Saturday, July 31, 2010

stop worrying and just smile

Polaroid Mio / Woodland Lake, NJ USA

Since I began shooting with the new Polaroid 300 camera, I’m reminded daily (via e-mail, FaceBook and Flickr posts) how “sad” it is that new Polaroid products are just re-branded Fuji products.

Butler Center, Butler NJ USA

Polaroid Corp had a long run. Some might say that it wasn't the same after Edwin Land passed or attribute the fall of the original company to changing times.

For me, it's encouraging that the new Polaroid is partnering with Fujifilm to release instant film. If an instant print makes you or someone else smile, then nothing else really matters.

Images / Blog © 2010 Michael Raso

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Tragic Loss

My heart sank when I heard the news that 29-year old Jennifer English was killed in a tragic accident, here in New Jersey on Monday night.

Jennifer was the long-time girlfriend of filmmaker & friend Victor Bonacore. I’ve seen them frequently in the last year no doubt sparked by the fact that Victor is shooting his first feature film using film stock instead of a digital medium.

Jennifer, beautiful and charming, was scheduled to be photographed in my studio as part of my ongoing Kodachrome book project (art directed by Paige Davis).

A terrible, terrible loss. My heart goes out to Victor and Jennifer’s family.

- Michael Raso

night out in april
- Paige Davis, Jennifer English, Victor Bonacore, Dave Neabore and Nick
photographed on a vintage Kodak Brownie Twin-20 this past April -

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Film Photography Stroll at Butler Center, USA

Polaroid Colorpack IV camera test / Butler Center USA

My passion for film photography has been a positive factor is getting me out from the dark studio and into the great outdoors. (even if it is just a few steps from my studio door!)

The many angles of Butler Center and the adjacent Main Street in Butler USA are captured with newly acquired vintage camera arriving almost daily from all points USA and Europe.

Kodachrome Holga walk
this image: Butler Center / 6-27-2010 / Holga 120N camera with 35mm Kodachrome 64
top image: Butler Center / 6-2-2010 / Polaroid Colorpack IV – Fujifilm FP-100c Instant Film

“Butler Center (formerly American Hard Rubber Company building complex) is part of the Morris County Heritage Commission).

In 1881 the growing town of West Bloomingdale was renamed Butler after Richard Butler, who had taken ownership of the American Hard Rubber Company.

The American Hard Rubber Company buildings (now Butler Center) were built in 1898. On February 26, 1957, the rubber factory was destroyed by a massive fire. One Butler resident remembers the fire being so bright she could read a newspaper in her yard at 3am at a distance of 1 mile. The glow reportedly was visible for 100 miles; volunteer fire companies from 55 municipalities required mutual aid response during the initial hours and then in shifts over the next week. New York City Fire Department, 30 miles away, offered help when observing the bright glow.”

Today, Butler Center (the remaining buildings from the factory) has been converted into an industrial complex housing many manufacturing companies including my studio– Pop Cinema, Building 6 (Home of The Film Photography Podcast).

Kodak Jiffy Six-20 / Butler, NJ USA
Town Hall, Butler, NJ USA / Kodak Jiffy Six-20 camera / Fujichrome Velvia 100F film

Polaroid Super Shooter / Butler Center USA
Butler Center / 6-5-2010 / Polaroid Super Shooter – Fujifilm FP-100c Instant Film

Butler Center images below shot on the new Polaroid pic-300 camera and 300 Instant film (except *)

Pop Cinema Studio / Polaroid 300

Butler Center, Butler NJ USA

Butler Center, Butler NJ USA

Butler Center, Butler NJ USA
* This image shot with the short-lived Y2K Polaroid Mio camera.
Image below: Canon FTb camera / EFKE KB 21 Black and White Negative Film

When not behind my desk at Pop Cinema or testing vintage cameras, you’ll find me producing The Film Photography Podcast.

