Featured Melbourne Image “Five Ways” – Dee Smith

Dee’s print “Five Ways” is an excellent example of toy camera photography. It was taken on a Holga using Kodak Ektar iso 100 negative film.

I picked up Dee’s print at the recent Melbourne Silvermine analogue exhibition “Unsensored 2014”. The exhibition is annual event aimed at demonstrating the art of film photography lives on!

You can check out more of Dee’s work at her website http://sugarberry.com.au/

The dreamy quality of the plastic lens is obvious and aesthetically pleasing to the viewer.  The lack of sharpness around the edges of the image – see the tree on the left as an example – add to the effect. The classic Holga vignetting is subtle, but pushes the viewer’s eye to the vanishing point of the road nicely.

The road is banded with white lines and the gravel shoulder- forming parallel lines that diminish as they reach the horizon. The final slight curve of the lines out to the T-intersection open up the image again for the viewer.

The standard rules of composition don’t always apply to square format photography – the Holga is a 6×6 medium format. The rule of thirds suggests subjects should not be placed in the dead centre of an image. Dee’s composition demonstrates that rules are begging to be broken in life and art. The road runs straight up the middle and looks great!



The horizon has been located at about the 60% mark. The only rule for horizons is to be careful not to have them split the image in half without a good compositional reason. The horizon in Five Ways balances out the road, opening up the image as the road ends. The road is almost like a funnel, constricting gradually until it ends at the intersection and then the eye is drawn out laterally across the image by the horizon, giving a sense of freedom.

The clouds add a “ceiling” to the image which continues the focus of the horizon as the natural exit point for the viewer.

The criss crossing tyre marks visually contrast with rural landscape suggesting it is more likely an outer suburb than true “country” location.

The image is a simple, uncluttered execution. Holga cameras are perfect for capturing these kind of urban landscapes – the plastic lens brings the interest to the right composition. Decay is a theme the Holga was built with in mind. The tyre marks suggest this theme to me.

A overall excellent example of Toy Camera photography :

  • Simple, uncluttered composition to highlight the softness of the plastic lens.
  • An interesting subject – the tyre marks.
  • Diminishing parallel lines to the horizon.

You can read more about Holgas here and here.

Thanks to Dee for sharing her work here.

2 Responses to “Featured Melbourne Image “Five Ways” – Dee Smith”

  1. Thank you. It was really interesting to see something I don’t actually think about dissected and reviewed in such a great way.

    Liked by 1 person

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