October 24, 2010

The Impossible Project

In 2008, to the disappointment of Polaroid fans everywhere, Polaroid stopped production of its popular instant films. But now there is new hope, and it bears the optimistic title of the Impossible Project. What was thought to be impossible is now being done: Drumroll... Polaroid films are back!

While they can't officially carry the Polaroid name, they're already being produced in color and monochrome for a couple of Polaroid camera formats, and they're attracting a growing following. The one I used here is for a 600 camera: the PX 600 Silver Shade film.

Although the Impossible Project purchased an entire Polaroid factory, the chemical mix is all new. The resulting film packs are still being developed and improved. They're extraordinarily sensitive to temperature and light, and they're also somewhat unpredictable, which adds an extra thrill to the experience of taking a photo with this most extraordinary instant film.

Trinity Church, Newport, RI

I took the first two images in Newport, Rhode Island, and Trinity Church in the historic heart of the colonial town was my intended subject. For some reason, the first photo didn't turn out. But when the camera spit out this second image, I made sure to cover it up immediately and give it as much darkness as possible while it was developing... and it turned out! I don't think 3 minutes ever take longer than when waiting for a Polaroid to develop... which is another part of the ritual and the excitement of using a piece of photographic history.

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