Butler Center, New Jersey USA

All Images © 2010 Michael Raso

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Polaroid 300's older brother Mio and Japanese cousin Instax

Polaroid Mio / Woodland Lake, NJ USA

FFP listener Tony Kwong has “fed” my Polaroid addiction via an e-mail discussing the short-lived Polaroid MIO camera (and the Polaroid – Fuji partnership)

I wasted no time connecting to e-bay to find a used Polaroid MIO for myself.

Polaroid Mio Camera / Image © L.Å.R.

Tony’s e-mail:

Just to let you know, this is not the first time that a Fujifilm instant film product has been distributed by Polaroid, they have a long history of working together dating back to the mid 1980's they shared many technologies. Fuji's instant film offerings were not well
distributed in the North American market. So a well-distributed Polaroid branded version was very welcome.

First there was an instant peel apart pack film called "Polaroid ProVivid" or "Type 689" that product is the same as Fujifilms FP-100c.

In the early 2000's, Polaroid released a short-lived instant camera called the "mio" which was a redesigned version of the Fujifilm Instax mini. It took a film called mio film which I later discovered was exactly the same as the fujifilm instax mini. This was a great
thing as I was able to find imported instax mini film after Polaroid stopped distributing mio film in 2005. This was before last year when Instax mini was finally available in the usa.

I continue to buy instax mini film primarily from American distributors like Unique Photo, Freestyle photo, B&H, Adorama and Mel Pierce camera instead of importing directly to show the distributors and Fuji there is a demand for their products in the usa.

Now as for compatibility of film you discusses in your July 15 podcast. I tested the 300 film, and it does indeed work in a Polaroid mio. I don’t have an instax mini camera to test as I have given it away, as compared I would think they are exactly the same.

Image © Tony Kwong

I also think that Polaroid 300 is an ingenious name. Since it's "half" the size of Polaroid 600 it makes perfect sense to call it 300.”

seattle, wa

I also wrote most of the fujifilm sections on instant film on wikipedia.”

Thanks to Tony for permission to reprint his e-mail.

Once the Polaroid MIO arrived into my anxious hands, I loaded some Polaroid 300 film and strolled for an around-town-photowalk.

Polaroid MIO camera test
Above and top image © Michael Raso - Woodland Lake, Pequannock, NJ

Polaroid MIO camera test
Starbucks Coffee in Wayne, NJ USA – Iced cold coffee & free Wi-Fi
Image © Michael Raso

Polaroid MIO camera test
Rooftop in Butler, NJ USA
Image © Michael Raso

Polaroid MIO camera test
Two new CR2 Lithium batteries were acquired from Radio Shack, Butler NJ USA. The clerk was happy to assist.
Image © Michael Raso

This blog would be incomplete without exhibiting some of the fine images shot by L.Å.R. (Lance Rothstein) on his Polaroid MIO camera (on Fuji Instax Film).

PX No.252
PX No. 525 / Image © L.Å.R.

MIO No.2 (Hobbes)
MIO No. 2 (Hobbes) / Image © L.Å.R.

Lance’s obsession with Polaroid photography pre-dates my present Polaroid-mania. Check out his site PictureCrossing, Flickr Photostream and my previous blog showcasing his art.

Tony Kwong’s Flickr Photosteam

The July 15, 2010 Film Photography Podcast

Blog © Michael Raso

Friday, July 23, 2010

FPP Show Notes / Episode 11 - July 15, 2010

I received a wonderful complementary note from Film Photography Podcast listener Robb Nunn regarding our podcast. Rob hosts the SCL Photo Podcast and is on the web at

We started corresponding via e-mail which led to me asking Rob, “Would you like to write FPP Show Notes”? Quite a few listeners have written to me relaying the fact that they listen many times while commuting and how awesome it would be if we had some notes posted on-line about each episode. Great idea and I’m happy to report that Rob has volunteered to take on the task. Thank you, Rob!

