August 03, 2011

For Chocolate L♥vers

My newest photographic obsession has a sweet tooth.
If it has chocolate in its name, it has to be good, right?

Even when we're talking about film.

It turns out that Polaroid made a Type 100 peel-apart instant film for Land Cameras that comes in a special chocolate version. It's no longer being produced, and the stock that is still available today is already a couple of years expired. But that doesn't seem to detract anything from its deep chocolate darks and caramel-colored lights... or from the thrill of taking a photo and holding a freshly developed, still damp and gooey, chocolate-toned print in your hands just 90 seconds after having pressed the shutter.

Train tracks near Lee Hall Depot

Here's how it works: After pressing the shutter, the film is pulled out of the side of the camera, an action that breaks the pockets of developing chemicals and spreads them over the photo. The photo, protected between two layers of paper and plastic, then develops for a short amount of time, 90 seconds for the chocolate film. Then the two layers of paper are pulled apart in a smooth motion, with bated breath and much anticipation. With a little luck, a developed photo will be revealed inside.

I took my Polaroid Land Camera loaded with chocolate film to the the tiny lighthouse at Buckroe Beach...

...and to the tall, dignified, and still functioning light at Fort Story: New Cape Henry Light.

Birds at Buckroe Beach.

I was hoping one of them would model for me from up close, and I had meant to come up behind them in hopes of having them move closer to the water. But they were so quiet and serious, solemnly facing in the same direction, that I didn't have the heart to disturb them and instead photographed them just as they were.

With a little luck, the film can be used indoors... although the results will be dark. Here, Tibetan monks are working on a sand mandala during the American Theater's Tibet Week.

Who says chocolate is only for dessert?

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