Remember that night…

Polaroid SX-70 on Impossible PX 70 color protection

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My name is Emilie Trouillet AKA AhBahBravo. I’m 32 and I’m French.
I used to capture instants of everyday, little things, moments or emotions of everybody. With this triptych, I experimented caprturing night shots with my polaroid.  It’s a self-portrait. I often do self-portraits. A self-portrait (by night or not) is always a big experience !
For this set, I wanted to tell a story but a story with no end ! Everyone can imagine the story and the following. Sad, mysterious, surprising, anguishing ? Who knows. I like to use the magical of polaroid. There’s always a part of magic in each photos, something that we can not control.
Simplicity and magic, that’s what i like in Polaroid.

—Emilie

Hi! First, thanks for the follow :) Second...I've been lusting after a SX-70 for a while now but have held back due to the cost of the film, the risk you take with old stock and the uncertainty of the newer IP film. I love the look of the Silver Shade, but how stable is it in the long term after exposed? Are your images holding up? Oh, and thanks for providing such a wonderful resource for film lovers.

Asked by
jessrayphoto

Hi Jess,

I have actually tried everything from their Color Shade and Silver Shade film line from 2010 to their recent catalog, and I have to say their emulsion is getting more stable with every new series released. I find that their Silver Shade films are more prone to color alterations and fading (they go from black & white to sepia) especially when stored in high humidity. However, I have shot some old packs of Color Shade (specifically the Gold Frame edition) which have retained its color to this day, with no signs of fading. The original emulsion however did not produce a variety in color tone. Most of my pictures turned out purple but the pictures I have hanging on my fridge still look the same, if not even darker and with more contrast now. I think drying the emulsion after your image has fully developed (I usually leave my polaroids pressed in a book for 2-3 days depending on how cold or warm the day is) and then transferring them into an air-lock bag with silica gel packs, which you would need to regenerate to reuse. Keep them there for a couple of weeks, and they should be good. I have a box filled with my polaroids and although some have faded, non have faded to the point that the image is unidentifiable.  

I scan my polaroids before I dry them in air-lock bags, so I am not so worried about the polaroids fading, but I started drying them, and it has significantly reduced the aging. 

I took a picture of my polaroids I have stored in room temperature, the ones on the left were never dried, and the ones on the right were all stored in an air-lock bag with silica gel for a little over 2 weeks (original scans here). All images were shot last December on expired TIP film from 2010.

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(Note: These were all shot on expired film and turned out sepia to begin with.)

I hope this helps! :)

—eleanorrigby236

The Importance of Proper Storage for your Impossible Project Films

The Impossible Project PX100 UV+ Silver Shade (dated 11/11) on Polaroid SX-70 Land Camera Model 2

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Hi guys. This is gonna be a long post with many photos so bear with me. 

OK, so why do I say that you need to properly store your TIP (The Impossible Project) films before using them? Well, I’m not going to go into details as TIP has written a lot regarding storage of unused film packs in the refrigerator and using your TIP films as soon as possible to avoid artifacts, change of color or undeveloped patches as a result of increased emulsion viscosity. Despite their evolving advances for the betterment of their emulsion, the film remains sensitive to heat and will deteriorate in hostile storage environment.

I salute The Impossible Project’s efforts in single-handedly reviving instant photography again and giving us a taste of what shooting with Polaroid felt like. To date, all my TIP films were bought directly from their online shop and stored directly in my already film-laden fridge upon arrival and I’ve never had a single problem from any of the packs. 

However I did encounter a bit of a glitch with my Polaroid adventures which I highlighted in my post here when I bought 3 packs of PX70 Color Shades from this particular reseller in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Needless to say, only 3 shots were usable out of the entire 3 packs!

I avoided the shop like the plague until that fateful day last week when against my better judgment, decided to pop in and bought a pack of the new PX680 & PX70 Color Protection each since I didn’t have the time to place an order online and guess what, the same happened to me again, the photos were spoiled! I should’ve known better as the shop displays the film packs on their trendy shelves and not in the refrigerator as recommended by TIP.