- Michael Raso

Show Notes / Links - Film Photography Podcast 11 - July 15 2010
Don’t Worry, Be Happy Episode. Topics cover Cokin Close-Up filters, Flickr, Tags, Polaroid Image Transfer, New York PDN Photo Show, Sotheby's Polaroid Auction, Camera giveaway and more! Hosted by Michael Raso and Duane Polcou.

Join the FPP Flickr Group / Forum

Find Us On Facebook and Follow Us On Twitter!

Michael Raso's Photography Blog and Flickr Photostream!

Duane Polcou on Model Mayhem!


The Film Photography Podcast recently launched their very own You Tube Channel! Two Videos are currently available:
Polaroid 300 Review” and "Fun With Close Up Filters".

Cokin Filters Website.

Polaroid Propack Camera discussed.

A Polaroid (Pack Camera) Primer: Peel-Apart Film by MOOMINSEAN

Polaroid Transfers! (Flickr group showing Polaroid Transfers)


PDN Photoplus Expo in October 2010 (NYC). We’ll be there!

Street Photographer Louis Mendes / New York Times Website

Sotheby’s Polaroid Auction:
Sotheby’s Site
Article about the Auction at

Polaroid – Official Website (featuring Lady Gaga)
Polaroid – Official on Facebook.

The Impossible Project (New Film for Polaroid Cameras)
Impossible Exhibition July 2010
The Impossible Project Website
Impossible Project - Flickr Group.


The Film Photography Podcast Flickr Group

Michael Raso’s photography of Catherine (on Flickr)

Fujifilm Instant Cameras

Takumar lenses on Wikipedia. and the Hello Kitty Instax Film. (Works with the Polaroid 300, the Fujifilm Instax and the Polaroid MIO!).

Michael’s Hello Kitty Polaroid Photos

A chat about

Book Of The Month (is actually a magazine)!
LensWork's website
Lenswork on eBay

Agfa Clack Camera Giveaway!

Polaroid 600 Camera Giveaway!

Polaroid 600 OneStep CloseUp Camera

Onwards! selling Polaroid SX-70 Rainbow Camera '77 (w/ Impossible Film!)

The Rock Group Kiss 1977 – Ace Frehley Sings!!

KISS Love Gun 1977

Dwaynes Photo - the last place to develop Kodachrome.

Help with Tags on Flickr.

Geotags explained on Wikipedia.

Please send us more e-mail letters! (or send us stuff in the mail!)

What’s a FPP Podcast without a mention of The Sopranos!

What’s a FPP Podcast without a mention of the State of New Jersey

John Fedele’s band…The Pink Delicates Myspace.

We’ll be back with Episode 12 on August 1, 2010 – The “Just Do It!” Episode.

Notes compiled by Rob Nunn

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Impossible’s PX film for Polaroid cameras

When Polaroid announced that they were discontinuing production of their film for SX-70 and 600 cameras, a group of independent entrepreneurs calling themselves The Impossible Project purchased the defunct Polaroid factory in The Netherlands and started producing new monochrome film for the millions of Polaroid cameras still in the world. The first film PX 100 (for SX-70 cameras) and PX 600 (for Polaroid 600 cameras) was released earlier this year.

Polaroid SX-70 Alpha camera / Impossible Project PX 100 Silver Shade (First Flush)

Today I received a Flickr-Mail from Ryan, a Film Photography Podcast listener in St. Charles, Missouri USA asking about the PX film.

“Yesterday I got a couple of Polaroid OneSteps from a thrift store, and I'm looking at PX-600 film from Impossible. I'm trying to decide which version of the film to buy, since the First Flush is super cheap. However, the Internet says that First Flush (and even later editions) are ridiculously unstable, and I wanted to know what your experience with it has been. Obviously they look great coming out of the camera, but I'm interested in displaying the actual prints. Have your PX-600 shots been devoured by these crystals that come with humidity? Have they completely faded away like some people are talking about?

