A PolaWalk in Deep Ellum / 8×10 Portraits with the Instant Film Society

January 28, 2013 § 4 Comments

This past weekend, The Instant Film Society hosted, what was more than likely, the largest gathering of instant film enthusiasts in the state of Texas.  More than fifty photographers and lovers of instant film gathered at Makeshift Photography‘s studio in Deep Ellum to participate in a PolaWalk and also have their portraits taken on Impossible’s 8×10 film.

Photo: Justin Goode - Impossible Project PX-70 COOL

Photo: Justin Goode – Impossible Project PX-70 COOL

A couple of days before the event, I spent a little time with Steve Reeves, Troy Bradford & Tyler Tyndell at Steve’s studio to get some things organized for this.  We met up to talk 8×10 photography, get things set in place for Saturday’s PolaWalk and tested out a few things before we parted ways for the night.  While we were there, we decided it would probably be best if we went ahead and knocked out a couple of the portraits before we had the rush of people that we were expecting on Saturday.  Tyler took some great BTS photos of our meet up that evening.

Impossible Project 8x10 PQ - Burke & James Grover

Impossible Project 8×10 PQ – Burke & James Grover

Impossible Project 8x10 PQ - Burke & James Grover

Impossible Project 8×10 PQ – Burke & James Grover

Photo: Tyler Tyndell

Photo: Tyler Tyndell

Photo: Tyler Tyndell

Photo: Tyler Tyndell

Photo: Tyler Tyndell

Photo: Tyler Tyndell

Photo: Tyler Tyndell

Photo: Tyler Tyndell

Photo: Tyler Tyndell - Polaroid 1200 Cinema Film

Photo: Tyler Tyndell – Polaroid 1200 Cinema Film

When I woke up on Saturday morning, I was excited beyond belief.  I couldn’t wait to get into the studio to set up for this particular PolaWalk.  We’ve hosted quite a few since the Instant Film Society was founded, but nothing up to this point, had been as highly anticipated as this particular event.   The lure of 8×10 cameras and large format instant film was creating quite a buzz within the photography community.  About two weeks ago, I shot 8×10 instant film for the first time and immediately fell in love with the medium.  It’s simply incredible.  There’s nothing else like it out there in the market place and it’s quite honestly a rarity in a sense.  At this point in time, only one company makes it and because of the high cost of materials & tools needed, most photographers don’t ever get a chance to see it or use it.  Giving that opportunity to the D/FW instant community was something I was really looking forward to helping provide.

When Synthia and I got to MakeShift Photography’s studio on the day of the PolaWalk, Steve & Erin were prepping for the event and all of us were eager to get things started.  Friends of ours started to trickle into the studio and within an hour or so, we were all gearing up for a busy day.  I had split the 8×10 photo shoots up into two groups so it wouldn’t be too incredibly busy while we worked and by the time 3 o’clock rolled around, the studio was packed.  Steve had his Toyo View 8×10 set up on one side of the studio utilizing a “blackground” and I was set up on the other side with my Burke & James Grover shooting towards a blank wall.  Erin was loading up the 8×10 Polaroid holders and running the processor all afternoon and Synthia was scanning the 8×10’s, peeling the images and hanging them up to dry.  It was definitely a group effort to get this whole shabang running quickly & smoothly.

When most of the participants had arrived, Daniel Rodrigue took the first group out to walk around Deep Ellum while the rest of us stuck around to start with 8×10 portraits.  It was such a cool thing to be able to give this opportunity to these fellow photographers.  I assume most hadn’t seen an 8×10 camera before.  Everyone it seemed was just in awe of the process and I could tell were all stoked to have the chance to learn about this special way of creating images.

All in all, I think we ended up taking about 25+ 8×10 images and the ones who were photographed were thrilled to have an instant 8×10 portrait of their own.  Attached are some of my personal favorites from our time at the studio …

Photo: Tyler Tyndell - Impossible Project PX-100

Photo: Tyler Tyndell – Impossible Project PX-100

Photo: Tyler Tyndell - Polaroid 1200 Cinema Film

Photo: Tyler Tyndell – Polaroid 1200 Cinema Film

Photo: Richard Kacprowski - Polaroid SLR 680 - Impossible Project PX-680 CP

Photo: Richard Kacprowski – Polaroid SLR 680 – Impossible Project PX-680 CP

Photo: Richard Kacprowski - Polaroid SLR 680 - Impossible Project PX-680 CP

Photo: Richard Kacprowski – Polaroid SLR 680 – Impossible Project PX-680 CP

Photo: Richard Kacprowski - Polaroid SLR 680 - Impossible Project PX-680 CP

Photo: Richard Kacprowski – Polaroid SLR 680 – Impossible Project PX-680 CP

Impossible 8x10 PQ - Burke & James Grover

Impossible 8×10 PQ – Burke & James Grover

Impossible 8x10 PQ - Burke & James Grover

Impossible 8×10 PQ – Burke & James Grover

Impossible 8x10 PQ - Toyo View

Impossible 8×10 PQ – Toyo View

Impossible 8x10 PQ - Toyo View

Impossible 8×10 PQ – Toyo View

Impossible 8x10 PQ - Burke & James Grover

Impossible 8×10 PQ – Burke & James Grover

Impossible 8x10 PQ - Burke & James Grover

Impossible 8×10 PQ – Burke & James Grover

Impossible 8x10 PQ - Toyo View

Impossible 8×10 PQ – Toyo View

Impossible 8x10 PQ - Burke & James Grover

Impossible 8×10 PQ – Burke & James Grover

A couple of friends of mine, Daniel Poe & Matthew Hogan were there at this event and I did let them take over and rearrange the setup for their images.  These guys are brilliant with off-camera flash and there was no way I was going to pass up an opportunity to watch them work.  They quickly rearranged the octabox & stripboxes for their portraits and when I took the test images on the “digi-roid”, I knew they had crafted something nice …

