It's been awhile since my last post, and for that I apologize. Thank you for your patience and your fidelity. I appreciate you, dear Reader. Communication requires a sender and a receiver. Thanks for being on the receiving end of my musings.
For my birthday this year, I received a polaroid spectra camera. Yes, a polaroid... from the 1980's. It has been refurbished, and happily, when polaroid stopped manufacturing film for its many cameras, other companies, such as the Impossible Project, stepped in to fill that void. I had done a lot of research on the different models of old polaroids that are available. They are like guitars in some ways; each individual camera is somewhat different. Despite basic similarities, there are subtle differences and nuances in the images they take. Mine seems to have a signature pale blurring of the sides of the photos and some great vignetting. And every pack of film produces different results too. When you begin to shoot with expired film, the effects can be extraordinary! I haven't yet tried expired film, but for polaroid shooters, it is the holy grail. Some day soon, I'll find some online and eagerly try it out.
All of this is to say that when shooting with a polaroid, as compared to a digital single lens reflex camera, the photographer has much less technical control, but the results straight out of the camera are much more artistic. One can not achieve the exact same effects with software or photo manipulation. It is just not possible. I love the vintage look, the colors, the ghosts of the past that seem to appear on the film. And I love that I can hold these photos in my hands. They seem more real somehow than images on a computer screen.
The colors are soft and dreamy. The focus is soft too, there are not a lot of details, but I love that effect.
The black and white photos have warm undertones. This film too, produces a general softness and vintage look that makes me swoon.
This has been a real learning experience for me. I have ruined many images in the past two months since shooting polaroids. There have been many failures as I learn the boundaries of my frame. For self-portraits, you have to know the limits of your field of view. It's easier when shooting someone or something else. I am also learning how to work with the 10 second timer (compared to a remote control I use for my digital camera which fixes the focus point very precisely). This is also not an easy thing to do, to set the timer, get into position, and assume a pose that is correct, all within 10 seconds. It's a sprint.
A fine example of a lack of understanding the boundaries of my frame is the photo above, a double exposure, where my hand is visible in the bottom leftIt was supposed to be outside of the frame. I love the effect of the double exposure, however. The softness is an invitation to reverie.
I have been experimenting a bit with double exposures, which is the reason why I selected this particular model in the first place. It easily makes double exposures, providing an infinite number of creative possibilities.
So, in my absence from posting here, I have been learning a new skill, flexing my photographic muscles. This new adventure in photography has been exhilarating.
I am so grateful for those who have contributed to the cause and bought film for me, like my mom and my sweetie, Santa Claus. On Instagram there is a hashtag, "staybrokeshootfilm," and that about sums up the life of an instant photographer.
Needless to say, I am already hooked and looking at other models of polaroids, looking at old film cameras that support a polaroid back, searching for expired packs of film... The possibilities are endless.
Stay tuned for more polaroid love in the coming weeks. Until next time...