The Internet is filled with so much hyperbole in general that I wanted to get a more level-headed assessment from someone I can trust. Thanks!”

Yours in analog,
Ryan Croson

pictured: James Jankiewicz
Polaroid SX-70 Alpha camera / Impossible Project PX 100 Silver Shade (First Flush)

PX 600 Silver Shade
pictured: Joe Kolbek
Polaroid One600 camera / Impossible Project PX 600 Silver Shade (First Flush)


I've boxed most of my PX 100 and PX 600 shots from earlier this year so I'm not sure if there are any fading issues (I guess I should take a look at them)

I consider the Impossible film to be experimental and therefore, any quirks with the emulsion is part of the charm (killer crystals and all).

Impossible PX 100 Silver Shade - Film Test
pictured: B-Movie star Ruby LaRocca
Polaroid One Step 1000 camera / Impossible Project PX 100 Silver Shade (First Flush)

My experience has been a real mixed bag but I have always achieved an image and have always been pleased with the results.

Sometimes I feel that all the whiney Impossible complainers on-line should just go buy a digital camera (laugh)! The Impossible Project has always been very upfront about the nature of their films. The PX film is an artist's medium, period.

If you're looking to save a few bucks, go with the First Flush. I’ve had nothing but fun shooting with it.

Here are some images from my limited experience:

Thanks for writing and listening to the show. Hope to hear from you soon.

Michael Raso


The Film Photography Podcast

Ryan’s Flickr Photostream

The Impossible Project

Ruby LaRocca

Note back from Ryan:

"Hey man,

Thanks for the quick insight. I think I'll roll the dice on first flush. I love the way the material looks and I'm on board with the unpredictability of it. I'll probably hang my prints in front of my dehumidifier to dry them out and hope for the best. Regardless, I'm super stoked to try it out. I've dabbled with instant stuff in the past, but I haven't been particularly taken with it until I saw the stuff that Impossible was doing. Now I can't wait to get my hands on it!

RE: Impossible/new Polaroid haters: I tend to take internet whining with a grain of salt; the people with an axe to grind are always more vocal and visible than satisfied customers, so it can be impossible to tell how many people are legitimately having problems with something."

Rocking and rolling,

Monday, July 19, 2010

Making Monday Funday!

Breaking up the monotony of Monday with some Film Photography fun…

I received an e-mail letter from Ireland’s own Ryan Leathem. Ryan was the winner of the Minolta X-700, which I gave away on the Spring Film Photography Podcast.

Ryan won the Minolta X-700

It's Ryan from Ireland here!

I received the Minolta X-700 a good few weeks ago and I'm soooooo sorry it has taken me so long to write you an e-mail to say thanks! I have started a new job recently and moved into a new house so life has been busy!

I have already started shooting with the Minolta and I looooooove the shutter sound it makes, it's a joy to take a photo and hear that shutter go.

I have been shooting photos for about six months now and have pretty much learnt everything I know from listening to your podcast. I have started developing my own black and white 35mm and 120mm film and can't believe how cheap and easy it is! I then made the step to colour and bought a Tetenal C-41 kit and was a little scared of all of chemicals that come with the kit, but once you make the solutions up in to the bottles it's not so bad. In fact C-41 is real easy because no matter what ASA your film is the development times will be the same, (and dev times are fast).

Thanks for all of the film you sent me, it's really been fueling my photography and I really appreciate it!

Thanks again and keep the podcasts coming! I haven't missed one yet

I’m so happy Ryan received the camera and film and thrilled that he’s putting it to good use. Keep on shootin!


Seeking a wider variety of cameras to giveaway on the pod cast, I reached out to Freestyle Photographic Supply to see if I could coax them into donating a Holga. Well, looks like the previously announced Holga giveaway will be a reality.

Holga 120N

Regarding your request, Freestyle Photographic will be happy to donate a Holga TLR ( ) to your podcast.

