Then I remembered. Polaroid was not that great. Impossible instant film is even less great.
|Impossible shot VS iPhone 5s Instagram|
I even ran a small Polaroid show at a gallery a few years back, right at the time when Polaroid died. You can read the entire article about Polaroid, and my small show here.
Don't even ask how much the Impossible instant film cost. And it is only eight shots per pack. And it takes between 10-40 minutes to develop one color shot. And it must be shielded from light after ejecting. And in the end, well, it's kinda, sorta, just a crappy Polaroid. And I was a Polaroid fan. But guess what? I've mostly moved on.
Is it fun to have instant film in my old Polaroid cameras? Hell yea! Is it all I want from photography? No. And only now that the "real" Polaroid is gone does anyone give a shit. Back in the day, only wacky artists, modeling agencies, kids, and the DMV used Polaroid.
The end came eventually. Despite all the purists, despite all the art lovers, they couldn't put film back together again. Like Humpty, it fell off the wall and eventually met its untimely death. Sure you can still shoot film. You can still shell out for Polaroid. You can still set up a darkroom and Ansel Adams it all the way home. Seriously though, I'm not doing that. And statistically, whatever your taste for the film/digital debate may be, well, you likely are not shooting film either.
|My Polaroid to art circa 1991|
|V-hold video Polaroid shot off a TV.|
For me and what I want as a photographer and an artist, digital is way better.
Digital gives me what I want. Polaroid gives me what it gives me. Instagram takes what was good about Polaroid and ditches what was bad. Polaroid even has a new mobile photo app. It's pretty cool.
Physical prints you say? Sure. I love 'em. I have thousands of them. I only have limited wall space, though. With the old way, you need to come over to my house, sit with me, and somehow I'd have to hand you my photo albums for you too look at. Now you don't even need to know me. For those lacking inhibition and daring enough to put up personal photos, now the world is your gallery.
When a Polaroid print came out nice there was nothing like it. Still, once digital was here, I often used Photoshop to adjust my Polaroids to get them even closer to what I saw in my head.
I keep hearing that my film may outlast my digital shots. Maybe. I really don't care. In the end, nothing will last. Eventually, the sun will explode and it will all be lost. For now though, for the moment, with social media up and running, and my nice, big, 30-inch monitor in front of me, I'm happy as a clam. My iPad is easier to look at than any photo album.
Here are some of my more interesting old Polaroids. I'll spare you the hundreds of crappy ones.
And here are some more of my Polaroid Experiments from way back when.
Here is my Instagram feed.
As always, thanks for reading.