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Beautiful Images Snapped With 'Krappy' Cameras Go On Display in TriBeCa

TRIBECA — The photos are worth a thousand words, but the cameras go for less than $35.

Dozens of gripping images, snapped with cheap, often plastic or disposable, equipment are on display at the Soho Photo Gallery’s 20th annual Krappy Kamera exhibit.

The idea behind the popular, cheekily named show, organizers say, is that great photography takes artistry, not necessarily pricey cameras.

"I love the surprise," Sandra Carrion, a member of the TriBeCa gallery who started the Krappy Kamera show two decades ago, said last year. "You never really know what it's going to do. It's the quirkiness of it, the serendipity."

Most of the pictures in the exhibit are shot with an entirely plastic camera called a Holga that was originally intended as a toy.

But the cameras, which sell for about $35 and take 120-millimeter film, have developed a following among photographers who like the blurred, surrealist effect they create.

This year, 180 photographers from 40 states and 12 other countries submitted about 1,200 images to the exhibit, but just a few dozen were chosen.

In the past, the White Street gallery allowed people to submit images shot on cellphones because they took such poor quality photos.

Now, though, phone cameras are so advanced, they've been banned from the show.

Along with Holga cameras and similar plastic ones, the exhibit also allows pinhole cameras and disposable ones — anything that's low-grade.

The monthlong exhibit includes the 50 winners of the international competition, plus separate shows of photos by the gallery's members.

Soho Photo Gallery, 15 White St., is showing the Krappy Kamera exhibit Wednesday to Sunday 1 to 6 p.m. through March 30.