Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Double exposure and flash gels

Finally, a Holga post.  A fun Holga post, at that.

There are a number of cool flashes out there for Holga and Diana cameras.  The most fun ones have gels, little clear cards you can put over the bulb to make the flash come out a certain color.

This means you can have pictures that flash with blue or pink.  Or both.

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Simple to do.  Grab a camera that will allow you to expose the same frame twice without winding.  Holgas, Dianas, etc.  Put on your flash with the first color gel.  Set your Holga to the “Sunny” setting instead of “Cloudy/Flash”, the goal is to have it be underexposed because you’re exposing twice.  Handhold your shot, find something fun and take a picture.  Put in the other color gel and sit in roughly the same area looking at roughly the same scene.  Take another shot.  Repeat as necessary.  It’s very experimental, but the idea is not to use a tripod and not to be perfect.



The darker the room, the less the chance of blowing out the shot with the flash.  I did this in the pitch black. 

If you have another Holga or Diana with a Polaroid back (or even maybe a camera set to Bulb if your space is dark enough and you can manually trigger the flash), play with this with Polaroids for a while before switching to film.  You’ll get a slew of instant results and a better idea of what settings to use.

Try color gels that contrast each other more than they compliment each other.  Also use gels that are about equal on the brightness scale.  I tried a dark blue with yellow, and the yellow was drowned out.

Other Ideas:

Use a tripod and move the subject within the frame during each exposure.

If you must go digital, find a really dark space (no light at all), put your camera on Bulb, open the shutter and fire the flash with the manual trigger.

Good luck!

Shasta Betty

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Great shot! We recently launched the HolgaDirect website which is dedicated to Holga cameras and photographers. Be sure to check out the great articles, interviews and online store at

    Keep up the Good Work!