Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Tests with Holga 120 Pan

I bought my first Holga at the very beginning of 2009. It was a classic model 120GN with glass lens which suppose to be a bit sharper comparing to original plastic one.
And it is very sharp indeed as for toy camera once you manage to judge distance to your subject properly.
Extremely light, small and easy to use makes it perfect portable medium format camera.
My 120GN allowed me to record many great photograph in the last years. Some of them like ‘Film House’ received quite serious appreciation.

In mid 2013 looking at some work of other photographers my attention caught series of photographs taken by Phil Kneen with his wide Holga called 120 pan. Link is HERE.
That was something totally new for me especially in this format. I love wide aspect ratio like the one in fantastic Hasselblad XPan but this time it was medium format and what is very important - very affordable medium format. Of course there is no comparison in optics haha ;) 

It took me over a year to get this camera into my hands. I did it anyway ;)

First impression - simply stretched 120GN ;)
I have to ad that I was using for a while pinhole model but it’s not the same. I am not a huge fan of pinhole photography as I really like to have as much control as possible over the frame I am going to record. 

Last weekend weather was just perfect for the experiment with my 120 Pan.
Destination? UCD campus - the best place ever ;) Beautiful sunny day, modernist forms of an old campus, lines, shadows …
Couple of hours of shooting, 2 rolls of film (6 photographs in each! love it) all with a big excitement.
Next day another roll and …processing time in the evening.

And that’s it …
All mentioned excitement has gone. I did the most ridiculous mistake or maybe oversight is a better word. 
Doesn't matter - ridiculous is how I describe it. I did something which I am always talking about in a form of warning when somebody is asking me about using Holga. 
I switched it into BULB mode ;) Yes. all of you who own Holga know this little switch at the bottom of the lens ;)

Position of mention switch is very easy to mix up especially when another switch theoretically responsible for aperture works in sort of inverted way.

All this time was wasted. Films ruined…well almost. I quite like photograph presented below which was made outside campus, on the way to Blackrock. 

I am coming back next weekend to UCD if weather allows of course
For now however I couldn't wait and had to make some images before that.
I simply had to check if it really works in the way I want. 

And... it does work  ;)

Yesterday I went outside my place and made a few photographs in the area. Images are still not perfect as film was expired and didn't gave me desired quality but I am really happy with it anyway.

So.. camera is fantastic! 
If any of you is thinking about it just give it a go! 
Pleasure guaranteed ...once you will remember about all switches ;)

Friday, 6 March 2015


Here is a few words about my ventures I started while ago. There is a lot of confusion so I would like to clear it out or rather simply explain it.
My photographic passion is quite broad and touches many areas of photographic world.

- Studio A.S. - Commercial Photography 

Photo: Rafal Krol

Let's start from the first one and the most important:

Artur Sikora Photographer

I am first of all traditional photographer working mainly with analogue equipment. This part of my world is mostly B&W but I am not running away from colour if necessary ;)

Of course This service is open for any assignments in specific areas (architecture and portraiture) especially for people who understand the meaning and uniqueness of traditional way of creating images.

I also teach basic elements of photography like negative film processing, darkroom printing, understanding of composition and exposition triangle and other technical bits and pieces. 
What next? 

Darkroom Service

This is an extension of my primary passion which I decided to share with others couple of years ago.
As I stated on Darkroom Service website  - 'I started Darkroom Service to open new possibilities for young photographers, help those experienced to keep on working with the best possible photographic medium and simply... keep film alive.'

I have in my offer: 
- processing all types of professional B&W films (not C-41!) from 35mm up to large      
   format 4x5,
 - scanning negatives in high resolution up to format 8x10,
 - scanning glass plates in high resolution up to format 8x10,
 - scanning prints up to format 8x10 or A4 , basic restoration and archiving them on 
 - contact sheets wet printing (B&W)
 - contact sheets archival pigment prints (colour and B&W)
 - photographs archival pigment printing up to A3+ format (13x19in)

The last one is:

Studio A.S Commercial Photography 

It's completely new venture...well officially ;) This part is totally dedicated to commercial assignments, fully digital with quite a big turnover and at the same time very high quality of final 'product'.
What is in the offer? Architecture, Interior Photography, Portraiture, Corporate and actor Headshots and recently also events.
I was doing bits and pieces like that during last few years but at some stage I sold all digital equipment and become analogue purist...well until now when I discovered how high quality proper digital equipment represents these days.
It will never replace my old good Hasselblad  or Sinar but I am truly impressed and happy to use also this medium for  some very specific assignments/situations :)

So... yes - these three incarnations is one and the same person - Artur Sikora ;) 

Thanks a lot!