Dallas Cowboys Stadium + The Impossible Project PX70 & PZ680

June 18, 2012 § 1 Comment

About a month ago, a couple friends of ours (Amy & Ellie) were visiting from Colorado. When my wife and I caught up with them at a bar, Ellie and I started gabbin’ about all things photography (she’s a photog as well). Since I’m usually carrying, I decided to bring the Mamiya RB67 loaded with one frame of old gen PX70 (I had recently read a blog post about this particular technique on TIP’s website). When I started fiddling with it, our conversation segued to the Impossible Project and I got her up to speed with the jist of their products & company. I took a photo that night but had screwed up the loading process (I left a practice photo in the polaroid back and laid the unexposed photo on top – I’m still perplexed as to how I didn’t feel that in the light bag). Needless to say I didn’t get an image BUT it got her interest piqued. She was probably thinking “Why would this guy lug around all this stuff for ONE photo?”

We talked a few days later and she mentioned that she wanted to commission me for a small project. Ellie and her husband Eric are expecting a baby boy in August and he wants to help her decorate. Apparently, Eric is a HUGE Dallas Cowboys fan. So much so, that he was thinking about putting astro-turf in the nursery. When that was vetoed he found a HUGE rug that looked like an aerial view of the field. Now, not that there’s anything wrong with those two suggestions but I think Ellie was looking for another solution to the compromise. ūüėČ After hearing about the Impossible Project and seeing some of the images, she said she’d rather have prints of some IP film shot at Cowboys Stadium. Sweet! We did a quick search online and found that there were¬†self-guided tours that are offered throughout the year.

The day of the shoot arrived and I packed a bag full o’ cameras & film. I knew that for the exterior images I would probably shoot it with the SX-70 & PX-70 COOL + the occasional ND filter (kudos to Tyler Tyndell for the ND tip) and for the interiors I would alternate between the SX-70 and a Spectra AF w/ PZ680 Color Shade. My lady, Synthia, came with me as well and she brought a Spectra SE with some PZ old gen black frame. Synthia’s finally come around to the ol’ Impossible Project. At first she would jokingly make comments like … “You’re shooting more of that impossibly hard to shoot film .. gah … “. But over the last two months, her interest has increased and she decided to pick up a PZ old generation bag. She was saving the film for an upcoming trip to Colorado but I think we’ll probably be buying a little more before that epic road trip. Oops! On a tangent .. back to the task at hand …

We got to the stadium about 1 o’clock and picked up two of their self-guided tour tickets. I had never been there before and was a little surprised at just how ginormous the stadium was. I’d seen it from The Ballpark in Arlington but I’d never really been near it.

We made our way inside and almost every person that we talked to mentioned something about the cameras we were shooting. “I love y’alls Polaroids!” .. “You can still get film for those?!” … “Wow! Haven’t seen one of those in years” .. “I have one of those in my closet!” .. The love for Polaroid cameras & instant photography never ceases to amaze me.

A few of my favorites …

Cowboys Stadium - Polaroid Sonar SX-70 - PX70 COOL

Cowboys Stadium – Polaroid Sonar SX-70 – PX70 COOL

Cowboys Stadium - Polaroid Sonar SX-70 - PX-70 Cool

Cowboys Stadium – Polaroid Sonar SX-70 – PX-70 Cool

Cowboys Stadium - Spectra AF - Impossible Project PZ680

Cowboys Stadium – Spectra AF – Impossible Project PZ680

Cowboys Stadium - Polaroid Sonar SX-70 - PX70 COOL

Cowboys Stadium – Polaroid Sonar SX-70 – PX70 COOL

Cowboys Stadium - Polaroid Sonar SX-70 - PX-70 COOL

Cowboys Stadium – Polaroid Sonar SX-70 – PX-70 COOL

Cowboys Stadium - Polaroid Sonar SX-70 - PX-70 Cool

Cowboys Stadium – Polaroid Sonar SX-70 – PX-70 Cool

Cowboys Stadium - Polaroid Sonar SX-70 - PX-70 Cool

Cowboys Stadium – Polaroid Sonar SX-70 – PX-70 Cool

A couple of Synthia’s favorites … I love the black frame impossible photos.

Photo: Synthia Goode - Spectra SE - Impossible Project Old Gen Black Frame -

Photo: Synthia Goode – Spectra SE – Impossible Project Old Gen Black Frame –

Photo: Synthia Goode - Spectra SE - Impossible Project Old Gen Black Frame -

Photo: Synthia Goode – Spectra SE – Impossible Project Old Gen Black Frame –

-Justin

www.goodephotography.biz

For info on purchasing prints email me at info@goodephotography.biz

To buy your own Impossible Project film click here!

