F8 1/100: Shooting with a Holga

A Holga is a simple unassuming camera that just allows you 2 apertures and a single shutter speed, coupled that with a view finder that isn’t very accurate and focusing by guesstimation. What you have in most sense is a camera that most photographers won’t even want to touch with a 10 feet pool. But yet this simple camera has become the tool for a number of photographers.

Just take a look at the Flickr holga pool and you can see that the Holga can be quite a capable camera in the correct hands.

For me the Holga becomes a tool for taking pictures without care. Since there is very little control, you just make sure to switch on the flash when your are indoors or just take pictures when its sunny. You might think that because of the limitations you might find less pictures to take.

On the contrary, you just discover the pictures that you can take because the limitations are there, you just need to concentrate on finding the picture rather than deciding on what aperture or shutter speed to use.

The Holga is only sharp in the center so remember don’t try all sorts of funny things with the Rule of Thirds if not you might be disappointed about how blur your pictures always are.

It’s possible to get sharp pictures from the Holga, just don’t count on it every time. Seems like my sharpest photos are taken with focus set at the the single person setting (0.9m check out this guide), that’s probably the distance i can judge the best.


DigitalRev recently put a Pro Photograher with a Holga, it just goes to show that having a vision about what you want to shoot is more important than the tool itself.

So go out and have some carefree and fun time shooting with a Holga.

All pictures here are taken with a Holga with either TriX or Delta 400.