Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Happy Polaroid Week!

An indelible mark

This Monday through Friday mark the spring Polaroid week on Flickr, where instant photographers post lots of incredible photos to a group pool to show how distinct and versatile that medium is. People always ask me, "What kind of camera is your favorite?" and my answer always has to be Polaroid, strange as that may seem. There are many reasons for this - my first real camera was a Polaroid SX-70, inherited from my grandfather. Also, I have many fond memories of Polaroids from my youth, when we would go fishing, or at a birthday party. When I got into film photography again, the Polaroid was there for me - easy to scan, instant results, and incredible colors.

Polaroid SX-70

But more than that, Polaroid made some very interesting film and cameras. The SX-70 is in my opinion the greatest camera ever made. It's an SLR that folds completely flat and is easy to carry, has a great lens that focuses down to 10 inches, and for the first time a camera developed prints before your very eyes, in daylight no less. It has the ability to amaze everyone from children to ol pro photographers. The film has that unique Polaroid look to it, with faded colors, development abnormalities, and an overall glow. There are photoshop actions that mimic it, but nothing ever gets it quite right.

Lot 87

So whenever Polaroid week comes around, it reminds me to shoot up the remaining film stock that I have, and to enjoy those cameras once more. The film I love is gone for good - Polaroid quite making Time-Zero, 600, 669 and all the rest a couple years ago. Thankfully I can stock up on the equivalent Fuji films for my old packfilm warhorse, and for the SX-70, the Impossible Project is doing some remarkable work bringing new filmstocks to the market. I personally can't wait to try their black and white 600 version of the new Silver Shade films. \

Here are some of my favorite Lansing-themed Polaroids:

Breakfast better than Sex
Golden Harvest

JJ  Live HeRe
JJ Live Here

Gift on an Autumn Grave
Mt Hope Cemetery

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

Hi Erich,

I actually read your post on Orangette about the Polaroids and posted a reply, but then saw you had a blog so decided to go to the source. And lo and behold, The latest post is about that very thing!

I read that Molly took some of her photos using the SX-70, and I loved them, so I started doing a little searching and found a few of them on craigslist. My concern, which you addressed a bit, is the film.

I'm wondering if you can expand on that. You say that Fuji has some replacement film, but it sounds like it doesn't work for the SX-70. Is that correct?

Any suggestions you can offer would be really appreciated. I love the medium, but apaprently my interest has blossomed a few years too late!

If you could email me at jrosen.tc@gmail.com, that would be great!

Thanks so much!