Impossible 8x10 PQ - Burke & James Grover

Impossible 8×10 PQ – Burke & James Grover

Impossible 8x10 PQ - Burke & James Grover

Impossible 8×10 PQ – Burke & James Grover

Photo: Scott Mitchell - Polaroid 180 - Fuji FP-3000B

Photo: Scott Mitchell – Polaroid 180 – Fuji FP-3000B

Photo: RJ Connele

Photo: RJ Connole

Photo: RJ Connele

Photo: RJ Connole

Photo: RJ Connele

Photo: RJ Connole

Photo: Adriana Salazar - Impossible Project PX-70 CP

Photo: Adriana Salazar – Impossible Project PX-70 CP

Photo: Amy Hirsch - Polaroid 250 - Fuji FP-3000B

Photo: Amy Hirsch – Polaroid 250 – Fuji FP-3000B

Because I was in the studio all day, I never had the chance to go out and shoot with the rest of the group that was wandering around Deep Ellum.  It was really cool to see all of the great images that flooded into my inbox on Sunday. Here’s a handful of images from the PolaWalk portion of this event …

Photo: Troy Bradford - Polaroid 600SE - Polaroid 669

Photo: Troy Bradford – Polaroid 600SE – Polaroid 669

Photo: Troy Bradford - Polaroid 600SE - Polaroid 669

Photo: Troy Bradford – Polaroid 600SE – Polaroid 669

Photo: Troy Bradford - Polaroid Spectra SE - Polaroid Softtone

Photo: Troy Bradford – Polaroid Spectra SE – Polaroid Softtone

Photo: Troy Bradford - Polaroid Spectra SE - Polaroid Softtone

Photo: Troy Bradford – Polaroid Spectra SE – Polaroid Softtone

Photo: Tyler Tyndell - Polaroid Spectra SE -1200 Cinema

Photo: Tyler Tyndell – Polaroid Spectra SE – 1200 Cinema

Photo: Adriana Salazar - Polaroid SX-70 - Impossible Project PX-70 CP

Photo: Adriana Salazar – Polaroid SX-70 – Impossible Project PX-70 CP

Photo: Adriana Salazar - Polaroid SX-70 - Impossible Project PX-70 CP

Photo: Adriana Salazar – Polaroid SX-70 – Impossible Project PX-70 CP

Photo: RJ Connele

Photo: RJ Connole

Photo: Jama Plotts - Polaroid 250 - Fuji FP-100C

Photo: Jama Plotts – Polaroid 250 – Fuji FP-100C

Photo: Jama Plotts - Polaroid 250 - Fuji FP-100C

Photo: Jama Plotts – Polaroid 250 – Fuji FP-100C

Photo: Laidric Stevenson - Polaroid SLR 680 - Impossible Project PX-680 CP

Photo: Laidric Stevenson – Polaroid SLR 680 – Impossible Project PX-680 CP

Photo: CJ Mejia - Polaroid 220 - Fuji FP-100C

Photo: CJ Mejia – Polaroid 220 – Fuji FP-100C

Photo: CJ Mejia - Polaroid 220 - Fuji FP-100C

Photo: CJ Mejia – Polaroid 220 – Fuji FP-100C

Photo: Laidric Stevenson - Polaroid SLR 680 - Impossible Project PX-680 CP

Photo: Laidric Stevenson – Polaroid SLR 680 – Impossible Project PX-680 CP

Photo: Laidric Stevenson - Polaroid SLR 680 - Impossible Project PX-680 CP

Photo: Laidric Stevenson – Polaroid SLR 680 – Impossible Project PX-680 CP

Photo: Nancy Stockdale - Polaroid SX-70 - Polaroid Time Zero

Photo: Nancy Stockdale – Polaroid SX-70 – Polaroid Time Zero

Photo: Kyle Vaughn - Impossible Project PZ-680 CP

Photo: Kyle Vaughn – Impossible Project PZ-680 CP

Photo: Kyle Vaughn - Impossible Project PX-680 Gold Frame

Photo: Kyle Vaughn – Impossible Project PX-680 Gold Frame

Photo: Amanda Potter - Polaroid Spectra - PZ-680 CP

Photo: Amanda Potter – Polaroid Spectra – PZ-680 CP

Photo: Amanda Potter - Polaroid Spectra - PZ-680 CP

Photo: Amanda Potter – Polaroid Spectra – PZ-680 CP

Photo: Amanda Potter - Polaroid Spectra - PZ-680 CP

Photo: Amanda Potter – Polaroid Spectra – PZ-680 CP

Photo: Jeremy Hughes - Polaroid Spectra - PZ-680 CP

Photo: Jeremy Hughes – Polaroid Spectra – PZ-680 CP

Photo: Jeremy Hughes - Polaroid Spectra - PZ-680 CP

Photo: Jeremy Hughes – Polaroid Spectra – PZ-680 CP

Photo: Scott Mitchell - Polaroid 180 - Fuji FP-3000B

Photo: Scott Mitchell – Polaroid 180 – Fuji FP-3000B

Photo: Kathy Tran - Fuji Instax Wide

Photo: Kathy Tran – Fuji Instax Wide

I haven’t mentioned this on my blog yet,  but I was interviewed last week by the local ABC news affiliate, WFAA – Channel 8, for a story they are doing on people who choose older forms of technology even when newer more advanced technologies are available.  One of the reporters was with the group on Saturday to tape our PolaWalk and ended up interviewing a lot of the participants.  After he recorded all of this great footage, Ryan came up to me and told me that they were probably going to do a separate story on our event in addition to the one I was going to be featured in.  That’s exciting.  It’s promotion for The Instant Film Society and more promotion for instant film in general.

