The Holga panoramic as a wet plate camera and photo sequences.

June 26, 2015  •  1 Comment

Sometimes it may be a bit difficult to decode your own steps, but in the beginning of my fresh relationship with Holga camera was a dream about returning to the High Tatras sierra, this time with wet plate photography. Tatras sierra is still just a dream and small plastic Holga maybe will be (and maybe not) the way. I've spent with her just a day in the garden, using my big portable darkroom.

It was a pleasure to work with tiny 6x12 cm plates. Quality of optics surprised me in a positive way. In this size everything looks sharp, but the lens produces clear high contrast images. There is an obvious vigneting, but nothing you wouldn't expect from a cheap plastic camera.

​Holga panoramic camera is wet plate ready. The only thing I have to do was to drill a hole for my tripod L plate, as I want to use the camera in a vertical orientation regularly. Aluminium plates fit and holds in the camera without any other support. I cut a glass, but it was too thick.  Holga's lens is a plastic 90mm F8, you can switch to F11. The camera allows bulb time exposure. I bought a cable camera shutter set. Focus distance is marked on the lens with symbols for one, two, six meter and infinite. 

I spent one another day in the garden, this time hunting for a glass negative from these white flowers. It was one of these days. I had to make six glasses before I got what I was looking for. (I was shooting from six to six, final glass was made at 4 p.m. The previous refused because of by a wind blurred flowers, boring light, confusing composition, a stupid redeveloping mistake...)

With Holga I made two versions of this scene, one of them for Anton, who inspired me to buy this panoramic version. It's a bit funny to make this kind of composition. Holga has an external viewfinder, so there is an obvious parallax problem. Resulting plate is small, but in some way surprisingly intimate, attracting you to come closer and even closer, to dive into the picture. 

I love to make photo sequences from two, three, four plates. Variation of exposure times from the same scene. Different light in the scene, which can change so abruptly in the morning or in the evening. Building of the big scene picture by composing smaller fragments generates by small camera movements. And so on and so on. I see these sentences as a materialization of the basic axioms of photography as a medium. 

Holga panoramic is a great camera for these games. I like very much its elongated format, rough cut plates and dirty frame. In the beginning was an effort to find a solution for a light version of wet plate traveling. The first result is another addition into my standard traveling equipment. It looks that at this time, whatever I do, things are just going to be more and more complicated. 


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Great entry! Can't wait to see some more work from it!
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