Sunday, 22 May 2016

My Retro Photography: Drawing A Veil Over It

Last week I got the strong urge to have an "instant" picture camera again... after seeing one being used on the telly recently.
I used to love my/Mrs D's Polaroid camera and I have had my share of modelling for its pictures, way back in the 1990s. But supplies of Polaroid instant film disappeared alongside Polaroid's final bankruptcy in 2008. I knew that plans had been afoot to resurrect the concept and technology but at that time it didn't include my particular camera model.

And of course I have a digital camera and do like it very much... including the camera in my ancient Nokia phone. (I specialise in out-of-date technology.) Where would this blog be without such a thing? But most of my digital photos remain on my pc or camera, I just never get round to printing them off and I do not think I am alone in this.

And so my little hands did quiver with desire to get themselves wrapped around a new equivalent, analogue instant camera. Perhaps a Lomo'Instant or a Fuji. There is something very special about the one-off, one-time-only magic of the Polaroid snap; not just an instant result, but an object in its own right. I love them. I just had to buy another camera. And that was when The Old Man did stay my hand and got me to check to see if I could now get film for my old Polaroid Image Spectra. And I can.

Impossible Project, the outfit that have spent some years resurrecting what they could of the Polaroid process, cameras and do a film pack for my old camera. Times have changed, as have rules for Health & Safety, etc., so the chemicals are not the same nor the construction of each print module. Now, you only get 8 prints to a pack, they take longer to develop and they are more expensive. I ordered up a pack right away. But very stupidly... not from Impossible themselves. Daft girl.

When the pack arrived the very next day, it was stamped with a 2014 manufacture date. Well past its sell-by-date. Impossible recommends a 12month life for their films. And this is the explanation (I do hope) for my atmospheric results. Such as this image of an old man, looking very pleased, clutching a pot of iris.

Next time I shall buy from Impossible. And fervently hope that the image will develop properly and that any atmospheric veils are under my control. Because otherwise ... it is my beloved 25 year old camera that is in trouble.

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