Act I, The Camera

It’s been six weeks since I began my experiments with film breaking out the old 35mm cameras in my arsenal and shooting my first roll of film in seven years. If you read about it then, you’ll know that I wasn’t completely sold on pulling the past into the present, not too mention stretching the boundaries of my overextended pocketbook to include the cost of shooting and developing film. But I did feel a stirring deep inside, a curiosity, if you will, an interest about the potential that film could hold for me. After all, with beautiful images like the ones below from our flickr group, I was beginning to wonder if I might create something like that too.

1. lift up your eyes, 2. short hair, don’t care, 3. in between

Enter three, new-to-me polaroid cameras (thanks Tammy) and it looked like perhaps my journey into film might be taking an unexpected twist. Now, I’ve always wanted my own polaroid camera ever since taking that first shot of my best friend with her shiny new present on Christmas day in 1984. I can distinctly remember the two of us watching in anticipation as the pictures we’d just taken of each other came to light. She gifted me my picture writing her name and the date on the front. Doesn’t that feel special to you? To share in a photographic moment with someone and then minutes later to have the tactile product of that frozen moment in time actually in your hands? Perhaps even back then, I was feeling the awakenings of our current generation’s fixation on Instant Gratification. After all, having it now, really does feel good.

Although I still have that shot of my BFF and would love to share it with you now, I’m sure she wouldn’t appreciate my resurrecting her Jimmy Connors haircut. So instead, I’ll share these three gorgeous polaroids with you from our film friday flickr group.

sunset k fairgoers
1. sunset, 2. k, 3. fairgoers

Act II, The Film

Now I’ll be the first to tell you that I know next to nothing about polaroid cameras, Edwin Land, or The Impossible Project. Outside of the growing chatter surrounding Polaroid here on Mortal Muses, the closest I’ve come to The Impossible Project has been tweeting them about another Muse’s story. So when I heard that they were going to be a sponsor at Shutter Sisters Oasis, which I attended last month, I figured I’d have a chance at using one of my new cameras after all. Before leaving, I consulted with Debra as to which of my newly bestowed polaroids I should bring. Her suggestion (and a good one at that): the Polaroid OneStep 600, black, sporting a jaunty rainbow stripe (lucky me).  Soon after that, I had my chance, 28 years later, to relieve that moment of excitement where chemistry combines in ways that I cannot understand to create a work of art, my work of art, right before my eyes. If that’s not photographic satisfaction, I don’t know what is.

Act III, The Pictures

My camera was duly tested, thanks Andrea, and duly loaded, thanks Alex, who then modeled for me as I took this picture and promptly fell in love. Wouldn’t you too?

Since Impossible Project was a sponsor, I was able to take several more shots using the PX 680 Color shade film. Three more instant beauties unfolded before me (thanks Christy, Audrey & Vivienne for being my next victims). Pretty special, wouldn’t you say?

I even won a pack of  PX 600 Silver Shade film which I used at a flickr meetup later in the week. I love the creamy quality of this film, and how any of these photos could have been taken in the past twenty years.

Since I’ve returned home, I have learned that my local Calumet Camera carries Impossible Project film, and I’ve even bought a pack to shoot over Thanksgiving next week. So maybe for me, its the instantaneous side of film that attacts me most. The instant gratification of a well-thought out composition, or maybe just a snapshot taken on the fly. Does it matter? Not to me. Not right now. Now while I’m experimenting and learning and having fun! Perhaps Edwin Land said it best:

I asked my fellow muses to share with me something about the instant side of polaroid that calls out to them, and this is what they had to say:


{210/365+1v.2} Spring Idyll in Silver Shade

Peeling Paper

Crete in Polaroids

hold on


Polaroid portraits

How about you? Are you fan of instant film? What do you shoot with? I’d love to hear your thoughts about your journey with instant film. Until next time!

Holly ~ Soupatraveler