Oh my Holga!
Yep, I've got a birthday coming up. Yep, I also have a fantastic partner who is into photography and cool toys. He gave me a medium format, cheap as sin from Hong Kong toy camera (that's exactly what was written on the customs declaration sticker) called a Holga. Wicked!
I'm no technophobe, but I am a bit of a ludite. I have a fancy shmancy Minolta something-or-other that goes both manual and fully automatic and various shades in between, but have I ever really learned how to use it? Not so much. The Holga is perfect. These cameras have two aperture settings, sunny and not so sunny (depicted graphically on the camera), four focus guides ranging from portrait to group shots to mountains (also depicted graphically), and only one button on the whole camera - the button to shoot the image. I think I can handle it.
I've already taken half a roll, and I expect I'll have a roll to develop by the time I return to Vancouver on Monday. Can't wait to see how my shot of dad's socked feet turns out! The thing about Holga's is they leak light, mostly because they are cheap plastic things with only a plastic lens. The leaks tend to be unique to each camera and make the images quite atmospheric - when they don't completely obscure the image. The first few rolls will determine if the camera should be taped up with gaffer's tape so the shots I've already taken might turn out to be nothing.
Very cool stuff. For more on Holgas and medium format photography, see the multitude of great sites online, like Edmund and Sophie's Page and Alternative Photography.