Lomography Wednesday: Holga Cat Camera

The Holga K205 camera that I simply like to call the Holga Cat camera is a standard automatic 35mm camera except it comes with lighting effects and most importantly – a cat sound. Not to be confused with the K202 addition which has a white body and comes in a cat tin (the main difference is the white version plays 5 different cat sounds as the orange version just plays 1 and doesn’t come in a tin). This camera was actually a present to my friend Ana years and years ago but she recently regifted the camera to me because she had only used it once and I really wanted to add it into my lomography camera collection (still available on Ebay btw, but the white version which I was holding out for has been impossible to find for years). The camera although intended to make it easier to grab any cats attention so you can capture all your cat photography doesn’t necessary work on that side of things with my cat but it’s still a good classic 35mm camera that will give you photos reminiscent of the 90s. I haven’t taken photos with it yet and might never as it’s really just a gimmick camera however I did test it out with Butter so you can see the video below.

holga cat camera (2)holga cat camera (1)(Butter and her camera)

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Lomography Wednesday: Camping & Long Beach

lomography instax mini film camping vancouver island long beach (15)I am sharing photos from my Vancouver trip piece by piece, there is something about summer that makes me never feel the need to relive it a second time…that is until Winter hits and the first snow falls and then all I do is look at photos of better and nicer days and pine away. lol. All the instant photographs today were taken with my Instax Mini 90 camera using Pandora film while me and Victor were on our trip.  We really wanted to go camping on Vancouver Island while in town and my friend Brent agreed to drive so we hit the road 2 days into landing in Vancouver. Me and Victor spent the next 6 days camping at various places across the island.

lomography instax mini film camping vancouver island long beach (11)Our second location of the camping trip was Long Beach on the west coast of the island. The sky was blotched out due to the heavy smoke from a forest fire on the north side of the island that happened on the 2nd day of our camping adventure. The lower mainland and the island were having a severe drought so fires are to be expected. We didn’t know until we arrived back to Vancouver that the whole of lower mainland had the same issue with the sky just being a sea of smoke. I remember once having black ash fall from the sky in downtown Vancouver one year after a really bad forest fire which didn’t feel as bizarre to me as this. It’s just what happens when you are in province with so much forest and dry summers. So we didn’t really get a sunny beach while camping but I loved the atmosphere. Below is a double exposure shot of the beach and a few of us hanging out.

lomography instax mini film camping vancouver island long beach (12) lomography instax mini film camping vancouver island long beach (5)lomography instax mini film camping vancouver island long beach (13)Sadly I didn’t get any photos of us wave surfing as a group but we spent most of our day on Long Beach doing that with my friend Zara who joined us there. The water was very cold especially with no sun to warm us up but we had a blast. We also headed down to the beach later that day to watch the sunset together. I hate when I take photos of sunsets with the Instax camera the sun becomes a black dot in the skyline  (like the second photo below).

lomography instax mini film camping vancouver island long beach (6) lomography instax mini film camping vancouver island long beach (14)lomography instax mini film camping vancouver island long beach (10)Due to the drought most of BC had a fire ban which all three of us didn’t even think about before heading out camping. Lucky for us we just happened to have packed a gas stove or it might have been a disaster. However at Long Beach they didn’t have a ban on camps fires due to being so close to the ocean.  We made the biggest fire we could! It was so nice to cook supper over it (man I love anything cooked over a fire) and I must have spent a good hour roasting marshmallows.

lomography instax mini film camping vancouver island long beach (7)Our 3rd camping location was the beautiful island of Newcastle which is just adjacent to Nanaimo’s downtown harbour. When I was little and lived in Nanaimo my school use to go over to Newcastle to hike all the time and even do group camping. I couldn’t wait to take Victor and show him as I have a fondness of the place. Sadly our friend Brent had to get back to work so he dropped us off so we could hop on the small ferry over to the island. The first night we arrived the sun was just setting so we didn’t do much except setup camp and eat a quick supper but the next morning we made the big plan to walk around the entire island. It was intense and it took 5 hours but being able to view the ocean from the cliff sides and even have lunch dangling my feet over a cliff was well worth it.