A Polaroid Spectra + Impossible Project PZ680 + The Ballpark

May 16, 2012 § 4 Comments

At the end of last year, I was lucky enough to break away for a bit to visit my good friend Billy in San Francisco. ¬† He was the first person that I knew that was shooting Impossible Project’s film and he had been raving over it for months. ¬† ¬†I spent a handful of days there and ventured throughout the city with my Leica M2 and Mamiya C330. ¬† While I was there, we visited the coastal town of Pacifica and Billy had been shooting some IP film through his Polaroid Spectra AF. ¬† ¬†I was stunned by the results.¬†¬† The aesthetic qualities of the b+w’s are something that have imprinted themselves on my mind. ¬† Ghostly images bathed in degradation that I thought, up until then, only happened with time. ¬†He was shooting Impossible’s PZ600UV Silver Shade.

I started shooting IP’s films about a month ago and I’ve been actively looking for some other Polaroids to shoot their film with. ¬† I picked up a nice black Spectra AF from Ebay for about $20 a couple weeks ago. ¬† ¬†The day I got it in, my buddy at Archinal Camera, handed me another Spectra! ¬† And just the other day, one of my wife’s co-workers gave us another¬†Spectra. ¬† I think somebody’s trying to tell me something …

Polaroid Spectra AF - Impossible Project PZ680

Polaroid Spectra AF – Impossible Project PZ680

The Spectra is a cool looking analogue camera. ¬† I’ve seen them before but never really paid any attention. ¬† They have a unique optical system utilizing a 135mm f/10 quintic lens. ¬† The focal length equivalency is about about 40mm in the 35mm format. ¬†Like most Polaroids, you don’t have a ton of control over the exposure. ¬† The most important options at your disposal are: an exposure lighten/darken switch, a switch to toggle the flash on/off, an AF override switch to set focus to infinity, a self timer and a tripod mount.

The autofocusing feature on Spectras, and many other Polaroids, is done by sonar. ¬† When you press the shutter halfway, it emits an inaudible sound wave to measure the distance between the camera and what you’re shooting. ¬† ¬†It sends the sound waves to the center of what’s in the viewfinder, the sound waves bounce back, and the distance is displayed at the bottom of the viewfinder (there is a little switch to toggle between showing ft/m on the camera). ¬† There is an autofocus lock feature, in the sense that after you press the shutter halfway, you can hold the shutter and move your viewpoint to keep that particular distance focused.

That’s basically the gist of the camera.

I picked up some film and waited for the right time to shoot it.   A baseball game with some of my family came up so it was a great opportunity to test out some shots at The Ballpark.  I loaded up my camera bag with the Spectra, a pack of PZ680 and an icepack to keep the film cool while developing.  Why not right?

Before I left, I called the Impossible Project space in New York to ask them a quick exposure question. ¬† I doubled checked to make sure that the PZ680 I was about to shoot was indeed 600-ish speed film. ¬† ¬†The reason for the “ish” is that Impossible’s film speeds sometimes are a little faster than what’s intended. Up until this point, with the PX-70 film in a SX-70 camera, I have been cranking exposure wheel all the way down. ¬† She told me that with the Spectra and the regular PZ680, it was spot on and no adjustments needed to be made. ¬† She did mention that the PZ680 COOL that just came out was running a little faster than 680 ASA, so an underexposure adjustment might be needed.

With the SX-70, I use a dark slide to protect the film from any direct light the moment it ejects out of the camera. ¬† I had planned on using a home-made dark slide but I ended up ejecting the film directly into the box after the photo was taken. ¬† The Spectra’s have a cool feature with their self timers. ¬† If you shoot a photo and hold down the shutter button, you can switch the timer on and it will keep the photo inside the camera until you toggle the switch back off. ¬† Since Impossible’s photos are so sensitive to light, this is a great feature to utilize. ¬†I used this method for all of these shots.

The Ballpark in Arlington - Impossible Project PZ680 - Polaroid Spectra AF

The Ballpark in Arlington – Impossible Project PZ680 – Polaroid Spectra AF

I cranked the exposure all the way down for this image.   Otherwise the sky would have probably been completely blown out.   The rest were shot in the neutral position on the exposure slider.

Home Run! - Impossible Project PZ680 - Polaroid Spectra AF

Home Run! – Impossible Project PZ680 – Polaroid Spectra AF

The Ballpark in Arlington - Impossible Project PZ680 - Polaroid Spectra AF

The Ballpark in Arlington – Impossible Project PZ680 – Polaroid Spectra AF

The Ballpark in Arlington - Impossible Project PZ680 - Polaroid Spectra AF

The Ballpark in Arlington – Impossible Project PZ680 – Polaroid Spectra AF

Overall I’m pleased with the film. ¬†However, I do think that it’s still probably sitting about a 1/2 a stop faster than what it’s advertised to be. ¬† But otherwise, it gives you a unique, vintage palette of colors. I really do like how Impossible films render scenes. ¬† ¬†Yes. It’s not perfect .. but that’s the point.

-Justin

http://www.goodephotography.biz

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