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
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 toycamera.com, 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
Walking out over the ice of Lake Superior…
a poem for one voice
Shooting into light and mist with a Diana camera…
from light and mist
Winter dunes of Lake Superior shot with Holga…
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.