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Late on our last night of camping my older brother showed up with his girlfriend and we proceeded to show them the coastline of the island. We didn’t get to go very far since me and Victor were exhausted from our own walk but the next morning on our last day we took them up the side of the island that we thought was the most beautiful. Victor and my brother were on the hunt to find the perfect private beach to sit and chill at. We did find in the end after a lot of walking and even scrabbling down the side of rocks, lots of hand hold and finding a path down with the least amount of thorn bushes.  All the photos are us hanging out on the secluded beach and enjoy the morning breeze coming off the ocean. Victor even went for a swim at the end to capitalize on our last hour on Newcastle before we headed back to Vancouver.

lomography instax mini film camping vancouver island long beach (8) lomography instax mini film camping vancouver island long beach (9)lomography instax mini film camping vancouver island long beach (4)lomography instax mini film camping vancouver island long beach (3)I am surprised I didn’t take more photos on our 6 day trip camping but I love the ones I did and have a few more from the whole trip which maybe I’ll share in a few weeks’ time.

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Lomography Wednesday: Toronto in Instax Mini

instax mini toronto (4)It’s been forever since my trip to Toronto last month and I’m just getting around to sharing my Instax mini photos from there. Sitting down and spending an hour or two scanning photos is always the part I am least enthused about when it comes to instant photography. However I’m glad I did finally scan these as it was a walk through memory lane last night. I had such a great time hanging out with my friends Derek and Erin. The highlights of the trip beside all the ramen me and Victor consumed was meeting their two brand new kitties and watching them both dj at Detour bar. Most of the photos are from our random walk around Toronto and on Derek’s birthday. My favourite photo outta the bunch is one of Victor with Derek’s best friend Victor, it’s kind of the crazy but they are both obviously Victor’s and both from Chile. So strange. I loved capturing all these shots, can’t wait for my next trip outta town!

instax mini toronto (13)instax mini toronto (17)instax mini toronto (16) instax mini toronto (10) instax mini toronto (12) instax mini toronto (9) instax mini toronto (15) instax mini toronto (11)instax mini toronto (5)instax mini toronto (1)instax mini torontoinstax mini toronto (3)instax mini toronto (6)instax mini toronto (7)instax mini toronto (4)instax mini toronto (2)instax mini toronto (3)I’m loving the cute fun film from Japan for my Instax Mini 90 – can’t wait to grab more for Spring.

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Lomography Wednesday: Coke Cola Camera

coke cola camera (6)I am really excited about this post because never in my head did I conceive that this existed, that in the world there was a coke cola camera. Now of course I know of 90’s automatic throw away cameras that are simply branded with the logo (apparently there are ones made to look like the cans too which is pretty cool) but a camera made from recycled coke cola cans blew my mind. My friend Zara gifted to this me last week; a purchase from Cuba for a few pesos she told me, while saying it was the combination of my two favourite things before pulling it out of her bag. Honestly it’s the best present I’ve gotten all year, it’s amazing. Something that I guess hasn’t come up on the blog, is that I am addicted to Coke Cola, no shame but a total fact that I love Coke Cola so this really is two of my favourite things combined. I love what they used for each element to, like the pull tabs being the strap for the camera, it’s all very ingenious. The only disappointment is that is somehow doesn’t actually take photos. However you can use the viewfinder to frame a shot and pull the trigger like a real camera but what happens next is a surprise!
(check the video below if you want to find out)

More Close Ups:

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Lomography Wednesday: Instax Christmas

Okay, so Christmas was a LONG LONG TIME ago but I find the Instax Christmas mini film you can get to be so charming I just really wanted to share. My tree might still not be packed away either, the decorations have been remove but still hanging out on my floor waiting to go in our outside shed so I might also be wishing it was still the holidays. Most of the photos are just of me, Victor and Butter and our fabulous collection of trees since I was so relaxed on the holiday I didn’t even take my camera out until we had opened all the presents. Butter was in love with sleeping underneath the tree and pouncing out from under it, and curling up between all the presents before being opened and after. She might be in every photo I took of the tree, so try and spot her.

