One of my closest friends, Mike, practices Aikido, a form of martial arts, and was kind enough to invite me and my family along when his group was training on the beach. I was thrilled to capture the group’s flowing motions, stark uniforms and weaponry against a backdrop of sand and surf. Since Mike also appreciates the lo-fi aesthetic I was ready to capture some beautiful black and white images with my Holga and maybe print a few for him. But, as often happens in the toy camera world, that’s not exactly how things worked out. I made a totally amateur mistake when I forgot to check if the shutter was set to “Bulb” instead of “Normal” (you can see where this is going now, can’t you?).
Big fat whoops on my part. I really wished these pictures had actually been in focus. Somehow, I did get a shot of the group that came out really nicely.
It probably wouldn’t have been much sharper had I had it on the Normal setting. In retrospect, even though the shots didn’t come out the way I planned, I really like them. The motions look ethereal and ancient, which I feel reflects some of the character of the martial arts. Also, the sun was going down at the time and the bulb setting gave me the light I needed for a decent exposure.
Before I take a shot with any toy camera, I often follow the advice given to me by a photographer when I was a kid: Hold your breath, then press the button. That advice certainly saved some of these photos from being completely disastrous.
Then there are these last two shots. After I got home and realized my mistake I fired off these last two shots. The first is of four circles of roofing nails. They’d be much cooler in macro mode, but I seem to have misplaced my diopter, so this is what I got.
And finally, my wonderful children showing their love for each other at the dinner table….