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Plastic Cameras: Toying with Creativity

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  163 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
Take a tour of the burgeoning world of plastic cameras and low-tech photography in this fun and funky guide to creating the most artistic pictures of your life! Whether you're an experienced enthusiast or toy camera neophyte, you'll find this guide full of tantalizing tips, fun facts, and absolutely striking photographs taken with the lowest tech tools around.

You'll learn
Paperback, 286 pages
Published October 4th 2010 by Focal Press (first published January 1st 2006)
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Rebecca McNutt
Great little coffee table book, but it was that alone; much of it consisted of more photos than text on how to get these same results in your own cameras. I'd recommend it more as an art book than as a photography guide.
Jun 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Photographers of any skill level.
A useful reference on using so-called toy cameras with emphasis on the Holga and Diana (see & for more information). Bates, who has used a Holga for the past 20 years, provides a good overview of the history and the work that can be created from these cheap, nearly entirely plastic cameras. As she notes in the introduction to this second edition, much has changed in the world of toy camera photography. More exhibitio ...more
The Subway Reader
Excellent book about the Holga and about Toy Cameras in general but still mostly about the Holga. The Holga is an inexpensive camera that can be purchased for around $28. It is entirely made out of plastic, the lens as well, and the build quality is crappy at best. But the Holga has the ability to produce mind-blowing unpredictable surreal images and therefor it has attracted the attention of photography students, hipsters and professional photographers alike. The book of Michelle Bates is a joy ...more
Apr 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: regal
Really good book about plastic cameras! Its little bit focused on Holgas, but also about for example Processes and Presentations and it includes a lot of pictures.
So if you are interested in plastic/ lomo cameras, read this book! When you shoot since a longer time with plastic cameras, you will know a lot of what you find in this book. So 4 stars if you know much about plastic cameras and 5 stars if you are a newbie.
Nov 26, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: media
An okay coffee table book (pictures are great). But, most of the text covered ground I was already familiar with. I think that anyone who picks up a Holga today probably did some research (likely online where there's dozens of great sites devoted to toy cameras). And that research will cover about 90% of what's in the book. Nonetheless, was fun to look at and I'll be keeping it on my shelf.
Wahiaronkwas David
Sep 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: photography
Chock full of detail and ideas for photographing with toy cameras - or homemade cameras. I loved this book for the demystifying of how to get excellent results with cheap lenses and cheap cameras. This book also contains profiles and portfolios of artists who use these cameras for documentary and art photography. Well worth the cover price.
May 22, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: junk
This is an ecstatic sermon to the believers. A plastic camera is $25, but only the empty box. Put all the materials involved and the digital starts to become cheap and time saving. As for creativity, the camera seems to do all the work and the human becomes a glorified camera support.
Chang Shu
Oct 02, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tore-read
Good to have all the information in one place. Extensive biblography (end reference lists) I wish it have more info on the Diana. Anyone know whatever happened to Mary Ann Lynch's "Photography through a plastic lens: Diana and her siblings"? Hope that book is coming out soon...
Oct 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the perfect introduction to toy cameras. Not only because it describes different types of toy cameras, but it also offers credible opinion and regarded artistic examples. This is a good spring board into the world of toy cameras and affordable medium format options.
Zinzi Graham
Jul 31, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Amateur lomographers.
A good introduction to lomography for beginners. Avid lomographers will most likely won't take much (if anything) new away from this book however.
Frank Deschain
Dec 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It doesn't really have too much text, but I'm just trying to reach my year-end count. It's a great resource for Diana and Holga enthusiasts.
Tom Hammer
May 29, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Inspiring introduction to the artistic world of plastic cameras. One downside: some technical issues could be explain in greater depth.
Jan 29, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crafty
Great introduction to the "toy camera," with specific how-to for the Holga. Looks like terrific fun. I'll have to try that in my other life where I have time for entire new hobbies!
Nov 19, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
quick and clear read, albeit not too exciting. i did learn that i can shoot 35mm film in my holga camera.
Aug 14, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
went to michelle's reception with my friend... thought the book had no new information that a simple google search could provide.
Mar 21, 2009 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I finally got out my Holga camera. Exposed a roll of film and will develop it in Winston. I like the "feel" of it.
Christopher Childs
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