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Fall in Instant: Camping and Lake Ontario

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My Fujifilm Instax 90 is turning into my go-to camera anytime I’m going to hang out with friends. I had so much fun last weekend camping and being a beach bum for the last warm weekend of the year. I took with me both my Instax 90 and my vintage Super Shot Polaroid camera and it was surprising how in comparison I enjoyed shooting with the Instax more. I really noticed the difference in using a vintage camera over a modern camera when I was in the middle of cooking bacon over the fire or on a windy sandy beach and didn’t want the hassle.  I just love taking a photo with the Instax and tossing it in my bag to dry and peaking at it as it developed, plus the size and weight really makes a difference. The one thing that occurred to me on my trip though that I don’t like about the Instax 90 is how frustrating it is to frame a shot. The viewfinder is not accurate at all. I always feel like I’m adding in the correction as the viewfinder is to the left of the actual lens but my correction seems to only make it worse. Had several shots where they didn’t turn out right because the subject was either half cropped out or completely cropped (example the photo of my delish bacon on a stick, 3rd from bottom). I don’t want to have to frame my subjects to be center frame in every shot so it’d be nice to have a camera that had a proper viewfinder! I should probably do my review for the Instax 90 soon. I’ve used it quite a bit at this point, but there are a few of the ‘scene’ options I haven’t used yet. It was fun shooting in instant film, regardless of camera. It is just so satisfying and that immediacy of instant photography is something I am really enjoying right now. I’ll be showing the shots from the Polaroid next week on Tuesday as well if you want to see the different results.

fuji instax mini film instant photography (14)

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Pick of the Week: Lomography Special Sales

sprocket rocket (2)

Pick of the Week: Lomography Special Sales

Today’s pick is Lomography special sales area of their website which offers heavily discounted cameras and more. I didn’t even know this existed until the beginning of the summer and it’s been one of my favourite shops to browse at since. The deal is that for a discounted price that can vary from 15% to 75% you can get either cameras or accessories that were used in stores as samples, have damaged or open boxes and other items like magazine and books that they are trying to move stock for. This is a great way to pick up a camera you’ve really wanted at a much better price or picking up other fun items. They also promise that the camera comes with the manual and all the extras so you aren’t missing out on anything the full price camera has. Besides cameras they have accessories like flashes or lens for various cameras and the other items like Lomography books, magazines and photo albums. The one thing I have yet to see in this area is film which is too bad. However, it’s a gold mine for amazing cameras and they seem to update the website multiple times a week so if a camera you want isn’t listed there is strong possibility it’ll become available in a short amount of time. I missed out on picking up one of the cameras I really wanted before when I was browsing and waited less than a week for it to be relisted. Also there always seems to be multiple pages of sales which means the choice is varied and it’s just not one or two specific camera or designs at a time.  The main reason why I love the special sale area though is that it really helps offset the cost of Lomography cameras which are usually more expensive then need be (probably to offset the cost of all those extras they include with the cameras – which I think are useless) and also for people outside of US it helps with shipping and export fees. The two cameras that I purchased from there were both roughly 40% off and saved me $70 total so I end up with 2 cameras for the price of 1. On top of that shipping was $15 and I had to pay a $20 import fee when the package arrived because even though the cameras were ordered through their Canadian website they ship out of New York (that was the only thing I don’t like about my purchase so beware of those charges). Overall I am really happy with my cameras and honestly don’t think there is any reason to buy a full priced camera if you don’t have to. I know not everything will come in the same condition as mine did but I wanted to show you what my experience was like with the two I purchased. Below is a photo of the cameras as they came:

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As you can see with my Sprocket Rocket the box is entirely in tack and in very good condition. Beside there being dust on the top of the box and being slightly bent everything was pretty much mint condition. I doubt the camera ever left the box. For my La Sardina camera you can tell the box is pretty man handled and the side the box is beat up a bit. Honestly for this camera as well when I was opening it, it didn’t really appear like the camera ever left the box. As they mention the cameras came with everything they would have if I had bought it brand new. None of the books instead were even bent or damages. So from my experience I managed to get 2 cameras for half off the regular price just because the box just  dusty in one case and slightly mangled on the other. It’s a great deal and perfect for if you are buying the camera for yourself and you don’t care about the outward appearance of the box. I may have gotten really lucky so please do let me know in the comments if your experience was different but I highly recommend taking this route for you next Lomography camera purchase. Check it out here!

