“Why the heck does he shoot with Polaroid”, do you ask?

Don’t get me wrong, I love photography- NOT analog, NOT digital- I love photography, period. Lately, I have been receiving a lot of puzzled looks from digital photographers, especially from those who have never picked up a film camera. Usually, the reaction I get, when I tell them I am a Polaroid photographer, is “I don’t get it.” As if digital, because it is digital, is a better format. As my local camera shop guru told me in his wisdom, “different tools, for different purposes. Do you bring just a hammer when you want to build a house?” My brother, who does not even know how to load a film camera, in particular is baffled by my obsession. The rhetorical response from me is usually, “Can your digital SLR, which is always set on “A” (that does not stand for Advanced), take shots such as these?” Clearly, as seen in the following samples, the answer is “no”. Enjoy your Polaroid, love your Polaroid. Over 40 years later, their tonality, dynamic range, and contrast will continue to inspire awe-

MIT Robotics Exhibit, MIT Museum, Cambridge, MA - 12/11/10 Polaroid Land Camera Model 230, Fuji FP3000-B Film

MIT Robotics Exhibit, MIT Museum, Cambridge, MA – 12/11/10 Polaroid Land Camera Model 230, Fuji FP3000-B Film

Your author, 5/13/72- Polaroid Land Camera Model 230, Polaroid Type 107 Film

Your author, 5/13/72- Polaroid Land Camera Model 230, Polaroid Type 107 Film

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4 thoughts on ““Why the heck does he shoot with Polaroid”, do you ask?

  1. Polaroid, film, cameras that require me to focus, to determine exposure, medium format cameras that require me to wind and cock shutters separately, peel apart pack film… I get questions about all of it. People wonder why I bother when with digital you “just press a button.”

    With digital you can see the picture immediately, even faster than 10s FP-3000B SS “Super Speedy” so again they wonder why you bother with a Polaroid but to me it is the fact that with film the result is tangible that is great. Sure, you could hook your digital camera up to a portable digital printer to get a paper print in about the same time which is essentially what the ‘new’ Polaroid cameras do with a ‘Zink’ zero-ink (new name for thermal) printer attached. The result still isn’t the same of course, but I don’t think they understand.

    • I plan on doing future posts about the future of the “new” Polaroid, based on Lady Gaga’s presentation at CES last month. Essentially, that put the last nail in the coffin regarding any chance that Polaroid would introduce a “larger” format Polaroid instant camera, as an alternative to the great little Polaroid 300 (yes, I know it is rebranded Instax Mini). There is nothing instant about this new line of equipment, particularly in the Zink printer. As a photographer, I have yet to see a cameraphone image worthy of printing, and regardless of the device used to create the image. They generally look truly awful.

      I also plan on blogging about Chase Jarvis, and what in the world he is thinking with his newly announced partnership with Polaroid.

      A

    • Thank you, and welcome to my blog. I hope to build this up over time. As I told one overly critical reader, “Rome was not built in a day”. With regards to the endless film vs. digital chatter, usually, I find, that reaction typically comes from someone who has never loaded a film camera. In the author’s opinion, digital photography has become a consumer electronics driven market, not a photographic one. People who for years shied away from film cameras because they were intimidated by them are picking up $1000 d-SLR’s, shooting with the kit lens, and proclaiming themselves the next Ansel Adams. It took him years to perfect exposure, composition, and darkroom techniques. What many do not realize is that it is not gear that makes one an accomplished photographer. I do also shoot digital Nikon, and, Canon. Different tools, for different purposes. -A

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