To prove my point further, the first 6 photos above were taken by me this morning, after shooting with the defective Color Protection film. This particular PX100 Silver Shade UV+ pack was one of my first BW film that I bought directly from TIP and had been in my fridge for over a year, in fact it was manufactured in November 2011. I took the film out last night and shot this morning and voila, no undeveloped patches and with pristine clear images to boot!

However, check out the photos below:

The Impossible Project PX70 Color Protection (dated 08/12) on Polaroid SX-70 Land Camera Model 2

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OK, so you might think, hey what’s wrong with these photos? They look alright, with that artsy, oil painting quality to them. 

To me, these were completely unacceptable as they are supposed to be the new Color Protection film! Of course I used TIP’s frog tongue to shield the photos (although I didn’t need to). The photos also have this reddish cast on all 8 exposures although I was fortunately spared from any undeveloped patches. But still, where’s my stunning color images?

Now, check these out, I’m totally saving the best (or worse) for last here:

The Impossible Project PX680 Color Protection (dated 08/12) on Polaroid SX-70 Land Camera Model 2 (with ND filter)

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What the f**k are these supposed to be??? If I wanted this sort of wonky photos & colors I would’ve gotten the expired film bags or even the Color Shade PUSH! at a much much cheaper price! I tweeted one of the photos to ImpossibleUSA & Impossible_Euro and they agreed that the film were heat damaged from the start, and who’s the culprit here? That particular unscrupulous shop of course! The good people at TIP advised me to lodge a complain to TIP’s Asian division which I’m doing right now. 

Now, do you guys see why you need to store your film packs in the fridge? I’m not trying to sabotage anybody’s business but this has gotten way too far. I’ve heard a lot of complains from many Malaysian Polaroid shooters who unfortunately suffered the same fate as me as they had bought their TIP films from this particular shop as well. Imagine their disappointment when these crap images came out when they had scrimped and saved to get decent Polaroid cams & films (which are not cheap by the way). Some of them were newbies and friends of mine who have been wowed by the magic of instant photography.

Just because the proprietor is cash crazy and couldn’t be bothered to invest in a fridge to store his/her film stock doesn’t mean that everybody else has to suffer.

Shooting instant film is supposed to be fun and magical. Capitalism however, is not. I rest my case.

-delusiana

Book <3 Camera: The Polaroid Issue

The Impossible Project PX 100 Silver Shade COOL on Polaroid SX-70 Model 2 Land Camera

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I didn’t know what to do when I woke up early yesterday morning and since I’ve never actively contributed to the "Camera <3 Book" series I decided to test my unopened box of Silver Shade Cool film that otherwise had been lying lonely among its brethren in my fridge.

These are among my favorite cameras that I had been collecting since this obsession with film started in 2010 and some interesting reads:

  1. Canon Canonet 28 & E.M. Cioran’s A Short History of Decay
  2. Vredreborch Felica & Susan Sontag’s Against Interpretation, On Photography
  3. Ensign Ful-Vue & Roland Barthes’ Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography
  4. Savoy Imperial 620 & Harvey Pekar’s The Beats: A Graphic History
  5. Canon A-1 & Allen Ginsberg’s Spontaneous Mind: Selected Interviews 1958-1996

Overall I’m pleased with the shade of this COOL film and for once, not too sepia-ish. Although it’s recommended that the exposure wheel is turned 1/3 into dark, I found that the contrast looked better with the wheel at 2/3 or even all the way into dark. Or at least it works that way in sunny Malaysia.

-delusiana

p/s: We’re still accepting submissions for the Camera <3 Book feature! Click here for more camera and book photos. Send us your photos to strictlyfilm@gmail.com 

**Welcome to Sarahland**

Polaroid Manipulation

I’m a French 25 year-old-girl, fascinated by the power of image. I’ve been a director of fiction and experimental short films for a few years and I’m a polaroid addict. My world is a strange atmosphere between poetry and anxiety.