I’m still a little stunned that we had around fifty photographers and instant film enthusiasts join us this past weekend.  It’s a testament to the work we’ve been doing for months around the metroplex promoting instant film.  On Sunday, when I created the new event page for our upcoming PolaWalk at Klyde Warren Park in February, within 24 hours, we had 30+ people who had signed up to join us.   This special community of instant photographers is growing exponentially and I’m really excited to see how it will progress over the next year.

-Justin

http://www.instantfilmsociety.com

http://www.goodephotography.biz

CLICK HERE to learn how to get into instant photography

CLICK HERE to learn more about The Impossible Project

A PolaWalk in Sundance Square

December 18, 2012 § Leave a comment

This past Saturday, the Instant Film Society was at it again storming the streets with our Polaroids in hand.  I’ve started to organize monthly meet ups around the D/FW area to help promote and encourage the use of instant film.  While doing so, I’ve met an incredible amount of talented and passionate people that enjoy instant photography.   Besides the ones that were already into it, I’ve helped a lot of my friends get their feet wet and most if not all, LOVE it.  The tangible instant gratification is something that I think appeals to everyone that tries it out.

The weather on the day of was perfect.  You really couldn’t have asked for better weather.  It was slightly overcast and 70 degrees … in December.   You’ve got to love Texas.  Anyhow, I cruised out to Ft. Worth with my friend Jama and we ended up making it out there a little early.  Made our way over to the The Flying Saucer (the meet up spot) and I saw Troy B. making his way towards us.   I’ve interacted with Troy online quite a few times, but this was the first time he was able to attend one of these events with us.   Long story short, he’s a super nice guy and his presence was definitely a bonus.   We instantly started gabbing all things photography and clicked off the bat.  By this time, Annie, another person I’d met online, showed up and you could tell that she was happy to be there amongst like-minded peeps.   Come to think of it, most of the people that came to this particular walk were new to the group and had not been to a previous one.   For me, that’s really encouraging.  It means that this positive vibe I’m throwing out there, into the world about instant photography, is working.   I truly believe the world reciprocates positivity when you give it the same.  That seems to be happening with the Instant Film Society.  I couldn’t be happier.

We waited around for the rest of the group to show up while talking shop with each other.  Richard, who was at our first event, joined up with us and I’m so glad he came back.  His energy is palpable and he’s so much fun to be around.  My good friend Justin V. (JV) and his son Callum showed up .. which was awesome.  Amanda P., this super nice girl I’d met online who’s working on a long term photo project (Impossibly Expired) came to the walk too and ended up loaning Callum a SX-70 and a pack of film to shoot with!  Anyhow,  JV later said that seeing Callum’s eyes at that moment was the highlight of his night.  🙂  RJ, a fellow film lover that I had met online was there.  Amy, my good friend that has dove head first into Polaroid cruised out too.  Laidric, one of the now regulars in our group came out again.  He’s always fun to hang around with. Jessica H., a girl that knows one of my best friends, showed up with one of her friends (I forgot your name  .. sorry!)  Annie, whom I mentioned earlier, got me in touch with two photographers, Steve & Erin, who are into vintage cameras a few weeks ago and they of course showed up too!  Last but certainly not least, Christian, Elaine and a group of their family/friends met up with us as well.  Christian is a big promoter of instant film around his neck of the woods and has been to every event we’ve had.   I just can’t say enough just how cool all of these people are and how much I enjoy their company.  Alright, enough with the role call …

This walk, was mainly geared towards shooting instant film at night and shooting long exposures.  We had about an hour of light before the sun set when we began.  As things got darker, most used tripods to help steady their exposures during this PolaWalk.  One of the things I love about photography and also hosting these events, is that I get to see and share unique perspectives from a variety of instant photographers.  From beginners to professionals, each have their own approach in how they see and capture the subject which is reflected in these images.

Enjoy a healthy mix of Impossible Project, expired Polaroid, and Fuji peel-apart images …

