diy holga splitzer

A little while ago, I found a fun-looking experiment on the Lomography website that gives instructions for a DIY way to make split-images, and it looked too cool for me not to try it. The basic idea is an extension of double or multiple exposures. To make a simple multiple exposure, you would just take two or more different pictures without advancing the film so that the images are overlaid. It’s sometimes hard to do this without over-exposing the film, and that’s (sort of) where the splitzer comes in. Instead of just shooting multiple frames, the splitzer allows you to take a number of different pictures, each with part of the lens obscured so that the final result is an image containing a combination of distinct sections or slices rather than being superimposed. Because you’re covering up different parts of the lens each time, each section is “properly” exposed on its own (see my previous post about holga exposure times). The tutorial I followed for making a splitzer can be found here, and it really could not be more easy: you just use an x-acto knife to slice out a chunk of your holga lens cap, as below (seriously, what were you using it for anyway? There’s no reason NOT to do this!):

I cut half of mine out, which is probably pretty obvious from the picture, but you could cut out a quarter or even a smaller piece. If you’re going full halfsies, I’d recommend popping that sucker on the front of the camera and folding it back so you have a better sense of where the halfway mark is, because if you’re anything like me you will guess and then get to cutting it all apart before you realize you might have cut out too much and therefore have to glue a little piece back on with superglue, and before you know it your fingers will all be so stuck together you’ll need that knife again to help scrape glue off so you can pull them apart. (You should just measure it first, and you will avoid the disappointment inherent in learning that the tiny slice of plastic you glued your fingers together for will fall off within five minutes of using the splitzer anyway. But, if you happen to end up with your fingers glued together, give me a shout. I have advice.)

Once you’re satisfied with your cutout, you’re ready to go. Stick the lens cap a.k.a. splitzer on, take a picture, twist the cap around, take another picture. It’s that easy, for real. I’ve only played with mine a little, mostly turning the splitzer a full 180 degrees between shots so that my pictures have two distinct halves, but you can experiment with turning it different amounts to add more sections to your image — that’s where cutting out a smaller piece of the lens cap could be fun too, since you’d be able to have a larger number of small bits in the picture.

If there’s one thing I’d recommend while you use this, it’s “just go for it”. Don’t try to plan what’s going to be in your frame, just have fun and take pictures of lots of different things without putting much thought into it. The first time I used my splitzer, I tried to purposely set up pairs of images, but it’s so hard to know exactly where things will appear in the frame that I just ended up disappointed. One thing I found worked out well most of the time was playing with turning the camera upside-down for one of the pictures, but there’s lots more experimenting I’d like to do with mine. Here’s some of what I’ve ended up with so far:

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