Saturday, 8 May 2010

Holga Macrophotography

A few years back I got quite into macrophotography and bought some extension tubes for my Nikon F3, a ringflash etc., etc. As you can see from the link, some of the results weren't too bad. When I bought my digital SLR, I dabbled with that though the results were never too good - mainly because I need a proper flash or light unit.

Then Holga brought out their macro lenses and the thought of lo fi macrophotography was too good to resist. If ever there was an oxymoron then lo fi macrophotography is it especially when using the Holga!

Macrophotography, which is supposed to be about precise focusing, good lighting and using technology to capture minute details seems a million miles from the plastic camera with no controls other than (most important of all) the photographer's eye.

The holga macro lenses come in sets of two lenses with a focal distance of 30 and 60mm. Simply make sure the lens is set to infinity (the mountain), pop your macro lens on top of the Holga lens, point the camera at the nearest insect and voila, fine art meets a bee's bottom!

You obviously can't use the viewer to compose or focus the shot so what do you do? A ruler is useful here as you do need to be fairly precise in the focal distance. Some photographers have attached sticks with the correct focal distance to their holgas which seems to work well, I tend to use a tape measure. Once you have the distance simply hold the lens in front of the subject and shoot.

I have to admit that after abit of pracise I tend to revert to the "squint and guess" method of measuring distance so some of my shots were a little out of focus - but this actually made some of the images I captured. An example is below:

Another out of focus image that I quite like is this snowdrop. Shot with Ilford Delta 3200, pushed to 25000, I managed to get the stem in focus whilst the flower itself is blurred. No matter - for me the photo has a delicate quality that would be lost with a sharp focus.

Finally, here is a shot that came out alright. All these shots were taken in natural light and so this last one could probably have benefited from some flash - my next task is to tape my Tamron ring flash onto my Holga to see how that works.

Click on macrophotography to see the full gallery which also includes some macro work with my Kiev 60. My next post will be about the results taken with my Kiev 60.

In the meantime leave a comment, link to me, "like it" on facebook, send me money or whatever


J. M. Golding said...

This is inspiring! So many wonderful photographic things to try, so little time...

HolgaJen said...

Love it!! I keep meaning to use these lenses more and really need to "find my focus" so that I can! haha