I would define a Holgarama as any image shot on a Holga film camera that is longer than a single frame – usually a series of overlapping multiple exposures that create a panorama, as the name suggests.
The images don’t necessarily need to be connected, but they form a pleasing whole.
This one is just two and a bit frames, Paddington station with a double exposure of Reading station platform on the second frame when I forgot to wind on the film:
How to Create Holgaramas
The technique is simple. Take a picture, turn the dial on the Holga to wind on your film, take another picture. Keep going until you feel your Holgarama is complete.
If you want your images to be separated from the next picture you take (like stand pictures on a roll of film), wind on to the next full number. If the next full number is very close, wind it to the next one.
If you want overlapping frames, just keep shooting and turning!
You can do this with a Diana too, and with any camera that lets you manually advance your film. If you have the 12 or 16 frame mask inside your camera, you will see faint “lines” in your images between the frames.
You can also get rid of the lines (thank you, Susan Bowen) by taking away the 12 or 16 frame mask inside the Holga.
If you have a non-flash Holga, makes sure to cover up the holes here to let less light in.
Here’s the same place shot with the Holga 120PAN where the lights have “fused” thanks to more overlapping:
Shot from a roof top terrace in Trafalgar Square on a summer’s evening with Portra 800, this one turned out very dark, but I ended up loving the evening to night aspect of the silhouettes and night falling:
Use Strobes and Flashes
Why not bring your Holga to your company Christmas party?!
This was one where everyone took a turn at taking a picture as the drinks flowed. I used a Holga 12MFC Flash on top of the Holga 120N.
A Holga with a flash (an F in its name) would also work, and I’m yet to try one with a CF (colour flash):
When using strobes against a black background, portraits can also be effective. I produced this one for Amy Elizabeth’s The Artists Collab:
For this last picture, which won me the title of Holga Week Champion 2022, I also used strobes and fixed them up to my Holga.
I turned the dial “three times” to make sure my face didn’t overlap, and put an item of clothing on every time I took a picture.
For the last two images, I used a spare Holga as a prop. I had a Holga Selfie lens on the front of the lens, which meant I could get a little closer (and see myself), and then pressed the shutter with my left hand:
Depending on the length of your Holgarama, you can either scan the image in sections or ask you lab to. Then, you’ll want to stitch them together in Photoshop.
Holgaramas are such fun to create and a wonderful surprise to see when they’ve been developed and scanned, so don’t be afraid to experiment and see what you come up with.
Thank you so much, Alec! Alec is a regular contributor here at Shoot It With Film, and you can check out more of his work on Instagram.