Originally Posted by Jamie123
But that's the point, isn't it? When using a Holga you're not de-emphasizing equipment at all. In fact, you're emphasizing equipment to the highest degree. And thus you're actually de-emphasizing skill as every shot becomse, first and foremost, a product of the camera not the photographer.
Certainly, gear, regardless of cost, can create a fresh pop look that camouflages mediocre skill - for awhile. And a holga, just as a fisheye, ultrawide, super-tele, polaroid, IR, HDR, lensbaby miniatures, multiple-exposure images, soft-focus, and whatever insta- or hipsta- ick can quickly become cloying and cliche'. The suggestion may be that you want to develop skill with 'normal' equipment before relying on specialized gear.
But, specialized equipment, like the holga, can enhance the highest level of skill. Burnett's shot of Al Gore
supports that claim (as well, his use of a speed graphic/aero-ektar). He creates a finished image in-camera, which would have been very dull straight from a contemporary D1. (It's a brilliant way to handle image control and the ethics of post-processing/manipulation in journalism.)
PS: Nothing I can say though, can surpass the holga manufacturer's inexorable, somewhat frightening eloquence (I'm trying to find the communist manifesto that it's clipped from.)
Birth, death, celebration, ritual, and everything in-between is caught on lo-fi medium-format emulsions - amplified and focused through the plastic lens of this bare bones, oversized camera. Ironically, as camera design becomes more technical, automatic, and sophisticated, Holga's low-tech appeal grows stronger and stronger for us; those who relish its quirky and unpredictable nature. This cult following organizes around the Holga, praising its insane characteristics, unpredictable effects, and stunning results.