I love the story of how Polaroid cameras were invented. If I recall correctly the story goes like this: after taking pictures in a film camera, because that was all that was around back in the day, an inventor’s daughter grew impatient. She wanted to know why she couldn’t see the pictures immediately. The inventor wondered the same thing and thus, the instant image born. Basically, Polaroid is the granddaddy to our modern day digital cameras; both answer the question of “Why can’t I see the picture right now?”
I love this story. I love the thought of this camera being a part of celebrations in another person’s life. I wonder what images the person that bought the camera brand new came up with. What did he or she really love to take pictures of…a child, the snow, an office party. I wish I knew.
Recently another lover of all things film and high-end antique on down to low end junk cameras and I were discussing Polaroid cameras. (Nerdy yes, but we both just love old cameras, what can I say.) I was lamenting about how I would really, really, really love a Polaroid SX-70 camera. I had looked around, checked out prices on eBay, but just wasn’t willing to spend any money on one.
Then he made my day: he said that he had an SX70 covered in brown faux leather he had never even used and I could have it. The only thing was, because he had never used it, he wasn’t certain that it even worked.
This is the part of the story where the “Impossible Project” comes in. While doing research, I learned that there were quite a few others that were interested in Polaroid cameras. And actively so. After checking out their site and reviewing tutorials, I decided I was ready to order some film. So I ordered the PX 70 Color Shade and the PX 100 Silver Shade.
Here are the results from what was thought to be just a piece of junk to something a bit more wonderful.
I thought of ways that I could capture these undigitized photos. I decided I wanted to really show off the “hand heldness” of a Polaroid shot. The prints fit in your hand immediately. So I began taking pictures with my daughter’s iPhone. As I took the photos, I noticed that due to the reflective nature of the print itself, images were mirrored, appearing as if the original print had been exposed twice. I started having fun, playing around. I noticed the reflection of my environment from the window to the color of the shirt I was wearing would have an effect on the outcome. I think the last self-portrait is a huge departure from the first.