a couple years ago, i was gifted a holga camera by my guy. i was enamored by this little plastic case and highly intimidated at the same time. it had been years since i shot film and i knew nothing about what holga would give me which scared the crap out of me. i toted holga around with my token two rolls of ilford hp5 film hoping to gather enough courage to one day, break open that foil pack, insert the roll + take some shots. she made it on numerous trips to the beach + family outings. my bravery out the window.
in march, i attended a workshop in palm springs. we were scheduled to shoot at joshua tree national park one of the evenings — the perfect moment had arrived! i was going to do it! i packed holga into my camera bag, and off we went. holga, two rolls of ilford hp5 black + white film + my courage (along with full instructions on how to handle said holga). as my girlfriend drove us up the canyon from palm springs into joshua tree, holding holga gently in my lap, i busted open my first roll ever of ilford hp5. film in one hand, instructions in the other, i managed to properly get the film into + wound-up, ready to shoot. there it was.
i shot most of my first roll over the course of the weekend at joshua tree and in palm springs, ending with some shots from wyoming + colorado. it’s a lot of adventure for one roll, but i wanted to be very selective in what i was shooting since after all, each roll had only twelve or so frames. my second roll began + ended at the beach house (prior blog post). i had actually managed to shoot both of my rolls! i was so excited! what did i get? where will i get it developed? what do i do now? the questions loomed in my mind. i researched online and found a lab in utah. bingo! i called them up and they walked me through the process. wrapped it up + sent it in a box. i was so proud. i wondered + day dreamed about what i might get back. over-exposures? under? nothing? something really great? and then it came. i opened up my email last wednesday morning and there it was. the scans had arrived! i held my breath as i opened up roll no.1. i had one blank and a couple that were way under-exposed. but i had a few that weren’t so bad. roll no. 2. the beach house. i was most excited about this roll because i had taken some portraits of g + a and i really wanted them to turn out. i had two blanks + one double exposure. the others, i absolutely fell in love with.
so my adventures in film have begun. i am kinda in love now. i have two more rolls of film coming along with my 4x4 prints of these images. i can’t wait to get it into my camera + shoot. here they are. a work in progress. but over all, not too shabby.
© chandra sandoval