Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Welcome to 'Roid Week

Polaroid Week that is.

Yesterday started the 2010 Spring Polaroid week over on Flickr. Its a lot of fun if you are a Polaroid photographer or just like to see some interesting shots.

Its amazing to me what a huge following Polaroid (and all instant film) has. It isn't just a cult following saying, "hey, this is cool. Let's take some pictures of people who come to the house," kind of thing. Its people getting out and working with the film to produce amazing images. On a podcast I listen to (Buzz Out Loud) they were talking about the new Polaroid 300 when one of the hosts complained about the cost of film. He said that with his digital camera he takes a lot of shots and just prints the good ones, but with Polaroid costing $1.00 a shot that method of shooting was cost prohibitive.

He missed the point of Polaroid.

With digital and taking hundreds of shots in the course of a visit to the park I find that I am viewing the events of the day through the lens. I become more of an observer than a participant in the action. With Polaroid I'm in the moment and enjoying the day but keeping my eye open for the scenes and images I want to capture.

While running through the LA County Arboretum I notice the bare tree in the middle of the grass. A heavily shaded area that is home to a peacock. The amazing flowers that aloes produce. I only took 18 photos, but two were amazing and quite a few look interesting and fun. With my digital I would have taken about a hundred shots and probably gotten similar numbers of amazing and interesting shots.

The other fun thing with instant films (especially the pack films) is that you are dealing with (usually) old film and old equipment. The focusing isn't as sophisticated as a SLR. The exposure is a "lighter/darker" slider. The final print is also dependent on your timing. The photo posted above is the result of forgetting the slider was over towards "lighter" and then dealing with a splinter and finding lost shoes before realizing that the timer had stopped while using a camera from 1969 and film 2 years expired.