My Trip to New Orleans with the Holga 120, Leica M2 and M8

Digital, Film, Mobile, Project, The Streets

Hello everyone!

Not long ago I was fortunate enough to have saved enough $$$ for something I’ve been planning on doing for a long while.

A trip down to the “Big Easy” New Orleans, Louisiana!!

Once I felt comfortable with funds 🙂 I went forward and made reservations for the flight and hotel stay

Now, this trip was not just for vacation, but also to spend some time solely dedicated to photography.

During my planning for the trip, a couple things went through my mind..

I knew I wanted to shoot black and white film, and I also knew i wanted to shoot some color, most likely in digital since I haven’t shot that medium in a LONG while

Being really active on eBay lately, I’ve been coming across deals on recently expired films (which I made sure were cold stored) or new in bulk, so I had a number of different film stocks to choose from

One certain film that for some reason i kept tracking down deals on (luckily!) was Kodak Tri-X

And in 35mm as well as 120!

I decided that would be the film to pack with me


This then lead to my thoughts on what cameras to bring

I knew right away I HAD to bring a rangefinder on this trip

This is the style of camera I’m most comfortable with and I wanted to make sure to be prepared since this is will be something new for me

I also wanted to bring along a camera that i may have been neglecting for a while.

A camera even when i did use, I really didn’t take too seriously while out and about

A camera that is pretty infamous but in most minds is nothing but a “toy” camera


The Holga 120 – Look at that Sexy Thang

There are a number of different models of this camera, the one I currently own is the Holga 120GN model

Here is some info on the camera for those that aren’t familiar with it:

The Holga camera was initially introduced to the Chinese public in 1982 as an inexpensive camera for everyday use. Shortly after its introduction, it became an underground artistic phenomena. Using the Holga is an exercise in breaking free from dependence on technology, precision and controllability. The slight softness of the images, vignetting and random light leaks produce dream-like, one-of-a kind images.
The Holga 120N is modeled after the original Holga released in 1982. The latest resurgence of toy cameras stems from the love of the classic black utilitarian camera.

Uses 120 medium format film
2 film masks for either 12- 6×6 cm images or 16- 6×4.5cm images

Normal shutter setting 1/100 of a second and bulb shutter setting

2 aperture settings, f/11 for sunny, f/8 for cloudy

Hot shoe adapter

Standard Tripod Mount

Lens cap and strap

The Holga 120GN has the same features of the Holga 120N but with a glass lens for sharper(?) images

So after some internal discussions between my brain and heart, i decided on the trio that i will be bringing with me


That Tri-X stack is a thing of beauty

So yes, apart from the Holga i also decided to bring two rangefinders, the Leica M2 and Leica M8

Two cameras which I’ve spoken about in previous posts

One armed with a 35mm lens and the other with a 50mm lens, two of my favorite focal lengths for street photography

For those of you that have been to New Orleans, you may be familiar with the French Quarter, which i spent most of my time, as well as other spots in downtown “Nawlins'”

So yea, you may recognize some of the content if you’ve been there or are from there.

So without further ado I’d like to share some images with you 🙂

I had so much fun interacting with the people there as well as viewing the sites of an environment I’ve never been to before

It was an extremely rewarding experience..

Leica M8








I can’t say enough about the Leica M8, in the right hands it’s a spectacular camera.

Especially when converting to Black and White

Leica M2








This guy was pretty funny, he was a Puerto Rican street Magician near Canal Street in New Orleans and his act was hilarious



I’m not going to make this post entirely about how much i love the Leica M2…but i can if i wanted to…haha

P.S. Each shot was metered using the Sunny 16 rule on the M2

Last but not least, the images that were shot with the HOLGA 120GN











Now I know this is my own humble opinion, but I believe the camera performed BEAUTIFULLY…and not only because of the person pushing the shutter button 😉

Of the 3 cameras i used, I had the least experience with the Holga

I think this added to the excitement of viewing my results (besides the fact it was my first time using the Kodak HC-110 developer as well)

Experimenting with HC-110 Dilution B has been pretty awesome. Once i saw those AMAZING negatives, i knew the scans/printers were going to be to my liking.

When i got back to Jersey, I had some time to go through some emails and received some very sad news..and it was concerning the Holga line of cameras

I mean seriously, what timing!

I had just had an amazing time with this cam and all of a sudden i get an email concerning the future production of them..


And it was from one of my favorite photography gear suppliers, Freestyle Photo

I’m so glad I had brought not only the 2 Leica cams but also the Holga during my time in Louisiana.

I don’t think I’ll be forgetting it long time

I suggest everyone get one!

You never know if they may become scarce one day

They’re pretty cheap and loads of fun, and apparently highly customizable if you’re willing to put some time and money into them

I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised whether you’re a novice or a pro (or even an enthusiast like me!)

Thank you for taking the time to check out the post and view the world through my eyes


One thought on “My Trip to New Orleans with the Holga 120, Leica M2 and M8

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