Thursday, June 3, 2010

GET HAPPY (with Polaroid!)

Me / photo bt Maxime Juneau
Even before purchasing the cute, little Polaroid 300 camera I’ve been dabbling in Polaroid instant photography. Only in the last month or so has it become all-out Polaroid Mania.

Polaroid 600

Using “The Google” I researched Polaroid present and past, making a list of various cameras that I would like to test. I was amazed to find THOUSANDS of used classic Polaroid cameras on-line.

My latest discovery, next to the SX-70 type cameras and the new Polaroid 300, was the 1960s Polaroid “Pack Cameras.” They’re wonderful cameras and all use the readily available Polaroid 664-type and Fujifilm FP-100/3000 films.

There are millions of Polaroid cameras out there all finding their way to e-bay each hour. Most are very reasonably priced (so many under $ and, in fact, so inexpensive that I’ve purchased a few to be given away on the July 2010 Film Photography pod cast.

Polaroid One600 Camera / PX 600 Silver Shade Film
Inner Athlete Trainer James Jankiewicz / 2006 One600 camera – Impossible PX 600 film

Erin Russ / Polaroid 667
Actress Erin Russ / 1969 Colorpack II camera - Polaroid 667 film

In case you don’t know, The Polaroid instant camera is a type of camera with self-developing film. The invention of modern instant cameras is credited to American scientist Edwin Land, who unveiled the first commercial instant camera, the Land Camera, in 1947, 10 years after founding his Polaroid Corporation. The cameras were hugely popular in the 1970s through the 1990s.

PX-100 Silver Shade Instant Film

In 2008, Polaroid discontinued their instant cameras and film. After a public outcry, Polaroid has admitted that maybe they were a bit hasty in their decision and launched their 300 camera this past April. The oddly-shaped camera produces wallet-sized color images.

Polaroid pic-300 instant film camera

A re-visioning of the “classic” One Step camera is slated for release late this year and independent entrepreneurs The Impossible Project single-handedly released their own film for Polaroid cameras this past March as well!

The Impossible Project - Press Conference 3/22/10
The Impossible Project Press Conference March 2010 / NYC

“Hey, sign my Polaroid of you?”
Rob DeSaro gives a Polaroid smile!

The most AMAZING thing about shooting any Polaroid is the reaction on people’s faces wherever I go to shoot with these cameras. Faces “light up” as the image magically appears. It’s as if the whole digital world has forgotten about the magic of this special film.

This past Saturday I attended the Digger Film Group's New York premiere of their horror documentary “Under The Scares.” I screened their inspirational documentary and took Polaroids with my all-new 300 camera.

Polaroid 300 / Tribecca Montage

Many asked “What’s that camera!?”, marveling at the odd shape and awesome business-sized images that it instantly produced.

Polaroid 300 / Tribecca Montage

In this hi-tech digital world, people still want to hold a print…have a souvenir…and smile.

Smile, Polaroid is back.

In 2009, I launched The Film Photography Podcast, an hour-long, monthly Internet radio program exploring the passion of film photography, covering a wide range of topics relevant to the experienced and aspiring photographer using film as a medium.

Digger Films

The Polaroid 300 Camera

The Land List (Polaroid Catalog On-Line)

Classic Polaroid Camera Repair and Sales

The Impossible Project

Top photo © Maxime Juneau

All other photos © Michael Raso

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad the Polaroid was 're-continued'. There's always something about instantly-developing photographs.