Loving the Imperfections of Toy Cameras

Thanks to digital technology, it's become progressively easier to take perfect pictures. But not everyone strives for perfection — a growing community of photographers is becoming attached to the simplicity and imperfections of what they call "toy cameras."

These cameras, with names like Holga, the Diana-F and the Lomo Action Sampler, are cheaply made plastic devices.

A plastic toy Diana-F camera. i i

A plastic toy Diana-F camera -- a favorite of "lightleak" photography fans. Tracy Wahl, NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Tracy Wahl, NPR
A plastic toy Diana-F camera.

A plastic toy Diana-F camera -- a favorite of "lightleak" photography fans.

Tracy Wahl, NPR
Photo of a mask taken with a toy camera, with distinctive "light leak" highlights i i

Photo of a mask taken with a toy camera, with distinctive "light leak" highlights adding to the mystery... Theresa Manzanares hide caption

itoggle caption Theresa Manzanares
Photo of a mask taken with a toy camera, with distinctive "light leak" highlights

Photo of a mask taken with a toy camera, with distinctive "light leak" highlights adding to the mystery...

Theresa Manzanares

There's even a new magazine devoted to the cameras, Light Leaks, which glorifies the biggest flaw of the toy camera: light often leaks through the plastic casing onto the film, creating odd halo effects and other moments of visual serendipity.

Photographer Theresa Manzanares describes why she loves her toy cameras.

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