Though there are cameras available today that are able to capture a picture with simplistic ease and accuracy, I have chosen a less commonly used method to create my images. I use a plastic or toy camera called a “Holga”. The Holga is referred to as the granddaughter of the Diana, the grand old plastic camera of the 1960’s. I have chosen this camera because of its magical personality - the camera is plastic and not much attention is paid to exact manufacturing specs. What this means is each camera has its own personality or characteristics.

The plastic lens makes the art of focusing control somewhat of a learned educated guessing game. The limited focus of these lenses is generally concentrated in the center of the image and the focus softens to the edge. There are also light leaks due to the uneven construction of the camera bodies. The exposure controls are simple and very limited - there is one shutter speed and one functional aperture setting. I use five different Holga cameras, some focus better, some have more light leaks, some give an eerie double exposure, I have one that could be considered to be almost without faults.

All of these limitations and inconsistencies actually give me a tremendous degree of creative control. I am able to use these variables to strengthen what I choose to present to the viewer. The uniqueness of the negative opens new doors of creativity in the actual printing of the image. The images in all the galleries, except “Other Images” gallery, are all printed on gelatin-silver paper (the old school way). The Images in the “Other Images” gallery are a mixture of analog and digital.

I truely feel during the printing of these images that I am painting with light - a mirror image recorded by the camera, but conceived in my mind’s eye.

Thanks for your interest... Neal


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