Photo: Troy Bradford - Polaroid Spectra - PZ600 Black Frame

Photo: Troy Bradford – Polaroid Spectra – Impossible Project PZ600 Black Frame

Photo: Jama Plotts - Polaroid One Step - Impossible Project PX-680 CP

Photo: Jama Plotts – Polaroid One Step – Impossible Project PX-680 CP

Photo: Annie Donovan - Polaroid Spectra - Impossible Project PZ600

Photo: Annie Donovan – Polaroid Spectra – Impossible Project PZ600

Photo: Amanda Potter - Polaroid SX-70 - Impossible Project PX-70 CP

Photo: Amanda Potter – Polaroid SX-70 – Impossible Project PX-70 CP

Photo: Erin Curry - Polaroid SX-70 Sonar - Impossible Project PX-100 Old Gen

Photo: Erin Curry – Polaroid SX-70 Sonar – Impossible Project PX-100 Old Gen

Photo: Amy Hirsch - Polaroid 250 - Fuji FP-100C

Photo: Amy Hirsch – Polaroid 250 – Fuji FP-100C

Photo: Jama Plotts - Polaroid One Step - Impossible Project PX-680 CP

Photo: Jama Plotts – Polaroid One Step – Impossible Project PX-680 CP

Photo: Justin Goode - Polaroid SX-70 - Impossible Project PX-70 COOL

Photo: Justin Goode – Polaroid SX-70 – Impossible Project PX-70 COOL

Photo: Justin Goode - Polaroid SX-70 - Impossible Project PX-70 COOL

Photo: Justin Goode – Polaroid SX-70 – Impossible Project PX-70 COOL

Photo: Justin Goode - Polaroid Sonar SX-70 - Impossible Project PX-70 COOL

Photo: Justin Goode – Polaroid Sonar SX-70 – Impossible Project PX-70 COOL

Photo: Troy Bradford - Polaroid 690

Photo: Troy Bradford – Polaroid Land Camera – Polaroid 690

Photo: Troy Bradford - Polaroid 690

Photo: Troy Bradford – Polaroid Land Camera – Polaroid 690

Photo: Troy Bradford - Polaroid SX-70 - Imposible Project PX-70 COOL

Photo: Troy Bradford – Polaroid SX-70 – Imposible Project PX-70

Photo: Amanda Potter - Polaroid SX-70 - Impossible Project PX-70 CP

Photo: Amanda Potter – Polaroid SX-70 – Impossible Project PX-70 CP

Photo: Amanda Potter - Polaroid SX-70 - Impossible Project PX-70 CP

Photo: Amanda Potter – Polaroid SX-70 – Impossible Project PX-70 CP

Photo: Steve Reeves - Polaroid 600SE - Fuji FP-100C

Photo: Steve Reeves – Polaroid 600SE – Fuji FP-100C

Photo: Erin Curry - Polaroid SX-70 Sonar - Impossible Project PX-100 Old Gen

Photo: Erin Curry – Polaroid SX-70 Sonar – Impossible Project PX-100 Old Gen

Photo: Amy Hirsch - Polaroid 250 - Fuji FP-100C

Photo: Amy Hirsch – Polaroid 250 – Fuji FP-100C

Photo: Annie Donovan - Polaroid Spectra - Impossible Project PZ600

Photo: Annie Donovan – Polaroid Spectra – Impossible Project PZ600

Photo: Annie Donovan - Polaroid Spectra - Impossible Project PZ600

Photo: Annie Donovan – Polaroid Spectra – Impossible Project PZ600

Photo: Annie Donovan - Polaroid Spectra - Impossible Project PZ600

Photo: Annie Donovan – Polaroid Spectra – Impossible Project PZ600

Photo: Amy Hirsch - Polaroid 250 - Fuji FP-100C

Photo: Amy Hirsch – Polaroid 250 – Fuji FP-100C

Photo: Callum Vinson - Polaroid Rainbow SX-70 - EXPIRED PX-70

Photo: Callum Vinson – Polaroid Rainbow SX-70 – EXPIRED PX-70

Photo: Jama Plotts - Polaroid One Step - Impossible Project PX-680 CP

Photo: Jama Plotts – Polaroid One Step – Impossible Project PX-680 CP

Photo: Elaine Rios Polaroid SX-70 - Impossible Project PX-70 CP

Photo: Elaine Rios – Polaroid SX-70 – Impossible Project PX-70 CP

Photo: Elaine Rios Polaroid SX-70 - Impossible Project PX-70 CP

Photo: Elaine Rios Polaroid SX-70 – Impossible Project PX-70 CP

Photo: Justin Vinson - Polaroid Spectra - Impossible Project PZ680 CP

Photo: Justin Vinson – Polaroid Spectra – Impossible Project PZ680 CP

Photo: Christian Oliveira - Polaroid Alpha SX-70 - Impossible Project PX-680 CP + ND

Photo: Christian Oliveira – Polaroid Alpha SX-70 – Impossible Project PX-680 CP + ND

Photo: Christian Oliviera - Polaroid Alpha SX-70 - Impossible Project PX-680 CP + ND

Photo: Christian Oliveira – Polaroid Alpha SX-70 – Impossible Project PX-680 CP + ND

Photo: Christian Oliviera - Polaroid Alpha SX-70 - Impossible Project PX-680 CP + ND

Photo: Christian Oliveira – Polaroid Alpha SX-70 – Impossible Project PX-680 CP + ND

