Last year, I rekindled a love affair with film, Polaroid to be exact. And, I’ve had some ups and downs as I’ve reacquainted myself with this medium. It’s so easy to get used to the super sharpness of digital. With Polaroid, it’s as if you have to retrain your eyes to accept imperfection.
But, as with anything in life, the only way to get better as something is just to keep doing it, to keep practicing and learning. So throughout the year, I’m going to share my experiences as I shoot more Polaroid. I plan to shoot and share at least a pack of film a month (probably more), the 8 exposures that make up a pack of Impossible Project film. I know this doesn’t sound like a lot when you consider I’ll shoot hundreds of digital images in a month. But film is a different animal completely. More deliberate and considered.
One of the challenges I’ve had shooting Polaroid at this time of the year is that the film does not like cold weather. There are a number of tips and tricks for shooting Impossible Project film in cold weather. Me, I’ve found that the body heat tactic works best for me. I just cover the images with a dark slide and stick them under my bra strap. This keeps them nice and warm and snug until I can get inside.
We had our first snow this week and I was very curious how the exposure would work in the snow. And, it’s not like you’ve got a built-in light meter to tell you how to set the exposure wheel on the SX-70. It’s really just trial and error until you get more experience. These in the snow, I think could have been a little lighter. I think I overestimated the impact that the snow would have on the brightness.
And our little snowman. I think I was too close for the second shot. Or I didn’t have my glasses on. Or I just plain can’t focus.
I was also inspired by Meghan Davidson to include some self-portraits on film. I tell you what, nothing teaches you more about good body position in photography than a few self-portraits. And, even though I do have a remote shutter release for the SX-70 these are still pretty out of focus. Is it me or the camera? Or maybe even the scanner (they seem sharper in real life)? Or, have I just not yet trained my eye to accept the softness of this film?
I’ve also realized in looking at these, that I want to shoot more Polaroid portraits not just of me but of other people. So maybe that’s what you’ll see more of, more people who I persuade to humor me and stand absolutely, completely still for the eternity of time it takes me to set up and expose a frame of film. Any takers?
These 8 Exposures on Impossible Project PX70 Color Protection Film.