Since I began to work with polaroid, I have been using a Polaroid 636 Close-up camera from 1992, which my aunt gave me. When I was a child, I already used this device to photograph my grandmother’s animals… Now I love to use the Polaroid SX 70 camera too, for me, it’s the best. I love the color and silver shade films by The Impossible Project, especially the new Color Protection film.

What interests me in instant photography is its suspense and surprise. I take time to prepare my polaroids, using an hour or two, I set up costumes, sets and make-up which are going to give sense to the central characters of the polaroid shoot. It is the contrast between the direction and the speed of the development that interests me and, of course, the magic grain of the Polaroid.

My models, most of the time feminine, are my loved ones; my Mom and my friends. I like inventing stories, universes and characters that inspire me.


When I am done with my first polaroid exposure, I like stressing its surrealist dimension by working again on it with double-exposure or by applying some nail polish onto it to give it a plastic art effect. For my series “Palimpsestes” and “Filigranes” in particular, I worked on a lot my pictures using “transparency manipulation”, where I would cut the polaroid, warm it with a hair-dryer and then stick the second polaroid image under the first. I would then apply some nail polish or other products onto the final image for effect.

I color my polaroids with childhood, dream and fear, imbuing the idea of suspended time with worlds I create by modifying reality.

-Sarah

Make sure to head over to Sarah’s Facebook Page and give a shout out to this talented young photographer, whose imagination and vision seem boundless and inexhaustible. CGSF is utterly inspired! Thank you Sarah for sharing with us.

Legends & Mysteries of Rome

Polaroid SX-70 with PX680 Silver Shade (expired 2010)

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After a few days exploring Rome by myself, everything got a little less exciting and somewhat repetitive. Just reading descriptions and facts off Wiki got too mundane, so I signed up for some tours to learn about Rome from the Romans who were born and brought up in the Eternal City. One of the tours I did was a walking Ghost tour which I took on Dec 25th, yes, on Christmas and it was a blast!! We got spooked, piqued and seriously fascinated.

As the tour happened at night I was not able to capture anything remarkable on my film camera. I decided to retrace the tour the next morning with my Polaroid SX-70 and a few packs of expired PX 680 Silver Shade film (used together with a ND filter) from TIP . The perfect formula to transform “bustling daytime Rome filled with tourists in every corner” to “mystery-filled olden day Rome”. The expired film packs I had with me all have the same nifty ‘fault’ where the middle part comes out a little more exposed compared to the rest of the polaroid. This trait actually worked well with scenes with the main object placed in the middle of the shot. 

All in all, I love the sepia tone produced by these expired packs, and the subtle uneven blotches and grain the packs offered did wonders to set the mood for the images.  With old TIP film you never know what you will get, but I must say that I was satisfied with all my shots, and wish I have more packs from this batch to play with.

-eleanorrigby236

(The Impossible Project, expired Color Shade film on SX-70)
It&#8217;s sad to see this blog not being updated but it can&#8217;t be helped when everyday life takes too much of our time away. Just wanted to check in to see how everyone is doing? I miss my cameras, and I miss watching my timer as I wait for my film to develop! I miss the smell of developer and fixer on my hands, I even miss sitting in front of my scanner organizing my negatives!! I miss hearing from all of you! No matter what, Believe In Film people!!And we will be back soon&#8230;
-eleanorrigby236

(The Impossible Project, expired Color Shade film on SX-70)

It’s sad to see this blog not being updated but it can’t be helped when everyday life takes too much of our time away. Just wanted to check in to see how everyone is doing? I miss my cameras, and I miss watching my timer as I wait for my film to develop! I miss the smell of developer and fixer on my hands, I even miss sitting in front of my scanner organizing my negatives!! I miss hearing from all of you!

No matter what, Believe In Film people!!