Photo: Laidric Stevenson - Polaroid Spectra Pro - Impossible Project PZ680 CP

Photo: Laidric Stevenson – Polaroid Spectra Pro – Impossible Project PZ680 CP

Photo: Laidric Stevenson - Polaroid Spectra Pro - Impossible Project PZ680 CP

Photo: Laidric Stevenson – Polaroid Spectra Pro – Impossible Project PZ680 CP

Photo: Jama Plotts - Polaroid Spectra - Impossible Project PZ680 CP

Photo: Jama Plotts – Polaroid Spectra – Impossible Project PZ680 CP

Photo: Laidric Stevenson - Polaroid Spectra Pro - Impossible Project PZ680 CP

Photo: Laidric Stevenson – Polaroid Spectra Pro – Impossible Project PZ680 CP

Photo: Justin Vinson - Polaroid Spectra - Impossible Project PZ680 CP

Photo: Justin Vinson – Polaroid Spectra – Impossible Project PZ680 CP

Photo: Justin Goode - Polaroid SX-70 - Impossible Project PX-70 COOL

Photo: Justin Goode – Polaroid SX-70 – Impossible Project PX-70 COOL

Photo: Justin Goode - Polaroid SX-70 - Impossible Project PX-70 COOL

Photo: Justin Goode – Polaroid SX-70 – Impossible Project PX-70 COOL

Photo: Justin Goode - Polaroid SX-70 - Impossible Project PX-70 COOL

Photo: Justin Goode – Polaroid SX-70 – Impossible Project PX-70 COOL

At the end of the night, a group of us met back up at The Flying Saucer and grabbed a few beers while talking about all things photography.   Steve set up his Polaroid 600SE and snapped a couple of long exposures on his Polaroid using Fuji’s FP-100C.  The following exposures were set up from the area we were hanging out at, exposed for 30 minutes due to the reciprocity failure of the film and were, as Steve said, “fueled by a Left Hand Milk Stout” 🙂

Photo: Steve Reeves - Polaroid 600SE - Fuji FP-100C

Photo: Steve Reeves – Polaroid 600SE – Fuji FP-100C

Photo: Steve Reeves - Polaroid 600SE - Fuji FP-100C

Photo: Steve Reeves – Polaroid 600SE – Fuji FP-100C

Are you interested in joining us for our next PolaWalk?  We’ll be shooting around Deep Ellum in Dallas, TX on January 26th.  If you’d like more info, you can find it here.

Twitter user? Follow us: @UseInstantFilm

As always, thanks for reading.

-Justin

www.instantfilmsociety.com

www.goodephotography.biz

Getting into Instant Photography

December 3, 2012 § 6 Comments

So you’re interested in learning more about this whole instant photography thing?  I know the feeling.  I can go on and on about why I love it, but I’d rather take this time to tell about some of the options that are available.

- A variety of cameras that shoot instant film -

– A variety of cameras that shoot instant film –

As you may or may not know, there are two companies manufacturing analog instant film that market their products world-wide;  FujiFilm in Japan and The Impossible Project in the Netherlands.

Fuji makes a couple of  types of instant: integral film for their Instax camera line (the Instax mini & Instax wide) and peel-apart film for Polaroid pack film cameras.  The Instax system is a great entry-level start into the world of instant.   If you’re looking to capture candid images at a club, a party, hanging out with friends, this is a ideal choice.  It fires a flash every time and takes good images.  Food for thought: If you really get into instant, you might find that that this camera system is restricted when compared against others in the field.  However, it’s all in how you use it.  I’ve seen some incredible work produced from professionals who shoot with Instax cameras.

Photo: Daniel Rodrigue - Fuji Instax Mini

Photo: Daniel Rodrigue – Fuji Instax Mini

Photo: Daniel Rodrigue - Fuji Instax 210

Photo: Daniel Rodrigue – Fuji Instax 210

Photo: Mark Goode - Fuji Instax 210

Photo: Mark Goode – Fuji Instax 210

Photo: Mark Goode - Fuji Instax 210

Photo: Mark Goode – Fuji Instax 210

Fuji’s peel-apart film, FP-100C (color) & FP-3000B (B&W), is used in 100 series Polaroids, cameras which use a NPC Polaroid back or ones that have been converted to use pack film (Polaroid 110A & Polaroid 110B’s come to mind).  Pack-film Polaroid cameras are a lot of fun to use.  You can find them for $10-50 (on average) for the cameras with automatic exposure and for the models with manual exposure settings you’ll spend $300+ (Polaroid 180, 185, 190, 195, 600SE, Fuji FP-1). When looking for one, inspect to make sure there are no light leaks in the bellows. Use a flashlight to shine around in the camera when the back is open and look on the outside of the bellows for leaks.  Check to make sure the rollers move freely and are fairly clean (wipe them down with a damp paper towel to remove any gunk you might find). Also, the required battery needed to run the meter is a little hard to find.  Most people I’ve found covert the camera to use either AA or AAA batteries.  It’s really simple.  This a great tutorial on how to do it.  Just be mindful of whether you need to convert to 3V or 4.5V which is easily determined by looking at the underside of the battery compartment door.  But don’t let this technical mumbo-jumbo fool you.  Once you get your camera in operating condition, the fun you’ll have with it is endless.

Fuji’s peel-apart film has a very clean look to it.   The colors are pleasantly saturated, and the detail & clarity is very good.

Fuji FP-100C - Polaroid Automatic 100

Fuji FP-100C – Polaroid Automatic 100

Fuji FP-100C - Polaroid Automatic 100

Fuji FP-100C – Polaroid Automatic 100

Fuji FP-100C - Polaroid Automatic 100

Fuji FP-100C – Polaroid Automatic 100

Fuji FP-100C - Polaroid Automatic 100

Fuji FP-100C – Polaroid Automatic 100

Photo: Daniel Rodrigue - Polaroid 180 - Fuji FP-3000B

Photo: Daniel Rodrigue – Polaroid 180 – Fuji FP-3000B

Each exposure, when peeled, has a positive print and a negative.   Further adding to the enjoyment of it, when shooting color film, the FP-100C negative can be salvaged to scan by bleaching the negative. 

As I mentioned earlier, you can use any camera that has a NPC Polaroid back with peel-apart as well.   I use a RB67 + a NPC Polaroid back and get great results.   Note the black unexposed portion of the frame when shooting with a RB67.

