Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Holga Feature Photographer Inge Van Leipsig

I am pleased to bring you another from my Holga Feature Photographer Series.  This week I'm featuring the work of Inge van Leipsig.  Inge was one of the winners from last year's Holga Week contest.  Her winning image "The love locks horseman" was a great example of a perfectly executed double exposure Holga photograph.

The love locks horseman

How did you get introduced to your first Holga and how long have you been shooting?

A few years ago I bought a Diana F+ and got back into film photography after a long time of not shooting film. A friend of mine then showed me his Holga 120GN, and I liked it so much I decided to buy one too. It has been one of my favourite cameras ever since. A while ago I also bought the Holga 120PC and 120WPC because I also like pinhole photography.

Poulnabrone Dolmen (pinhole)
What is it about the Holga that draws you to it? Why do you shoot with it?

I enjoy the look of the camera itself. It looks sturdy and toy-like at the same time. The glass lens on my 120GN gives my photos a look I like very much, with soft corners and a very sharp center. Nine out of ten times, if I go somewhere I have my Holga with me. Besides that, it's a very lightweight camera, and it doesn't mind getting a bit wet when it rains (and it can be quite rainy in the Netherlands).

No title

Please tell me a bit about your series in which you use a Holga

I keep taking pictures of statues on cemeteries. Cemeteries have always fascinated me, especially old ones. I really like the big statues of angels and mourning women. Although I didn't plan it, I now have a whole series of statue photos. Another subject that I photograph a lot is street art. It started with just local graffiti, but now I try to look for interesting pieces when I'm on holiday or visiting other places.

Silver flow (pinhole)

What are some of your biggest challenges shooting with a Holga and do you have any tips for over coming them?

A Holga needs quite an amount of light and I'm not very comfortable using a flash. It can be quite difficult to take low light or indoor pictures. I usually end up taking those pictures with a different camera, like an SLR. Occasionally I will use a tripod and do long exposures to get a nice low light picture. Also, don't forget to take the lens cap off and focus.

Dream man

Ferris wheel

What is your biggest piece of advice for someone just starting out with a Holga?

Take time to get to know your Holga. It looks like a simple toy camera (and it is), but you do need to learn how to shoot with it. Experiment with it: do double exposures, try different types of film and different variations of ISO (like 100 for sunny days and 400 for cloudy weather) and see what fits you. Don't toss your Holga aside after just one roll. I've shot loads of rolls, and I still end up with bad rolls and bad pictures. It also might help to look at other people's Holga shots at Flickr or other sites to get some inspiration.

Lined up (pinhole)

What do you consider "must-haves" when shooting with your Holga and why?

Different types of film. I usually have plenty of film with me, both colour and black and white. If you plan to do low light photography, a tripod is recommended. Lots of people have problems with light leaks or with the back falling off. I only had that once or twice, but a roll of tape (painters tape or black tape) can be very useful too to avoid these problems.

Astronomical clock (HQME)

Foxglove (macro)

What other cameras do you have in your arsenal?

Plenty! I have several pinhole cameras, a few SLRs that I really like (the Olympus OM-1n is my favourite) and a few small cameras that are easy to take with you, like the Olympus XA or the LC-A+. The Diana F+ is a fun camera as well, but for some reason I prefer the Holga.

Friendly ghost

Favourite photo film(s)?

Fomapan or Tri-X for black and white and Kodak Ektar or Fuji Provia 400 cross processed for colour.


What inspires you?

Usually I get inspired by what I see, I guess. Cemeteries and street art are always inspiring, but it can also be small things in the street, or a really nice photo book. I'm not the kind of person who thinks up projects and then executes them. It's more a "let's go somewhere and see what we come up with" thing that works for me.

Radio Kootwijk (pinhole)

Twitter: @Frau_Inga
Facebook: inge.vanleipsig

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