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Lomography Wednesday: My Birthday!

Guess what I got for my birthday present from Victor?

A Fujifilm Instax Mini 90!

fujifilm instax mini 90I’m in love with this camera, it’s really lived up to my expectations and I had a lot of reservations about getting a newer style of instant camera. Even though I’ve wanted to try a Fujifilm camera for a while I have never been able to shallow the expense of the camera on top of getting film when I already used Polaroid land cameras for instant photography. The Instax 90 with its control options, retro styling (not a fan of the Mini 7s or 8s) and double exposure mode really makes the Instax series a whole lot better and higher end. It’s been hard to resist, so it was really nice that this was my birthday present. I may have known Victor was buying me this camera since he always lets me pick out my presents so I was prepared when it arrived with film, photo albums, stickers….really the complete set of accessories to go with it. He even got the camera at such a good price that he allowed me to pick out a case for it as well (usually the Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 is priced around $180, he got it for $140 on Amazon on sale). I picked out a chocolate leather bag that’s big enough for the camera and a few other things at the same time.

fujifilm instax mini 90 (2) fujifilm instax mini accessoriesMy first opinions on the camera are that it’s just so nice having an instant camera that I can take with me when I want to take silly, non-serious photos. Its way more reliable so far than using an older Polaroid camera and even experimenting with the double exposures you can get usable shots very often. Its way smaller than my vintage Polaroid land cameras as well this is convenient for bike rides. I cannot wait to do a review of the camera after the summer is over. It’s definitely not going to replace my vintage instant cameras with its mini photos but it’s really fun for casual photography. Here are a few of the mini instant photos I’ve taken already!

instax mini 90 film (3)instax mini 90 film (1) instax mini 90 film (2)

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Holgaroid

I think I’ve been spending too much time this week in the sun because I’ve been thinking about giving my Holgaroid one more chance…even though last summer I swore I’d never use it again. If you don’t know why I don’t favor this camera, you can check out my review (here)… but long story short it’s a right pain and wastes a ton of film with failed shots. I’d just love to see instant photos from my Holga. The process of taking a whole film roll and then process it at home and scanning the negatives and color correcting the negatives is just not how I want to be spending my summer weekends. Plus now that I’m getting more use to taking double exposures with instant film, I’d love to try with the Holgaroid and see the results. I have also been considering the newer Diana F+ instant back that uses Fuji mini instax film. It’s a much newer product and maybe the reliability is higher than the Holgaroid but the reviews I find online leave me a little cold (plus I’d have to buy it, which at full price is $100). Thought I’d share some old Holgaroid photos and see what you opinions are, let me know in the comments! I also rescanned the photos since the review and they look a lot better! I know I promised two weeks ago to have some Split-Cam photos today but haven’t had a chance to get the film developed.

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Lomography Wednesday: Holga Lens Review

holga lens review

The Holga lens for Nikon and Canon is the classic Holga lens with various mount for most DSLR camera. The lens is supposed to transform your digital camera into a toy camera using the unique Holga lens to create distorted and whimsical photos without the need of a full Holga camera or using film. It has the same focusing options as the original lens (mountain, crowd, group, 1 person) and even vignettes. I’ve owned my Holga lens for Nikon for almost 2 years now and actually have the Diana version of it too (review here) and thought it was about time that I review to. I will do a comparison between the two sometime later this summer as well so look out for that. To start I thought I’d show you what’s possible with the lens and show you  side by side comparisons of my Nikon D7000 with a regular DSLR lens to the Holga lens.

Landscape and group photos

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*my Nikon DSLR has a double exposure mode built in so only possible if your camera supports it

 Nikon with regular lens and then Holga lens:

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