Sprolga-rama: Panoramic 35mm Holga mutliple exposures

Lost Dog Story -- by Joe ReiferSometimes doing a show can lead to some surprises. Two lightbulbs went off at last Friday night’s opening. The first one was more of a reminder than a revelation. I need to print more often. Prints just read differently than images on a monitor. Sometimes it’s surprising what you think is a good image on the monitor vs. what happens when the image is 2 feet wide on paper. Thanks to J.W. for this discussion.

The second light bulb was talking to Robert Holmgren about his Holga-rama pictures, and then viewing his latest work. The strategy is to shoot multiple exposures with a Holga by only winding part-way between shots — creating a layered panorama.

The neighborhood sprocket hole images I make with a modified Holga are already 2:1 aspect ratio, what happens if I layer 3-4 images together? Yesterday I went on a long neighborhood walk in the Berkeley hills to find out. The experiment was quite stimulating.

The image at left combines a shot of a stairway, a lost dog poster on a pole, and some nearby grass together into one image. I’ll be experimenting some more with storytelling through layering multiple images onto one frame in these Sprolga-ramas. I even made an 11 shot panoramic portrait using a flash on the Holga at the art opening on Friday! More info on this technique, and using flash with the Holga coming up in a few days.

Thanks to everyone who attended the opening on Friday. And thanks to Robert Holmgren for being part of the show, and inspiring me to try something new with the Holga. If you missed last Friday’s event, I’ll probably be down at Lucky Ju Ju this Friday the 8th to play some pinball.

3 thoughts on “Sprolga-rama: Panoramic 35mm Holga mutliple exposures

  1. I’ve always thought that one of the most interesting aspects of artwork is work that tells a story. I’m really interested to see how the multiple exposure storytelling shots turn out. The ability to project all of the images onto a single strip of sprocketed film should really add something to the final print.

    Andy Frazer

  2. I think printing is the ultimate in reviewing and critiquing your photos. It’s also the best way to ENJOY your photos, IMO.

    I used to be in a local camera club that had monthly contests. The viewing and judging of the digital work was all done by a digital projector. This is pretty much the same as viewing on a monitor, except the projector we used would really botch up the colors and exposure. Anyway, my point is that the full value of each photo wasn’t realized by the club members. Several of us wanted print reviews and to completely ditch the projector.

    Through my own photography, I’ve found the value of printing my own photos invaluable. I’ve really learned a lot from printing and I think I’ve improved because of it.

    Printing your own photos makes you slow down and really take a good, hard look at the photo. You first ask, is it worth printing? Then you become very critical and aware of the composition, subject, lighting, etc. And the next time you go out shooting, you’ll remember what you learned during printing.

    It’s very much like using a tripod during shooting – it’s something that slows you down a bit, and because of the required extra effort, it makes you think more about what you’re doing.

    Brooks Jensen has provided some extremely good advice, IMO. He says that you should not only print, but produce a collection of prints on one theme or project. I’ve done this with my own work, and have quickly become aware of the deficiencies in a given body of work – i.e. missing scenes/subjects that are crucial to completing a well-rounded theme/project, or specific photos that just don’t visually communicate the main subject well enough.

  3. Andy – the combination of additional chance operations with more complex storytelling does seem to have promise, and will hopefully lead to some interesting prints in the future!

    TJ – when I started out to do the Holga show I was mixing Sprolga prints with regular square Holga prints. Once I printed a few Sprolga images I decided to make a whole show of them. Printing became a great tool that generated a lot of insights about the work. Printing a dozen images from the same series and hanging them on the wall together helped even more. And talking about the work added additional sparks. Hurrah!

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