Mamiya RB67 + NPC Polaroid Back - Fuji FP-100C

Mamiya RB67 + NPC Polaroid Back – Fuji FP-100C

Mamiya RB67 + NPC Polaroid Back - Fuji FP-100B

Mamiya RB67 + NPC Polaroid Back – Fuji FP-100B

You might be thinking .. What about all of those other Polaroids cameras?  Do they still make film for those??  Luckily, since The Impossible Project stepped into the game, they do! They’ve re-invented integral film for literally hundreds of thousands of Polaroids that are still out there.  Any of the Polaroid 600 series, Spectra/Image or SX-70 cameras can still be used.  Beyond that, they’ve brought 8×10 instant film back into the marketplace.

A good Polaroid to start off with that shoots integral film would be any of the Polaroid One Steps/600 series cameras.  You know the ones; boxy, most flipped open and have a flash.  Nearly every office in the 80’s & 90’s had one for employee photos.   They are fairly easy to use and shoot color (PX-680) or B&W (PX-600) film.  There are a large variety of 600 series cameras available.  If you’re purchasing on Ebay or Craiglist, you’ll find One Steps from $10-$100+ on average depending on the model and if it’s a collectible.  The camera has two focusing distances (2-4ft and 4ft – infinity) and takes good images.

Photo: Patrick Clarke - Polaroid One 600 - Impossible Project PZ600

Photo: Patrick Clarke – Polaroid One 600 – Impossible Project PX-600

Photo: Laidric Stevenson - Polaroid Sun 660 - Impossible Project PX-680 CP

Photo: Laidric Stevenson – Polaroid Sun 660 – Impossible Project PX-680 CP

Photo: Annie Donovan - Polaroid One 600 - Impossible Project PX-70 NIGO

Photo: Annie Donovan – Polaroid One 600 – Impossible Project PX-70 NIGO

Photo: John Morrison - Polaroid One Step - Impossible Project PX-680 COOL

Photo: John Morrison – Polaroid One Step – Impossible Project PX-680 COOL

Polaroid Spectra cameras are another great option and are pretty durable cameras too.  If you’re going to be roughing it while out and about, this particular camera is perfect for the job.  I’ve been using these for a while and they produce really nice results.  Most of the Spectra cameras I’ve picked up have been $10-20.  They use color (PZ680) or B&W (PZ600) Impossible Project film, use inaudible sound waves to aid in auto-focusing and are pretty user friendly.  I took one to a Texas Rangers game at the Ballpark in Arlington this past summer.  If you’re interested in reading a little more about the camera & how it works, you can find that here.

Photo: Synthia Goode - Polaroid Spectra - Impossible Project PZ-600

Photo: Synthia Goode – Polaroid Spectra – Impossible Project PZ-600

Polaroid Spectra AF - Impossible Project PZ-680

Polaroid Spectra AF – Impossible Project PZ-680

Polaroid Spectra AF - Impossible Project PZ-680

Polaroid Spectra AF – Impossible Project PZ-680

This brings me to Polaroid SX-70’s.  These are some of my favorite Polaroid cameras to use.   They are really fun to operate.  Unlike all of the other cameras as fore mentioned, because this particular camera is a SLR, what you see in the viewfinder is what you get.  The Sonar SX-70, like the Spectra, also uses inaudible sound waves to measure the subject’s distance from the camera. If you get lucky, you can find these for around $20.  But most of the various SX-70 models go anywhere from $40-100 depending on its condition and whether it’s been serviced/refurbished etc.  Using SX-70’s with Impossible film can be a little challenging, however once you get over the learning curve and get a handle on how to best utilize their films with this camera, it produces some awesome results.  

Polaroid SX-70 Sonar - Impossible Project PZ-600 + ND4 Filter

Polaroid SX-70 Sonar – Impossible Project PZ-600 + ND4 Filter

Polaroid SX-70 Sonar - Impossible Project PX-70 COOL

Polaroid SX-70 Sonar – Impossible Project PX-70 COOL

Polaroid SX-70 Sonar - Impossible Project PX-70 NIGO Edition

Polaroid SX-70 Sonar – Impossible Project PX-70 NIGO Edition

Polaroid SX-70 Sonar - Impossible Project PX-70 CP

Polaroid SX-70 Sonar – Impossible Project PX-70 CP

Polaroid SX-70 Sonar - Impossible Project PX-70 CP

Polaroid SX-70 Sonar – Impossible Project PX-70 CP

Polaroid SX-70 Sonar - Impossible Project PX-70 COOL

Polaroid SX-70 Sonar – Impossible Project PX-70 COOL

Last, but certainly not least, is the Polaroid SLR680/SLR690.  These are top of the line Polaroids that shoot 600 speed film (PX-680 or PX-600).   I’ve seen these online anywhere from $75-$200+, again, depending on the typical used-camera variables.  They are modeled after the SX-70. Their rollers spread the film a little more even, it has more focusing zones than the Sonar SX-70 and they come equipped with a flash that can be toggled on/off.

When looking for a used camera, of course look for signs of damage, but even more so, check the lens to make sure it’s clean.  Inspect the rollers; they should move somewhat freely.  If you bring an empty film pack with you, you can check to make sure the camera’s ejection mechanism is working (this is not needed on Polaroids which use peel-apart film).  Simply slide a darkslide into the empty pack, put it into the camera and if everything functioning properly, when you close the film door, the darkslide should eject out.  Some cameras might sound slow or sluggish if they haven’t been used in a while.  Actuate the shutter a handful of times. It will help move the gears and get the juices flowing.  If you’re in the D/FW area, I have a few empty packs laying around.  I’ll mail you one if you’re in need.

