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(2) Vintage Photo Looks: Holga

April 20, 2010 - - 7:22 AM

The Holga is a medium format camera with a few charming “flaws”: soft focus, light leaks and vignetting. You can create this low-tech appeal digitally with various methods.

1. Webbased tools

Upload an image on the HolgaNizer and the application turns it into a Holga image. For inspiration you can check out the HolgaNizer Flickr Group. Side effects of the PHP-based script include a very low resolution (300×300 pixel) and a mandatory film frame border around the image. If you want this action for Photoshop, it costs $20, but it allows for a much greater image size. I very much like the pretty light leak in the right bottom corner. There is a group on deviant art focusing especially on photos with light leaks.

=> View original image

2. Photoshop

a) General actions

Alberto Campione offers a free Holga Photoshop action called “Holga Simulator” and Lawrence Ripsher has a tutorial on how to use it. On top of the action I included a viewfinder frame to make it even more realistic.

=> View original image

There are also nice actions – not only in b&w but also in color and silver-toned – by Chris Fawkes. Additionaly I used this texture in the image.

=> View the original image

If you like a strong radial blur then you can use the action by tannermorrow.

=> View original image

b) Special actions

Holga + Polaroid = Holgaroid! Rawimage has some wonderful actions for these special images – one for black&white and one for color.

=> View original image

c) Tutorials

If you want a look in detail at one way to achieve the Holga characteristics in Photoshop, then take a look at the different steps by Lenscraft or the video tutorial by PhotoshopGirl. Feel free to experiment and keep in mind, that there are many ways to holga-fy an image.

I would very much like to see what you come up with, if you’d like to share.