Frugal Film Project – Aragon Etzel

I’m a huge fan of Holgas. I don’t know when I first became so enamored with them, but I’ve gathered quite a collection. However, I’ve never really put them to a good test. I’ve always tried to take one-off shots of interesting things, but not make actual interesting images. This year I have the opportunity to really explore the capabilities of such a limited camera, and I hope my little red companion continues to produce interesting results.

For my first foray into a more artistic approach to the camera, I wanted to do dark exposures with alternative light sources. I made several test attempts with my digital camera to validate what I thought would be the result and then put the Holga on the tripod. I set up in my garage with a black sheet against a wall and a mix of different props; laundry basket, paper, vase, feathers, and a rake, anything with texture. 

The photos just seemed lifeless, though, so I “voluntold” my teenage daughter to hold the rake and hold her breath. That’s difficult because of the f/8, 12-second exposure on ISO 400 film. Nobody can stand perfectly still. However, she did great and held the rake up while peering through it as I blasted her with an LED pen flashlight. I really like this effect. It’s mysterious, textured, dark, and the face blurs just enough to make it eerie. Now that I’ve challenged myself with the Holga and feel good about the outcome, I’m anxious to make even more interesting photos in the coming months! 

Aragon Etzel 

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