And we will be back soon…

-eleanorrigby236

Polaroid SX-70 indoors in low light

PX 100 Silver Shade COOL Film on Polaroid SX-70

I just moved in to my new place last week. The house is absolutely empty except for the cleaning supplies I bought a few hours before my untimely move. I slept that night on a flimsy picnic mat and suffice to say it was a very painful experience.

I spent most of the time NOT asleep.

That was when I decided to play with my Polaroid SX-70 folding SLR. Took out a pack of film from the fridge, waited about 20 minutes and popped it into the camera. I knew that the SX-70 has a shutter speed range from 1/175s to more than 10 seconds so I thought I’d try to shoot some long exposures indoors. When I say long, I mean between 6-10 seconds long.

The room was lit by one sole 25 watt bulb, so I knew I needed to prop the camera on something to make the shots work. I used an empty box as my tripod, set darken ring to 1/2, aimed, focused, hit the shutter release and waited for the film to eject.

The results were milky soft and dreamy!! I didn’t have the best objects at disposal to shoot, but I must say these test shots were successful. What do you think?

-eleanorrigby236

Berlin - The Place To Be

PX 680 Color Shade Gold Frame Limited Edition on Polaroid SX-70

I took the train east to Berlin last weekend on the spur of the moment with my Polaroid camera in hand along with my trusty Lomo LC-W. I mainly visited some art shows, concept stores and of course the Martin-Gropius Bau art gallery for the Diane Arbus exhibition. I spent almost the whole day digging through the special archive they built filled with her writings and past works. I was totally immersed in the life, air, and spirit  that was and is still Berlin. I would live there if I could because everywhere I looked was just picturesque, no matter how dirty or dingy or boring it may be to others.

The Gold Frame limited edition film from The Impossible Project has got to be one of my favorites because I love how the gold borders make the pictures look somewhat regal both is color and black and white. This pack I have is from 2011 and has been exposed to extreme heat in the attic where I left my film packs over the summer (I know, smart…). My color pack came out pretty much monotone, leaning very strongly towards purple, but all in all the pack did good and it did capture Berlin the way I saw it and want to remember it.

Some technicalities: I used a pack of 600 film on my SX-70 utilizing a filmpack filter also from TIP which you can see in the second image above. (Somehow the filter was not firmly tucked into the film cartridge for that particular shot but went back in place for the others.) All images were shot with the darken/lighten ring set to 1/2 dark. Without the filter the images would be super blown out. I decided to crop the borders for some of the images as they look better squared as a whole.

I am going through a few packs of COOL film now and am loving the results, will share more soon.

-eleanorrigby236

Warm or Cold?

The Impossible Project PX70 Color Shade (11/12) on SX-70 Land Camera

delusiana just posted a bunch of shots she took using the same film and also a foldable SX70 camera and you can see how the film produces super bright colors that favor warm hues. The 2 kitty pictures above were shot in Malaysia where warm light is never scarce and you can see both shots came out very yellow. The 3 sky/nature shots on the other hand were shot in Germany in late April, when spring was not exactly in full bloom. The sky was no where as blue as the images show, but I was pretty stunned that they didn’t come out full blown orange or yellow either. I believe the factor in play here is not the light but definitely the temperature.

As delusiana pointed out, it is always too hot and humid in Malaysia that TIP film not stored properly will quickly fade into a mass of blurry low-contrast images. While the air in Germany is very dry, and the temperature relatively cool, my polaroids still fade when not inserted into a dry-pack, although the process takes a longer time. 

I still have not had good luck with B&W TIP film as even when shot in cold weather, the images turn out sepia and not a solid B&W. Not so sure if it is a film issue, but I just got some Cool film to experiment with. That, and a pretty spunky looking Polaroid Spectra Pro camera that shoots multiple exposures!!

