“Are you crazy? Why wouldn’t you just use your iPhone and Instagram?” Answer: “I love film–I don’t own an iPhone.”
“It costs almost $25.00 per cartridge–that doesn’t seem worth it.” Answer: “It is worth it–your iPhone costed you $200 or more, plus upwards $70 a month for your plan.”
When I bring out my Polaroid SX-70, people first react–what the hell is that. Then they’re drooling with envy seeping out of their teeth as all they hold in their hands is a thin piece of brushed aluminum–an iPhone.
It could be argued that instant photographs have been replaced with digital technology, and can be easily be replicated on Instagram with some filter–that’s where they’re wrong. Sure, digital is instant, even more so than a 2012 Polaroid film formula which in reality takes more than 10 minutes to partially develop, but the look will never be the same on an iPhone or any other smartphone device. Film is the real deal–why? Because if I took the same picture twice with my Polaroid, each of them would look entirely unique except for the subject matter. It is the spontaneity of unpredictable results and randomness that makes shooting Polaroid so rewarding and fun.
You’ll notice that several of these pictures have fungi or coral-like marks on the edges of the frame. This is one random effect that can happen with Polaroid film–although it is much more likely to occur when you are shooting in freezing conditions like I was (hence the title “Polar Polaroids”). The Impossible Project, the only Polaroid film manufacturer I know of in current existence, recommends to shoot above fifty degrees Fahrenheit–but rules are made to be broken, right? Turns out, shooting below recommended temperature can produce interesting results.
As I’ve said in recent posts shooting with film can create a more fun environment with your friends–especially while holding a camera that folds (it never ceases to amaze them). The only thing that bums them out is that it takes a while to develop. Because The Impossible Project only bought from Polaroid the machines to make the film, but not the old formula from the 70s that was truly instant, the images take more than 10 minutes to develop and are recommended to keep in darkness, but it isn’t entirely necessary with the 2012 formula. All of the images on this post are produced from the 2011 formula, which apparently is not as crisp and lacks saturation of colors. Personally I like this look with all of its imperfections, but I will soon be trying the 2012 version. Below are some images taken with my friends.