I would sometimes walk Mount Pleasant Street three or four times seeking the right moment, the right light, the right personality to capture with that Holga.
Over the years, in the age of digital everything, I was experimenting with a cheap plastic camera that held a plastic lens and had two exposure settings, sunny or cloudy. The focus settings were simple too: close, medium close and far away. It was liberating.
I focused mostly on the street, but found some of the more intimate moments were inside longtime establishments. I shot what I felt and often found myself with happy, magical accidents.
The white streak on the left side of the girl in a restaurant seems like a ghostly curtain, but it’s a combination of a light leak and double exposure. There are shots of places such as Dos Gringos, a cafe, and Hellers Bakery. It opened in 1928 but closed in 2014 after it couldn’t reach an agreement on rent. Pfeiffer’s Hardware is now Old School Hardware.
Luca is 10 and I still try to photograph with him as much as possible. He recently purchased a go pro camera with his savings
and is taking his own photographs.
Mount Pleasant’s soul still shines through my Holga. I want to believe that I was capturing what was fun, what was important,
what was real.
Michael Bonfigli is a Washington DC-based photojournalist, a former Peace Corps volunteer with a master’s degree in education. His work in the north coast region of Honduras has been widely published and exhibited and is being edited for a book. He is also a founding member Metro Collective, an international coalition of photographers.