-eleanorrigby236

Lazy Sunday

The Impossible Project PX100 UV+ on Polaroid SX-70 One Step 

Hello guys, my Sunday is about to end…well, it’s only 4pm over here in Malaysia but I can’t help but sigh, “What did I do this weekend???” Time really does fly pass you oh-so-swiftly T_T

Anyway, I wanted to box my One Step SX70 away since I’ve hardly used it after getting my folding camera when I realized that I still have 3 more exposures left. So what better than using my baby to shoot photos of my other babies. LOL.

From top to bottom is my vintage Bencini Koroll S, Polaroid Sx-70 Land Camera Model 2 and the Zero Image 2000 handmade wooden pinhole camera.

So, how’s your Sunday? 

-delusiana

Impossible Project’s PX70 11/12 vs PX680 Cool

The Impossible Project PX70 Color Shade (11/12) on SX-70 Land Camera


The Impossible Project PX680 Color Shade COOL (with ND Filter) on SX-70 Land Camera


As you can see in the pictures above, the PX680 Cool film (shot with the ND filter in the SX70) produced softer tones with hints of pastel, even when exposed to bright bright sunlight. My mistake was that I forgot to rotate the exposure wheel all the way into dark! I’m pretty sure the colors would be much “cooler” if I had done that. 

Also, the film was supposed to be refrigerated just before shooting but since living in Malaysia nowadays feels like you’re constantly being baked, and the photo shoot location wasn’t exactly nearby so getting the optimum temperature was out of the question.

I’ll try shooting the PX680 Cool film in a controlled environment next and see if there’s any difference, otherwise I’ll probably stick to shooting the PX70 films since applying the ND filter could be quite a hassle and you might waste a shot or two as the filter tends to jam up the film expulsion mechanism!

But that said, I must stress again here that I love my Impossible Films!! How I wish I was able to join their Pioneer Program!! Gah :(

p/s: I’ll be posting a set of B&W portrait shots next, also taken at the same location with my newly acquired Composer Pro & Sweet 35 :)

-delusiana

The Impossible Project’s PX 70 Color Shade

The Impossible Project PX-70 Color Shade NIGO
(Exposure wheel at darkest setting shot under bright sunlight)

The Impossible Project PX-70 Color Shade 12/11
(Exposure wheel at lightest setting, shot under tungsten light)


So you can definitely tell that this new PX 70 color shade favors blue compared to their previous incarnations. Even the now sold out NIGO edition boasts their new improved “lucky” emulsion, similar to the 12/11 PX 70s and I’d say that their formula is much much more stable than what I’ve shot before. 

FYI, all NIGO shots were taken under bright bright sunlight, which might explain the slightly washed out look owing to some slight overexposure on my part. I did wind the exposure all the way to the darkest setting + appropriate shading with TIP’s SX-70 shade but as usual Malaysia is extremely hot etc etc…you get my point. 

The Impossible Project had also mentioned that the new Color Shade formula was a fast film, so instead of having a 125ISO, the correct ISO should be around 600 -allowing the film to be used in Polaroid 600 cameras with adjustments to the exposure wheel.

HOWEVER, I’d like to point out here that if you own the new TIP Flash Bar by Mint, designed to be used with both folding & box type SX-70s, shooting the NIGO & 12/11 PX 70 Color Shade films should be done with the ND Compensation mode (middle switch), instead of the normal mode (right sided switch), with the exposure turned to the lightest setting or 2/3 to light. 

Yes, I know that it’s recommended that if you use PX 70 films with production dates later than 12/11 you’re supposed to keep the exposure wheel at neutral and the flash bar switch pushed all the way to the right but that simply does not work! Your photos will just turn black! I’ve wasted two NIGO shots (green & white frame) & two 12/11 shots due to this hindsight.  That’s four frames worth MYR40! (USD13)

On a happier note, I’ve seen some wonderful shots taken by eleanorrigby236 using the 12/11 PX 70 film so stick around for that!

My latest baby, Polaroid SX-70 Land Camera Model 2, completely refurbished in handsome pebble grained brown leather!

-delusiana