Talkin’ Shots: Mikey Wehling

St. Louis musician Mikey Wehling, captured with a "digital Holga" in November 2011. (Bryan Sutter)

A few months ago I picked up a Holga lens that was modified to fit on a Sony/Minolta DSLR and while I’ve had some fun with it, I haven’t gotten to really apply it in my more serious work. However, among the responses on Twitter to my exploration of this lens was local musician Mikey Whehling, who felt that the “digital Holga” look was just was he needed.

I previously shot one of Mikey’s projects, Throw Pillows, during the recording session for their song “Let It Throw” which was featured on local comp STL Loud Vol. 2. Recently, he’s been known for his trilogy of analog mid-fi EPs which he finished in September with Forests of Reverb. They’re lovely recordings, sometimes reminiscent of Black Moth Super Rainbow and similar groups. Ryan Wasoba from the RFT did a great interview with Mikey, you can check it out here.

The original location was changed the day of shoot for distance reasons so we decided to meet in Midtown and go from there. Not too far into this search we drove past a small lot framed by the remnants of what may have been a building’s foundation. I’ve eyed the spot before and we both felt the location had promise. Urban decay may be a cliche but whatever.

Shooting with the Holga lens, much like the Lensbaby, can be a pain in the ass. Even with a fixed f8 aperture you’re not getting a lot of fidelity or the best focusing and sometimes you don’t really know what you got until you get home. This is part of the nature of lo-fi cameras and optics and it makes the great shots all the more rewarding as long as you’ve got the patience. Still, in our short session we walked away with some cool shots.

 

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