i spent this past weekend in taipei. i went up there mainly to see some of my old students(one of which was back from australia visiting). while up there i stopped by keystone to check out their holga selection. i was surprised and impressed. the last time i was there they had a small shelf in the store with some holgas. well, this time they had a complete display case at the counter devoted to holgas and other lo-fi and toy cameras. it’s the kind of thing i’ve dreamt about so it was great to just look at all the cool stuff. i bought the new holga 120 pinhole camera. i probably could have made one myself, but sometimes i’m just lazy. i was tempted by some of their other cameras in particular a small 35mm half frame toy camera called the golden half. i suspect it’s only a matter of time until i give in and buy that as well.

on returing to tainan on sunday there was a package waiting for me. yet another holga. this time their new 35mm camera the holga 135bc. of course this camera i didn’t have to pay for. around a week ago i got an email from someone at superheadz in japan asking if i’d be willing to be one of “our photographers”. basically, to promote this camera they chose some photographers from around the world to shoot 5 rolls in the camera. the film would then be sent back to japan for processing. they’d use some of the images in various promotions in their stores and on line. after the film is processed they’d send the negatives back along with prints. the camera the photographers get to keep. i obviously said yes. i asked if we’d get credit for our images and they said for the promotions we wouldn’t, but if they put together a photography book of the images we’d get credit there. i was actually planning to buy this camera this last weekend, so it was perfect timing for them to offer it to me for free.

it’s interesting, i really really hate the way lomography promotes their products, but i like the way superheadz seems to do it. i don’t mean the giving away cameras, but their brochures just feel fun. with lomography i come away feeling heavily manipulated and like they are trying to sell an identity/lifestyle for those too stupid to come up with their own.