Darkroomist
old boat and pier

Kayaking and Film Photography

What happens when you want to take film photos in places that are bad for cameras? In my example my wife and I went kayaking in a cove on Drummond Island, Michigan and I wanted to take some film shots. In this scenario there’s a LOT that can go wrong and ruin a camera. Ever try to keep your balance while taking a photo in a kayak? It’s not that easy. Water can get in the kayak, you can flip over, there’s lots of camera-terminal contingencies one can imagine.

Holga kayaking photo shot on Tri-X and developed in HC-110
Holga kayaking photo shot on Tri-X and developed in HC-110

My solution, the oft derided Holga! Think about it, you can submerge this camera, perhaps lose the film, but still take it completely apart, dry it and clean it! Salt water might do a number on the shutter mechanism but over all it’s a pretty durable camera in the sense it can be stripped down and cleaned. Boats, kayaks, beaches, desert, dust, etc won’t kill this camera (though dropping it might). When I want to take film pictures in a camera-unfriendly environment, the holga is my goto!

Also to its credit, the only thing you need to make it water proof is a 1 gallon zip lock bag. Seal it with plenty of air in it and it’ll even float.

Water-proofed holga
Water-proofed holga
old boat and pier
Old boat and pier. Shot with a holga from a kayak. Tri-X and HC-110.
abandonded boiler
abandonded boiler
old pier
old pier

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