Thursday, February 13, 2014

Holga Tips: Getting Lens Flare

As you all know, shooting with a Holga is tricky at the best of times.  You never know what you are going to get, and 90% of the time, it's not what you expect.  This can make you feel discouraged, making you not want to shoot with your Holga as much.  This is when it's time to break out of your rut and try something new!  Have you ever tried to purposefully get a dreamy lens or sun flare with your Holga?  It's a fun thing to try and helps you to get to know your camera better.  Here are a few of my tips for achieving Holga flare.


1.  Shoot into the Sun

Pretty obvious, right?  I figured I should mention it though just in case.  In order to get flare, you need to shoot into the sun (pointing your lens towards the sun).  It's one of those photography rules that is so much fun to break!



2.  Play with Angles

I've had most of my lens flare happen when I shoot at an angle, with the sun to one side or the other.  A nice guide to use is to look in the viewfinder and if you see flare in your viewfinder, you may just luck out and get it in the photo as well.  Play around with a few different angles though, and maybe take notes for what works best with your particular Holga for next time.

Palm Flare

3. Choose your Film Wisely

You don't want to have a film that is too high speed in this case.  I'd recommend going no higher than 400 ISO.  I've had most of my success with 100 ISO.

December Breeze

4.  Cross Process

Cross processing your slide film can add more "oomph" to your shots.  You will get fun colours, and a dreamy look to the photos!  I love using Fuji Velvia when the sun is out and the colours are bright (especially for blue skies).


A nice example of "sun flare" that I achieved with Fuji Velvia, cross processed.

5.  Time of Day and Season

I've had most of my success shooting when the sun is lower in the sky - so during the "golden hours" of early morning (I am NOT a morning person!) or later in the evening, or during the fall and winter months when the sun is naturally lower in the sky (in the Northern Hemisphere).

Path of Light

Bonus Tip!

Flare doesn't have to be from the sun!  Candles or other light sources work great too - just remember to use a long exposure and a steady hand (or a tripod).

Stay in the Light




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