Thanks for your continued promotion of film photography. We all have to be in this together.
” - Lauren, Freestyle Photographic

Keep your ears on the FPP for the upcoming Holga Giveaway.


Polaroid 300 Instant Film Camera

It’s been rumored that Fuji Instax Mini film will fit in the new Polaroid 300 Instant Camera. I happened to be on the Japan Exposures site and noticed that they offered “Hello Kitty” Fuji Instax Mini film. I couldn’t resist and instantly ordered some.

The delivery was lighting fast with awesome service (plus check out all the cool film not available here in the USA).

No sooner did the box arrive, I had that Hello Kitty film loaded to shoot Polaroid Portraits of the kind studio folk. No problems shooting Instax Mini in the Polaroid 300.

Turning MonDay into FunDay!

Who says Monday has to be a bummer!

The Film Photography Podcast


Freestyle Photographic Supply

Japan Exposures

Ian's Trip 35

This past May I received an e-mail from Ian Cook praising the Olympus Trip 35 (35mm film camera).

101331 - 7-9 - september, 1967 : ]

He said:

"I don't know what it's like in the usa, but over here - in the uk [and in
other countries, too] - the old, olympus trip 35 camera is having a bit of
a resurgence; i picked up my first one, for £3 [$5, i guess] just over a
year ago - and haven't stopped shooting with it, since! in fact, i was so
impressed with them, that i completely dumped my £20,000
leica-collection! lol.

perhaps you could spotlight them in one of your future podcasts? here is
the main group, which i am part of [i was shocked to discover, a few weeks
ago, that i'm now its second most-prolific image-contributor!]: - and this is my photostream: - maybe you guys could pick one up, and see what you think of it? [if you aren't already aware of/using them].

Many thanks for several thousand entertaining minutes, so far! i love the
jersey-spin on the fpp : ]"

A large portion of Ian's Flickr Photostream was shot with the Olympus Trip 35 camera!

Well, I couldn't resist. I logged on to e-bay UK and purchased my very own Trip 35. Upon receiving I searched for the battery compartment. Amazingly, the camera needs no batteries to run the internal light meter.

Camera enthusiast Ken Rockwell said:
"The Olympus Trip 35 operates completely without batteries. Its light meter and programmed automatic exposure system is solar powered! This makes it one of the world's most advanced cameras which provides fully automatic exposure completely without batteries or external electrical power."

This camera is a modern marvel of the post WWII generation. An amazing discovery. Thank you, Ian! (What an excellent camera to distract me from my current Polaroid Obsession!)

Ian Cook on Flickr:
Images OLYMPUS TRIP 35 © Ian Cook

Ken Rockwell's Trip 35 page:

The Film Photography Podcast
Listen to my July 15, 2010 Episode

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Summer Heat (Podcast) Episode 11 - July 15, 2010

The Don’t Worry, Be Happy Summer Hysteria Show.

Sun at Woodland Lake

Topics cover Cokin Close-Up filters, Flickr, Tags, Polaroid Pro-Pack Camera, Polaroid Image Transfer, Overview of upcoming PDN Photo Show, Sotheby's Polaroid Auction, Anger Management, The Blizzard Roll-Over,Camera giveaway and more!

KISS Love Gun 1977
KISS "Love Gun" 1977 Ace Frehley sings!

Dan Domme visits FPP
Polaroid Image Transfers
pictured FPP listener Dan Domme & FPP Producer/Host Michael Raso

1954 Agfa Clack
Agfa Clack camera giveaway (Courtesy of Don Domme / )

Polaroid 600 OneStep CloseUp Camera
Polaroid 600 Close-Up Camera pre-loaded with Impossible PX 600 film (Courtesy of Michael Raso / )

Show available on or before 7/15/2010

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Downtown Delight USA


In an age where indoor and highway strip malls rule, it's always a real joy to skip the norm and go local. I lived in Pompton Lakes, NJ a few years ago and really dug the town's "main street" (which happens to be called Wanaque Avenue). A hop, skip and jump from my studio, Pompton Lakes makes a perfect afternoon break in wonderful Friday afternoon weather.

