the coolest thing I had ever seen and proceeded to take photos of anything and everything. I recently found all my old digital copies and having had a thorough look through all of them, I realised a few things I had never noticed before. 

The main attraction the Holga had for me was the large, square photos it produced and I think this is what kick started my love for Instagram. Instagram is by far my most used social media app and it's the only one I truly enjoy using on a daily basis. I have always been a visual thinker and I love being able to communicate with images. Although, as the years have gone by I have definitely improved my photography skills.

I did not discriminate about what would make a nice looking photo - I would use my Holga to take photos of friends and family and days out but I would also use it to document myself and my housemates sitting on the couch, eating snacks, playing with our pets. I even took quite a few black and white photos of the windows and doors in my first share house. I remember thinking how cool these photos looked when I got them back from the developer. Although my composition was adequate in most of the photos, the subject was the least interesting thing I could possibly think of now. My messy coffee table with a bag of dog treats sitting off to the side? No thanks.

And, of course, everyone gets better with time and I'm sure most people I know have tons of terrible photos they have taken over the years. But most people were taking their photos on digital cameras, not using incredibly expensive film and developing techniques. When I think back to how little money I had at the time, I can't believe I wasted so much film on random shots of things that are objectively bad.

While I certainly don't regret anything I photographed, I do wish I was a little more selective. It's a true telling of my personality at the time - I was quite impulsive and very rarely thought further than my next pay check. Oh, to be young and irresponsible!

While I would love to experiment with lomography again, I think I need to focus on developing the rest of the film I have lying around. Then we will see how much money I have left. Probably none.