A big thanks to Daniel RodrigueMark GoodePatrick ClarkeAnnie DonovanLaidric StevensonJohn Morrison & Synthia Goode for letting me use their images to fill out this blog post.  It is appreciated!

If you’d like to know more, send a message my way.  I’d be happy to help you in any way that I can.  Email me at info@instantfilmsociety.com

-Justin

www.goodephotography.biz

www.instantfilmsociety.com

A PolaWalk at the Ft. Worth Zoo

November 12, 2012 § 10 Comments

The meet-up at the fair was the inaugural event for the Instant Film Society, an organization I’m helping start that promotes the use, accessibility and education of analog instant photography.  Following the success of the State Fair PolaWalk, we were all anxious to hook up again for another.  The next event was scheduled for November 10th.  The weather up ended being gorgeous and the turnout was phenomenal.

Photo: Daniel Rodrigue - Polaroid Spectra SE - Polaroid Softtone Film

Photo: Daniel Rodrigue – Polaroid Spectra SE – Polaroid Softtone Film

On the day of, I packed a Polaroid Sonar SX-70, a SLR680 and a handful of packs of Impossible Project PX-70 COOL & PX-680 CP.  Synthia had her trusty Spectra AF with some Polaroid Softtone film.  We threw in a couple more Polaroid cameras for some friends to borrow, hopped in the car and made our way over to Ft. Worth.

The evening before I had been contacted by one of my cousins, Luke. To my surprise, he told me his family was going to join us at the zoo and needed to know where he could pick up some film.  I mentioned I had a One Step he could borrow and directed him to Urban Outfitters.  He ended picking up a pack of Impossible’s Rainbow Frame film.  Another friend of ours, Amy, joined as well.  She had been keeping up with the blog and was interested in learning more about The Impossible Project and instant film in general.  In fact, they weren’t the only ones who were new to the walk.  While promoting this event, I got connected with a few other photographers online who came and a large group from Brookhaven met up too.  We had more than 20 people there.  It’s really cool that we all met up for the love of instant film.

After we arrived and hooked up with everybody, we started making our way around the zoo.  The images shot were a mix of Impossible Project, expired Polaroid and Fuji instant film.  Enjoy the pics!

Photo: Luke Bolton - Impossible Project PX-680 Color Block - Polaroid OneStep

Photo: Luke Bolton – Impossible Project PX-680 Color Block – Polaroid OneStep

Photo: Laidric Stevenson - Impossible Project PX-680 CP - Polaroid Sun 660

Photo: Laidric Stevenson – Impossible Project PX-680 CP – Polaroid Sun 660

Photo: Ashley Sierra - Impossible Project PX-680 COOL - Polaroid Cool Cam

Photo: Ashley Sierra – Impossible Project PX-680 COOL – Polaroid Cool Cam

Photo: Amanda Fleetwood - Polaroid 420 Land Camera - Fuji FP-100C

Photo: Amanda Fleetwood – Polaroid 420 Land Camera – Fuji FP-100C

Photo: Synthia Goode - Spectra AF - Impossible Project PZ680 Old Gen

Photo: Synthia Goode – Spectra AF – Impossible Project PZ680 Old Gen

Photo: Laidric Stevenson - Impossible Project PX-680 COOL - Polaroid Sun 660

Photo: Laidric Stevenson – Impossible Project PX-680 COOL – Polaroid Sun 660

Photo: Ashley Sierra - Impossible Project PX-680 COOL - Polaroid Cool Cam

Photo: Ashley Sierra – Impossible Project PX-680 COOL – Polaroid Cool Cam

Photo: Kathy Tran - Impossible Project PX680 CP - Polaroid 600 One Step

Photo: Kathy Tran – Impossible Project PX680 CP – Polaroid 600 One Step

Photo: Marc Weintraub - Bronica SQ-A - FujiFilm FP-100C

Photo: Marc Weintraub – Bronica SQ-A – FujiFilm FP-100C

Photo: Luke Bolton - Impossible Project PX-680 Color Block - Polaroid OneStep

Photo: Luke Bolton – Impossible Project PX-680 Color Block – Polaroid OneStep

PolaWalk at the Zoo - Impossible Project PX-680 CP - Polaroid SLR680

Photo: Justin Goode – Impossible Project PX-680 CP – Polaroid SLR680

Photo: Luke Bolton - Impossible Project PX-680 Color Block - Polaroid OneStep

Photo: Luke Bolton – Impossible Project PX-680 Color Block – Polaroid OneStep

Photo: Catherine Downes - Polaroid OneStep - Impossible Project PX-680 Color Block

Photo: Catherine Downes – Polaroid OneStep – Impossible Project PX-680 Color Block

PolaWalk at the Zoo - Impossible Project PX-680 CP - Polaroid SLR680

Photo: Justin Goode – Impossible Project PX-680 CP – Polaroid SLR680

Photo: Catherine Downes - Polaroid OneStep - Impossible Project PX-680 Color Block

Photo: Catherine Downes – Polaroid OneStep – Impossible Project PX-680 Color Block

