childsplayPosted: September 9, 2006
I'm a great fan of vintage and toy cameras. I own some myself and have been doing Holga photography long before it was the flavour of the month. Dabbling with toy cameras has certainly been fun and interesting, but I have been surprised about the reaction of some my photography friends when I have been talk to them about the genre and my enthusiasm. Some have been indifferent to the subject, but some downright condemning. For them the effects are finicky and false. Some even said I'll be tired of the whole things in couple months.
I'm still in love with my Holga and the effects I get out of it. For me it has been more of a journey to work with the camera and master what I can get out of it, rather than just snapping away for cool effects. I stumble across the unexpected sometimes, but certainly the years with my Holga have given me some idea what I can boundaries I can push and what I expect from it rather than hope for the best (ok, sometimes crossing fingers is involved , too). Saying that I had a chance to try my friend Cath's Lensbaby few weeks ago. My initial reaction was of excitement and enthusiam. The above photo was taken during the time I had to play with it (nevermind the little off focus on the right). Certainly the effect is one with high impact. (I can't personally look at this too long without being hypnotised by the blur!)
But thinking back and evaluating whether I'd want to buy a lensbaby for myself now that few weeks have passed… I'd have to say no. So, what makes some toycameras and similar gadgets more appealing and involving than others? Personally I really do love the effect the lensbaby is able to create, but it's somewhat one dimensional and I don't think I'd be using it as long as often as I have some of the other gear I have. Could I push it as far as I can my Holga or Polaroids? There is the issue of the price as well. Most of my toycameras I have bought have been cheap as chips. For a Lensbaby 2.0 I'd have to cough up about £80. Ouch! So for now, I'll hold on to what I've got and keep pushing the gear I have to see what I can get out of it.