The Dream Songs

While some photographers are dreaming of the next spec to be introduced to digital SLR technology, there are those who think the crappier the camera the better.  While that might be a bit of an exaggeration,  some of us do consider distortion, blur, light leaks, and vignetting to be features rather than qualities to be avoided in our photographs.  We are the lovers of toy cameras.

the dream song

the dream song

Toy cameras are inexpensive cameras made mostly from plastic, often including even the lens.  The Diana camera has been around since the 1960s, whereas the Holga didn’t arrive on the scene until 1982.  There are many, many more types of toy cameras, but the two with which I have worked most often are the Diana camera and the Holga.  I actually prefer the Diana camera, and, among my Diana cameras, I even have my favorite, for each Diana camera is unique.

Though the name implies play, many artists are serious about low-fidelity photography.  A good online resource for you, if you are interested in working with toy cameras, is,  which is associated with Light Leaks Magazine.  There is also an annual Krappy Kamera contest and show at the Soho Photo Gallery.

This collection of my own toy camera work emphasizes dream and memory.  I made all of the photos with either the Diana camera or the Holga.  It’s not the season of the year that is important in the set but the way in which the photos yield to the suggestion of dream.

The two following photographs are double exposures taken with a Diana camera of my children at Lake Superior.

daughter of the sea

daughter of the sea

spirit selves

spirit selves

Walking out over the ice of Lake Superior…

a poem for one voice

a poem for one voice

visual disturbances

visual disturbances

Shooting into light and mist with a Diana camera…

from light and mist

from light and mist

Winter dunes of Lake Superior shot with Holga…

the dreams of a stranger

the dreams of a stranger

Finally, I’m currently having a sale in my Etsy Shop.  The price for all the items in the sale items section have been reduced.  At least one photograph in that section is a toy camera shot.  If you don’t have an Etsy account for shopping, you can always contact me by email about purchases.


The following 8″x12″ print on Kodak Endura professional paper is now listed 20 USD.

untitled portrait

untitled portrait


16 responses to “The Dream Songs

  1. Your “Daughter of the Sea” is beautiful!

  2. I really love your photos!

  3. Great photos 🙂
    I love toy camera images. They are so soft and surreal.

  4. beautiful images, love the technique….

  5. hi, do you make any of your prints bigger than 5×7

  6. i answered this to the email contained in the post (because i was having problems with blackberry replies in wordpress), but yes, i make larger prints!

  7. Your photos are beautiful!

  8. Those a re amazing picture.They looks awesome!!!

  9. wow! i love your black and white photography!

  10. Your photos are wonderful! You are a great artist! ^_^

  11. Love your photos!
    I am a fan of the toy camera too..haven’t tried the Diana though… only have a Holga and a Lomo.

  12. Wonderful images! I especially like “Spirit Selves”.

  13. wow these are hauntingly beautiful. very serene too.

  14. gorgeous photos.

  15. I just recieved one for xmas ( a diana f+) and wow this is just the post to get me inspired 🙂

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