PolaWalk at the Zoo - Impossible Project PX-680 CP - Polaroid SLR680

Photo: Justin Goode – Impossible Project PX-680 CP – Polaroid SLR680

Photo: Marc Weintraub - Bronica SQ-A - FujiFilm FP-100C

Photo: Marc Weintraub – Bronica SQ-A – FujiFilm FP-100C

Photo: Amy Hirsch - Polaroid 100 Land Camera - Fuji FP-100C

Photo: Amy Hirsch – Polaroid 100 Land Camera – Fuji FP-100C

Photo: Amy Hirsch - Polaroid 100 Land Camera - Fuji FP-100C

Photo: Amy Hirsch – Polaroid 100 Land Camera – Fuji FP-100C

Photo: Ashley Sierra - Impossible Project PX-680 COOL - Polaroid Cool Cam

Photo: Ashley Sierra – Impossible Project PX-680 COOL – Polaroid Cool Cam

Photo: Laidric Stevenson - Impossible Project PX-680 CP - Polaroid Sun 660

Photo: Laidric Stevenson – Impossible Project PX-680 CP – Polaroid Sun 660

Photo: Daniel Rodrigue - Polaroid Spectra SE - Polaroid Softtone Film

Photo: Daniel Rodrigue – Polaroid Spectra SE – Polaroid Softtone Film

PolaWalk at the Zoo - Impossible Project PX-70 COOL - Polaroid Sonar SX-70

Photo: Justin Goode – Impossible Project PX-70 COOL – Polaroid Sonar SX-70

Photo: Scott Mitchell - Polaroid 180 Land Camera - Fuji FP-100C

Photo: Scott Mitchell – Polaroid 180 Land Camera – Fuji FP-100C

Photo: Daniel Rodrigue - Polaroid 180 Land Camera - Fuji FP-100C

Photo: Daniel Rodrigue – Polaroid 180 Land Camera – Fuji FP-100C

Photo: Scott Mitchell - Polaroid 180 Land Camera - Fuji FP-100C

Photo: Scott Mitchell – Polaroid 180 Land Camera – Fuji FP-100C

Photo: Laidric Stevenson - Fuji Instax Wide

Photo: Laidric Stevenson – Fuji Instax Wide

Photo: Marc Weintraub - Bronica SQ-A - FujiFilm FP-100C

Photo: Marc Weintraub – Bronica SQ-A – FujiFilm FP-100C

Photo: Marc Weintraub - Bronica SQ-A - FujiFilm FP-100C

Photo: Marc Weintraub – Bronica SQ-A – FujiFilm FP-100C

Photo: Christian Oliveira - Impossible Project PX-70 CP - Polaroid SX-70

Photo: Christian Oliveira – Impossible Project PX-70 CP – Polaroid SX-70

Polaroid Spectra - Polaroid Softtone Film

Photo: Scott Mitchell – Polaroid Spectra – Polaroid Softtone Film

Photo: Adriana Salazar - Impossible Project PX680 - Polaroid 600 One Step

Photo: Adriana Salazar – Impossible Project PX680 – Polaroid 600 One Step

Some of the group has wandered off at this point and had gone their own way.   We regrouped as many of us as we could and snapped a quick shot about halfway through the afternoon.

PolaWalk at the Ft. Worth Zoo - Polaroid Spectra AF - Polaroid Softtone Film

PolaWalk at the Ft. Worth Zoo – Polaroid Spectra AF – Polaroid Softtone Film

Photo: Synthia Goode - Polaroid Softtone film - Polaroid Spectra AF

Photo: Synthia Goode – Polaroid Softtone film – Polaroid Spectra AF

Photo: Christian Oliveira - Impossible Project PX-70 CP - Polaroid SX-70

Photo: Christian Oliveira – Impossible Project PX-70 CP – Polaroid SX-70

Photo: Amanda Fleetwood - Polaroid 420 Land Camera - Fuji FP-100C

Photo: Amanda Fleetwood – Polaroid 420 Land Camera – Fuji FP-100C

Photo: Laidric Stevenson - Impossible Project PX-680 CP - Polaroid Sun 660

Photo: Laidric Stevenson – Impossible Project PX-680 CP – Polaroid Sun 660

Photo: Kathy Tran - Impossible Project PX680 CP - Polaroid 600 One Step

Photo: Kathy Tran – Impossible Project PX680 CP – Polaroid 600 One Step

PolaWalk at the Zoo - Impossible Project PX-70 COOL - Polaroid Sonar SX-70

Photo: Justin Goode – Impossible Project PX-70 COOL – Polaroid Sonar SX-70

PolaWalk at the Zoo - Impossible Project PX-70 COOL - Polaroid Sonar SX-70

Photo: Justin Goode – Impossible Project PX-70 COOL – Polaroid Sonar SX-70

Photo: Catherine Downes - Polaroid OneStep - Impossible Project PX-680 Color Block

Photo: Catherine Downes – Polaroid OneStep – Impossible Project PX-680 Color Block

Photo: Laidric Stevenson - Fuji Instax Wide

Photo: Laidric Stevenson – Fuji Instax Wide

Throughout the day, we were approached by strangers inquiring about the event and just what all this was about.  Everyone was thrilled that you could still buy instant film, smiled at the sight of the cameras and were glad to know that it was still being produced.  We passed out handfuls of flyers & stickers from Impossible and helped spread the word about all things instant.

The next day I talked with many of the people that joined up with us.  Everyone loved the event and most were already talking about the next.  I could feel the energy & excitement.   One in particular said she spent her Sunday afternoon obsessively looking on Ebay for Polaroid cameras and felt as if somehow she was supposed to stumble upon this hobby.   That’s what this is all about for me.  Spreading the love of instant photography to others and inspiring more people to reach out and try it.  Once you shoot it and feel it .. it’s really hard not to love it.

Want to learn more?  Come to our next PolaWalk on December 15th in Sundance Square.  You can find details here.

-Justin

www.goodephotography.biz

www.instantfilmsociety.com

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