Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Holga Book Review: Tricks With A Plastic Wonder by Lorraine Healy

Title: Tricks with a Plastic Wonder
Author: Lorraine Healy
Genre: Photography
Price: $6.25 on Kindle at Amazon
An in-depth exploration of the Holga plastic camera, this comprehensive guide by long-time analog photographer Lorraine Healy cuts down on anyone's learning curve on mastering the secrets of "toy" camera photography. For the digital photographer wanting to discover the magic of film as well as for "plastic wonder" fanatics looking for detailed techniques to produce experimental, wacky or ethereal masterpieces.


Lorraine Healy is an award-winning Argentinean poet who has been published extensively. Nominated for a Pushcart in 2004, she has a M.F.A from the New England College and a post-MFA from Antioch University Los Angeles. She is the first poet to have received a green card solely on the merits of her work. The 2009 winner of the Patricia Libby First Book Award, her book "The Habit of Buenos Aires" was published by Tebot Bach in 2010. Her new collection, "Mostly Luck", is forthcoming from Tebot Bach in 2014. "Abraham's Voices," her newest chapbook has just been published by WorldEnoughWriters.

As a photographer, she has been shooting plastic cameras, primarily the traditional Holgas S and N, since 2002. She describes these cheap, idiosyncratic cameras as the perfect vehicle for her way of seeing the world. Lorraine was the winner of the Street Photography 1st Prize of the Holgapalooza 2009 contest, and has been featured in the Krappy Kamera, Holga Out of the Box, Plastic Fantastic, Somerville Toy Show, and Toyed With Plastic contests and shows.

She has long made her home in an island on Puget Sound, Washington.
© Lorraine Healy

My Thoughts 

If you are reading this, you probably love the Holga.  Maybe you've used one for years, like myself, or maybe you just bought one and you are trying to educate yourself as best you can on the subject! Education is definitely worth the investment, as it can spare you wasted rolls of film which are getting expensive to develop these days!

I recently had the opportunity to read Tricks with a Plastic Wonder and I found it to be a very good summation of the Holga camera, from deciding which model to use, what film to use, and how all of the various tricks, techniques and accessories affect your final image.

© Lorraine Healy

Even though I've been using the Holga for over 10 years, there are still some techniques I have not yet tried.  I really enjoyed reading the sections on the various ways to make panoramas, and also the tricks that can be used in post developing to maximize your images.

Lorraine uses many comparison images to show examples of how one scene will look when using various lenses and filters.  There are also examples of other artists work to further enhance the lessons!  I feel like these sections are great for someone who is just starting out and may not be able to buy all of the lenses or accessories all at once.  This helps you decide what look you are going for and what you want to experiment with first.

© Lorraine Healy

The bibliography and resources section at the end of the book is very thorough and provides you with lots of extra reading and links to look at.

If this all sounds like something you are interested in then go check out Lorraine's book and let me know what you think in the comments section.  Holga-On!

© Lorraine Healy

"I love everything about it: the square format, the heavy vignetting, the lack of pristine focus, and its general lack of perfection.  Its sheer imperfection opens doors to be free and play."

© Lorraine Healy

© Lorraine Healy


Bookmark and Share
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Twitter Updates