Monday, June 4, 2012

Real Life Instagram: Holga Plastic Camera Photos of Paris

Cleaning out my home office the other day, I came across an undeveloped roll of 120 film from my Holga plastic camera. I took it to be developed, and was happily surprised to see the roll had a few pictures I'd taken during a trip to Paris over two years ago.

Looking at the contact sheet of these photos, I started thinking that two years ago was also the year Instagram got started. The cool vintage photo filters Instagram applies to your digital photos are a big reason why the photo-sharing site has such appeal. The filters are meant to mimic the imperfections of old analog cameras such as my Holga. I'm not an Instagram user, but I do love the look of many of the photos. Are my plastic camera photos really do different from a photo taken on a cell phone with an Instagram filter applied?

On that 2010 trip to Paris, I took pictures with a digital camera as well, which is why I never remembered to get this old roll of film developed. I haven't taken my Holga with me on a trip since, and I wonder if I will again. I love the camera, but it's another thing to carry, and I can create the same effects in Photoshop when I get home. Yet there's something different about plastic cameras that draws me back to them—I think it's the fact that I don't have total control the way I do with Photoshop. The light and the color captures a moment I experienced as it was really happening, with light seeping into the plastic box through the duct tape...All right, if I don't stop rambling about this I'll turn into my college age self in a Hal Hartley film. So here are those Holga camera photos of Paris!


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