Flip Side Records

Today’s camera-in-hand was my Polaroid One600 camera using PX 600, an instant monochrome film recently introduced by The Impossible Project. The Impossible Project is responsible for re-introducing film for Polaroid SX-70 and Polaroid 600 cameras (Polaroid discontinued manufacturing film in 2009).

Flip Side Records
Flip Side Records is a vinyl lovers haven. Stop in and see owner Dan Dondiego. Pictured is Joey K wearing the LP jacket of the Joe E Ross Tribute album.

Flipside Records is a legendary New Jersey record store that has a bounty of used records - the kind of records you just don't find anywhere else no less at a decent price. As you can see, it is sort of a free for all so it takes a little digging but it is always worth the trouble. There is always something ridiculously weird or cool to discover there although it may be hidden under scattered beer bottles or next to a zucchini in a birdcage.”
- Tracy

The Wonderfun Shop. Magic, Costumes and Entertainment.

Taquerra Selena
Authentic Mexican food at Taquerra Selena

This is one of those hole in the wall, family-owned restaurants that cooks amazing food.. and you'll never find unless you happen to be passing by, and want to roll the dice on a place that doesn't look like much” – Brian B., NYC

Charisma 7
Charisma 7 Antiques

The floor, walls and ceiling are simply inundated with great merchandise from decades past. If you can, set aside a couple of hours to roam the store.” – Corey G.

Polaroid One600 Classic Instant Camera

Visit The Impossible Project

Previous blogs about The Impossible Project


Joe E. Ross (March 15, 1914 – August 13, 1982) was an American actor known for his trademark "Ooh! Ooh!" exclamation, which he used in many of his roles.

The Wonderfun Shop on-line

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Film Photography on Internet Radio

I started recording a monthly Internet Radio show called the Film Photography Podcast last October in order to share my enthusiasm about shooting film. At that time I was already recording a monthly show covering underground B-Movies (called the Alternative Cinema Podcast). I was chewing up so much time on the AC podcast talking about film photography that I decided to branch out and record a show solely devoted to shooting film.

Alternative Cinema Podcast
Noel “Scotch” Anderson’s art for the Alternative Cinema Podcast

I had no idea how popular and well received the show would become. I’ve met so many amazing artists these past months and most recently Dan Domme, a podcast listener even visited my studio and did a guest spot on the show.

Dan Domme visits FPP
Dan Domme visits the FPP! / Polaroid Transfer using the Colorpack II camera and Fuji FP-100c film

Film Photography Podcast Premiere - October 15, 2009
Duane and John during a 2009 episode / Shot on Keystone 125x Auto-Instant Camera using expired Kodak 126 film

I’m really happy to tell everyone that I’ve expanded the show to twice a month starting with this July 1st episode. An amazing thanks to Duane Polcou and John Fedele for coming along for this great ride. The show is really picking up steam and remains firmly rooting in its original theme – Have Fun Shooting Film!

163.365: Michael Raso
Dan Domme shot this image of me outside the famous Mac’s Diner / Eastar TLR camera on Kodak Portra 160NC

Enjoy and Thank You!

Episode 10: The Epic Film Photography Summer Episode!

Film Photography Podcast Episode 10 - July 1, 2010
FPP guys Michael Raso, Duane Polcou and John Fedele welcome podcast listener Dan Domme

Polaroid 600 OneStep CloseUp Camera

1954 Agfa Clack

A plethora of film photography info is covered including listener film galleries and the Polaroid 600 / Agfa Clack camera giveaway!

Stream, Download or iTunes

Dan Domme’s Flickr Photostream

Alternative Cinema Podcast